Rick Snider to BMitch & Finlay: Commanders' dream of RFK site return 'dead to nth degree'


Rick Snider is often on our website with his takes on Commanders (and other) topics, but he called in to BMitch and Finlay today with some big news regarding the future of DC’s football stadium saga: the RFK site is out.

Well, it’s been out for a long, long time, but based on recent polling, Snider believes it’s officially, finally, fully put to rest.

“I don’t see any way the stadium is coming back to RFK, because the recent elections have Mayor Bowser and Mendelson, who chairs the District Council, as virtual shoo-ins in November,” Snider said. “The city is only five percent Republican voters, so there’s no way they lose. They’re both against the stadium there, and the council controls the money.”

The Commanders recently bought land in Prince William County, Virginia, which is “a preferred site” for their new home stadium – assuming, that is, that they can’t return to the District of Columbia, as they seem to desire.

The state of Maryland has pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to develop the area around FedEx Field, and the Commanders have also reportedly looked at land near their practice facility in Ashburn, Virginia, but the desire it seems is to return to DC proper for the first time since they left RFK in 1996.

The problem? That site is owned by Events DC, the same semi-public entity that owns Nationals Park as the successor to the Washington Sports and Convention Authority. That entity receives taxpayer funds but has an independent board appointed by the Mayor, and while they plan to demolish the actual RFK Stadium structure next year, even if full control of the site is gained by the Commanders, there still seems to be no shot.

“Seven members of the council, a majority, came out recently and said they’re not going to support a stadium if the city can regain control of the land from the government,” Snider said. “So it’s dead to the nth degree – it has been for 10 years, it’s just that everybody wanted it do much, but it’s finally at the point where everyone has lined up and said no, we’re done.”

RFK Stadium has been dormant since DC United moved into Audi Field for the 2018 MLS season, and the site in Anacostia Park has the benefit of being centrally located for fans in DC proper, Maryland, and Virginia – as opposed to moving to the commonwealth to the south, or even FedEx Field, which is right off the Beltway but still well east of the District limits proper.

However, disagreement between D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and council chair Phil Mendelson about the site seems to have left it up to Eleanor Holmes Martin, the District’s 30-plus-year delegate to the House of Representatives, to decide upon.

Norton was quoted in a WaPo article earlier this year as saying she was “stuck on stupid here – I can’t move until they move, but it would be in their best interest to move now while we have control of the House, the Senate and the presidency.”

But as JP Finlay noted earlier in the show before Snider’s appearance, based off a recent quote from one of D.C.’s Deputy Mayors, it’s not likely.

“This is more from the deputy mayor, who said, “I imagine at some point we’ll get to an impasse where the Congresswoman just has to decide. That doesn’t mean it’s adversarial, but our point of view is don’t restrict the district,’” Finlay read.

And then, he sort of tore into everyone involved.

“Okay, let’s call BS where we see it: that statement is very clearly adversarial,” he said. “If the Mayor and the council chair mayor can’t agree so that you’re just going to let the Congresswoman decide, you’ve reach adversarial status!”

Brian Mitchell agreed, with this addition:

“Oh yeah, and I think whatever she decides, somebody’s gonna be mad,” he said.

The Commanders’ stadium saga rages on…