D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday she is glad the Washington Redskins are “moving in the direction” to change their name, but stopped short of saying it would pave the way for a new stadium in the District.
Bowser made waves last month when she said in a radio interview that Washington’s name would be an “obstacle” toward the team returning to the city. Bowser has previously advocated for the Redskins building their next stadium in the District, though she has occasionally spoken out against the name.
During a press conference Monday, Bowser said she hopes the Redskins and the NFL “make clear what the process is” if the franchise moves forward with the change.
The Redskins announced Friday that they would conduct a “thorough review” of the subject, with many insiders believing that owner Dan Snyder will change it.
“You know I think that the team called Washington ‘anything’ should be playing in Washington,” Bowser said, “and I think there would be a lot of issues. I would hardly say that the name is the only issue that would have the team or Washington choose to have a stadium.”
Bowser did not elaborate as to what those issues would be. The Redskins, though, have faced resistance over the years in trying to build a stadium in the District. An effort to secure the land to RFK Stadium, which is federally owned, failed last year when Congress failed to pass a spending bill that would have transferred the site back to the District government.
Bowser also weighed in on the news that the Redskins’ three minority owners — Fred Smith, Robert Rothman and Dwight Schar — are looking to sell their shares in the team. The three men purchased a 40% stake in the Redskins in 2003.
Bowser called this a “great opportunity” for the league to have more diverse owners.
“I hope that they will make that a part of their discussion if there’s actually going to be some transfers in ownership,” she said.