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Loudoun Inks 8-Year Deal with Redskins

At least for the near future, Washington’s NFL team stays in Ashburn

Richmond won much of the attention when Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the Washington Redskins would remain in Virginia and hold summer camp in its capital beginning in 2013. The hidden gem in the announcement for Loudoun was the team’s intention to keep its regular season training facility and headquarters at in Ashburn.

“We are a proud business partner,” said Mitch Gershman, the team’s chief marketing officer. “We look forward to staying in Loudoun for years to come.”

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The Loudoun Board of Supervisors on Tuesday formalized its commitment to the team—$2 million over four years—as part of a marketing agreement.

“I’m just delighted that you all are staying here in Loudoun,” said Supervisor Suzanne Volpe, who made clear she’s a lifelong Redskins fan. She said her mother told stories about going into labor with Volpe’s older brother while at the team’s former stadium.

The county’s contribution and the state’s $4 million contribution that McDonnell announced are considered an investment. Loudoun’s will pay the team $500,000 a year for four years beginning in 2013.

Besides the tax revenue, Loudoun will have the ability to promote the county as the corporate headquarters of the NFL franchise.

Current operations at Redskins Park are estimated to generate $31.2 million in statewide economic impact, $10.2 million in local economic impact and $2.2 million in state and local tax revenue, according to a county staff report. The squad generates nearly $200 million in economic activity in Virginia and more than $100 million annually in player salaries, resulting in $9.8 million annually in state and local tax revenue, according to information provide by McDonnell’s office.

Expansion of the training facility is estimated to support 393 jobs during construction, while generating $52.8 million in total economic activity. About 20,000 people visit the facility each year, spending about $3.4 million on goods and services.

“I just want to say to the critics that I think this is a good deal. I really do. And I think that the Redskins add value to our local economy,” said Supervisor Ken Reid (R-Leesburg).

Supervisor Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) pointed out that the county will use transient occupancy tax revenue, essentially hotel taxes, to pay the team. TOT revenue can only be used for tourism and economic development.

Loudoun can expect, celebrity cameos, banner website adds on the team’s website, promotion at FedEx Field, a position on press backdrops and other marketing benefits valued by the team at $16 million over the eight-year agreement.

“We full expect to take advantage of this marketing agreement. This marketing deal is definitely a good deal for us,” Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles) said, adding a comment directly to the team. “We hope it’s a good deal for you, too.”

The team previously constructed and indoor practice facility on the Ashburn property, which Gershman said the team tries not to call “the bubble,” but a $30 million expansion is planned to upgrade the entire facility as well as make more events possible and contribute more tourism revenue.

Leslie Ackerman June 21, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Ok. Now, how about fixing, improving and making a smooth drive out of the Loudoun County Parkay 25 mph treck that passes in front of these very well paid people?
Randy Rawson June 21, 2012 at 02:51 PM
What a joke and a waste of scarce taxpayers money. Everyone is up in arms over the prospective cost of Metro, but we open our wallets without question to the most profitable team in the NFL! Fix the road, now; and let's all sit back and count all the money that this phoney deal will bring to the coffers of Loudoun County!
Tom W June 21, 2012 at 03:58 PM
I actually heard a conservative radio show discussion about how giving money to the Redskins was "a proven return on investment" to taxpayers. You would think the same logic would be used to describe funding of badly needed transit? No.. it was all bailouts and socialism. Amazing.
Colleen McNamee June 22, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Agree!! But then that would mean Loudoun County wouldn't get funds through speed traps and taxes from the businesses fixing our wheel alignments. Oh, yeah, and I wouldn't get to enjoy getting flipped off by a Redskins player while going the speed limit and they were tailing me so closely they were practically in my trunk!

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