Sports Revelation

IJPC: What Do You Get For Hosting a NFL Training Camp?

Danial Snyder is a brilliant business man. At the age of 50 he has built a net worth of 1.76 Billion dollars. 1.76 Billion dollars alone is crazy, but he also owns a professional football team. Just think, little people like you and me get excited each year for our fantasy football draft. Dan Snyder, gets to play fantasy football in reality as the owner Washington Redskins.

For the past 3 years the Washington Redskins have made Richmond, Virginia, the home of their training camp. I’m sure Redskin fans in the RVA and surrounding areas are extremely excited about training camp. You can now come and watch their work outs and daily activities, as well as get to meet many of the players.

What many fans, and locals alike, might not know is exactly how much money Richmond is paying the Redskins to come and hang out with us. That’s right, you and me are paying the Redskins to come practice in our lovely city by the James River. You and I are paying the Billionaire, Dan Snyder.

We pay him to have the privilege to host his Washington Redskins’ training camp. Training camp is something NFL teams must do. This seems silly and absurd to me.

Maybe the City of Richmond is making money in the long run? Nope. I mean tickets sales, and parking, and vendors, and advertising has to generate enough money to cover the cost, right? Nope, think again sucker.

3 years ago, Richmond agreed to pay the Washington Redskins an initial lump sum of $10 million plus another $500,000 per year. So, each year the Skins are here for a few weeks, Richmond pays them $500,000. This $500K had to come from the City’s budget somewhere. It did.

The money we pay the Redskins was pulled from construction projects for Richmond City Schools and Richmond City Jail. A spokesperson from the City of Richmond says the money in question, was not taken but “shifted” as a loan that would be paid back in full. They also reported “loaning” the money would not effect upcoming projects for schools or the Jail. That’s good because the recent proposed $620 million Richmond City School budget was released and there are needs for repairs.

An insightful article from the Richmond Times Dispatch from 2012 breaks down the cost to get the Redskins to hold their training camp in Richmond. It describes the $10 million upfront cost paid by the City of Richmond, and then it explains the additional $500,000 Richmond pays the Redskins each of the following years.

Each year the numbers return from Redskin training camp and we learn Richmond is making less money than the year before. This is bad, since this money was anticipated to help cover the $500,000 yearly fee. The first year we saw the highest average daily attendance of 10, 348 fans, and we saw an estimated impact of $10.5 million dollars being spent in Richmond. Yet, Richmond still fell short of the projections by more than $250,000. Opps, maybe the 2nd year was better. Nope.

The second year saw the overall daily attendance drop and the amount Richmond fell short continue to grow. There was an option in the original deal, allowing Richmond to get out of the original 8 year sentence. Vendors and sponsorship’s were down, fan attendance was down, and the Skins went from being a good team to being a train wreck. However, our Leaders still thought it was a grand idea to continue to pay more money then first anticipated and they voted to bring the Skins back for a third year. I don’t think this quarterback competition is going to draw big crowds…

RG3_Redskins_training_camp   Kirk_Cousins_Redskins_training_camp   Colt_McCoy_Redskins

Now the Richmond Economic Development Authority has to look for ways to secure the additional funds needed to cover the $285,538 bill from last year. As the City of Richmond continues to come up with ways to generate more money people, as they should, have begun to question the details about this deal. Where exactly does this money come from, because it has to come from somewhere in the city’s budget? A great piece was written in the Washington Post explaining details about this deal.

As fans, as parents, and as responsible individuals who pay taxes to our city, we need to continue to ask these questions. We also need to be aware of our actions and understand how these actions as fans and voters effect us. We need to understand some of the men and women we have elected to be our leaders are spending our money on the Redskins. When we go to the training camp we are voicing our support of this decision. We are paying a Billionaire to have his real life fantasy football team hold their training camp in our home town. It’s fun to see the athletes up close and in person, and maybe get an autograph or two. I agree. Just realize the Redskins must have a training camp somewhere and we are the individuals paying for it. You can be fine with paying this, I just want to make sure you are aware.

Enjoy Sports Responsibly




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