- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Virginia will remain “Redskins Country.”

Despite hopes from D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and city officials that the football team would build a new training facility in the District, the team will retain its corporate headquarters in Loudoun County, Va., and move its training camp to Richmond starting in 2013.

“Of course, they have a Washington name and a Maryland playing location, but we still consider them a Virginia company, because of their headquarters, now for some 40 years, up in Ashburn,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said at a news conference in front of the Governor’s Mansion. “Over the last year or so, the Redskins have contemplated what their future would be and whether or not their headquarters and playing facilities and training camp and so forth should remain in Virginia. As you may have seen, they’ve looked at some options in Washington, D.C., and in Maryland, and several proposals were made by those other jurisdictions.”

The team also will continue its expansion of the facility in Ashburn, a project that is estimated to support nearly 400 jobs during construction and nearly $53 million in economic activity.

The corporate headquarters directly and indirectly supports 350 jobs and generates $2.2 million in state and local tax revenue annually.

The team generates almost $200 million in annual economic activity in Virginia, and $9.8 million a year in state and local tax revenue.

“While we’re delighted to have had the Redskins here, we realize that with the mobility of the players and the competition with Maryland and with D.C., that we wanted to do everything we could to maintain that home here,” Mr. McDonnell said.

The first lady of Virginia, Maureen McDonnell, is a former Redskins cheerleader.

Mr. McDonnell signed off on a $4 million performance grant to support the retention and expansion, and Loudoun County will provide another $500,000, he said.

The announcement marks another feather in Virginia’s cap. The state has routinely beat out regional rivals for businesses in recent years. Most notably, the state in 2010 persuaded Northrop Grumman Corp. to move its Los Angeles-based corporate headquarters to Falls Church instead of the District or Maryland, thanks in part to an incentives package worth more than $10 million.

“This is yet another major corporation that’s decided to either stay in Virginia or grow in Virginia or move to Virginia,” Mr. McDonnell said of the Redskins. “We are the most business-friendly state in America, and that’s why even though some other jurisdictions offered significant revenues to get them to move, the management and the ownership of the Washington Redskins understood that there’s no better place to call home for a business and for a corporation than the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“The Washington Times first reported in November that Mr. Gray, accompanied by D.C. Council members Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat, and Michael A. Brown, at-large independent, headed to Florida to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice facility, apparently to steel for a fight to lure the Redskins back to the District.

The theoretical plan was to knock down buildings on “Hill East” or “Reservation 13,” near RFK Stadium along the Anacostia River, to make room for the new facilities.

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