It’s always football season in D.C.
Even among March Madness, Spring Training, Champions League games, and cherry blossoms, it’s always football season here.
Yesterday D.C. fans were treated to the first public visit/commentary from Alex Smith, new quarterback of our local football team (that would be the politically-incorrectly-named Redskins). Other deals and signings dotted the news this week as well, making us forget that there’s, you know, Madness out there to see. (Upstate New York still going strong, by the way, with Buffalo’s upset win over Arizona last night.)
It’s not all seashells and balloons coming out of Ashburn, though, remember. Those balloons come with a price. A story in my local Loudoun Times-Mirror (a weekly rag I’m liking more and more) reminds us Loudouners of the price we pay for Skinsmania. The story points to the financial burdens placed upon the City of Richmond, hosts of Redskins training camp, and how it adversely affects Richmond taxpayers. Lest one think this is simply a Richmond problem… “Loudoun drinks burgundy-and-gold Kool-Aid too.”
“As part of an unusual eight-year marketing deal [signed] in 2012, Loudoun’s supervisors agreed to pay $2 million to the NFL team, which practices and has its headquarters in Ashburn. In exchange, the county received “marketing assets” (their italics) that brand Loudoun as the corporate home of the Redskins in on-air mentions, advertisements and news releases, and on the backdrop that appears behind speakers at the team’s news conferences.
“The county also received special access to events at Redskins’ practice facility in Ashburn, pregame field passes, club-level game tickets and the use, one game a year, of a FedEx Field premium suite, which county officials used to entertain business leaders and prospects.”
Must be nice.
And I’m still waiting for my invitation to the premium suite.