If Dan Snyder wants a new stadium for his football team within the confines of the District of Columbia, he must first change the name of the team.
According to Liz Clarke of the Washington Post, a name change is a prerequisite to any discussion about using the site where RFK Stadium currently sits for the construction of a new NFL stadium for the Washington franchise.
“There is no viable path, locally or federally, for the Washington football team to return to Washington, D.C., without first changing the team name,” Washington D.C. Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio said.
The land RFK Stadium sits on is federally owned by the National Park Service and controlled by the city through 2038.
FedEx Field is the current home of the team and has been since 1997. It sits approximately eight miles east of RFK Stadium in Landover, Maryland. Meanwhile, RFK Stadium sits in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol in the heart of Washington D.C. Snyder is seeking a new stadium for the team as he views it as part of the reason for sagging attendance for the franchise.
Pressure continues to mount against the team to change the name that is viewed to be a racial slur. Investment firms are putting pressure on sponsors to pull their support from the team. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser declared it’s time to change the name. So did the granddaughter of the team’s founder, George Preston Marshall, who said last week she was glad to see the monument to her grandfather removed from the RFK Stadium site.
“The time [for the name] has ended,” said U.S. representative Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee. “There is no way to justify it. You either step into this century or you don’t. It’s up to the owner of the team to do that.”