The Redskins have publicly said they have no plans to build a new stadium at FedEx Field for at least another decade, but that does not mean their headquarters, and ultimately, the stadium, will not change location.
The two biggest reasons are: the team doesn’t think it can make money at a new site and the school board, which oversees lease negotiations, has never rejected an offer. The Redskins’ lease with FedEx Field runs through 2027, when the Washington Examiner reported that the lease could be amended to include a new site. That could happen as early as 2024, when the lease ends.
As WTOP first reported, the lease allows the team to propose an “alternate site” up to a year before its lease expires.
To get around the school board, the Redskins could choose a less than 200-acre site on the 17th Street corridor and submit a relocation proposal. They could also transfer an existing surface parking lot into the new site and, under the deal, get to keep the revenues and maintenance costs.
The Federal Aviation Administration has no jurisdiction over non-airport land for sports franchises, and could allow them to relocate their headquarters there.
The location of FedEx Field was determined in 1998 after a period of government public input, including a town hall meeting on a stadium in the summer of 1998.
During the time frame, 11 neighbors and residents sent letters to the FCC, hoping to have the site on their territory, which would later lead to suggestions that the team move. The FCC simply received the material and issued a letter saying that it wasn’t “currently accepting any comments or requests for amendments of the Federal Aviation Administration’s 2005 Memorandum of Understanding.”
The stadium site on 19 acres around the northeast corner of the intersection of the Potomac and the Anacostia River has a limited transit capacity and no parking lots. The site was also already part of the FedEx Associates Limited Co. corporate campus, which sits on the facility’s 200 acres.
The R-3 common zoning designation makes the FedEx Stadium site a commercial enterprise. It is therefore legally capable of being sold and, according to the current commercial transactions, any share of the property or land would be owned by the Community Association and be leased to the Redskins.
The Redskins haven’t revealed what they are looking for in a new site, though they have committed to look at a number of alternatives.
Among them: other locations near Washington Dulles International Airport, which are owned by the Dulles Economic Development Authority. That land was put up for sale in 1999 and went for $20 million, but the location was not offered to the Redskins.
WTOP reported last year that an option to purchase the property recently expired, though the Redskins say they are not included in that option.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that FedEx Field could be moved to a location adjacent to Dulles International Airport. The FedEx Field will not be moved to an airport site.