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The RFK Stadium-National Guard Armory-Reservation 13 site has been begging for development since the bleachers at RFK fell silent for football in 1997.

Back then, the city was politically bankrupt and wallowing in red ink. It had not one chip with which to bargain with Cooke or other stakeholders who fled the city, including longtime residents who moved out of the city’s eight wards and into Prince George’s, which affectionately is nicknamed Ward 9.

Well, bring it on.

Lure Redskins officials by letting them know that relocating training facilities (and possibly team headquarters) to the nation’s capital will be far easier than bargaining with a union.

Let them know the city is prepared, as usual, to handle public-works aspects of the construction.

And do not - I repeat, do not - bog down discussions with such deal killers as hiring and first-source agreements.

Let them know that we are thinking big time with easy-in, easy-out transportation accommodations, new hotels, if necessary, and a Redskins Hall of Fame Museum.

And let them know that a welcome mat for a new Redskins stadium is already under production.

Last week, after the mayor unveiled his new economic development strategy, I told him all that remains is bringing the Redskins back home.

We shook hands and shared a hearty laugh, but it’s no joking matter.

The Redskins belong in Washington, and D.C. leaders should fight for them until the fat lady cries “uncle.”

Deborah Simmons can be reached at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.