- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 1, 2000

Goodbye Frostburg.

The Washington Redskins will move training camp to Redskin Park in Ashburn, Va., this summer, according to team sources. The Redskins will build stands and parking lots for fans as owner Dan Snyder seeks to increase fan involvement following five years of virtual isolation in Frostburg, Md.

As first reported by The Washington Times on July 27, the Redskins will break the final five years of their 10-year contract at Frostburg State University. The Redskins owe $1 million on the deal, and a settlement is expected.

The Redskins will open training camp July 21 and expect to play a preseason scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedEx Field on July 29 before opening the preseason at Tampa Bay on Aug. 5.

The team still is finalizing plans on housing players, but Redskin Park can accommodate the near month-long training camp. The 65,000-square foot building has ample locker room, training room and meeting facilities and four practice fields, including an artificial turf. The team already caters meals during the season.

Perhaps the only detriment will be the increased heat. Frostburg regularly was cooler and less humid than Washington. However, the Redskins changed their two-a-day practice system last year to emphasize more speed drills and less hitting. There were only four days of full pad workouts during training camp. The new scheme, after several injury-riddled years, was credited with keeping the Redskins one of the NFL's healthier teams last season.

The Redskins join 22 teams that train at year-round or nearby facilities, including the Baltimore Ravens. Only Arizona, Detroit, Green Bay, Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle, Kansas City and Denver don't train in their markets as teams seek to maximize media exposure.

The Redskins considered training at George Mason and Bowie State before opting to remain at their own facility. The team also considered moving its year-round facility to Maryland, but infrastructure costs for training camp will prevent relocating for several years.

Sources close to Snyder said the team can make several million dollars through corporate sponsors and concessions at a local camp and get increased media coverage as well. Team sources were unsure whether fans would be charged admission, though most camps are free aside from the scrimmages.

Snyder was displeased with fan attendance in Frostburg, which most years numbered less than 10,000 during training camp. Aside from an annual scrimmage or practice against the Pittsburgh Steelers that regularly drew more than 5,000 including a significant number of Steelers fans many practices saw fewer than 100 fans.

The Redskins moved to Frostburg in 1995 as part of a political payback for $70 million in funding for stadium infrastructure. The team also trained in Anacostia (1937); a Ballston softball field in Arlington (1938); Spokane, Wash. (1939-40); San Diego (1941-44); Georgetown University (1945); Los Angeles (1946-62); and Carlisle, Pa. (1963-94).

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