The Washington Redskins will not head to Richmond this summer.
The NFL has decided its teams Tuesday must hold training camp at team practice facilities this summer due to the coronavirus outbreak, banning them from traveling to an outside location. Since 2013, the Redskins have traveled to Virginia’s state capitol for a two-and-a-half week stretch as part of the team’s training camp.
ESPN first reported the NFL’s decision.
The Redskins‘ contract with the city of Richmond to host practices is set to expire later this year. Washington has the option to extend the deal, but it has not said if it will do so. Coach Ron Rivera was scheduled to travel to Richmond in March, but the meeting was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In April, the Redskins agreed to waive the local cash contribution that the city of Richmond had owed the team. The city had owed Washington $161,000 in the final year of the deal and those payments were often the source of frustration for city officials and local residents, who claimed the team was a financial burden for the city.
Over the years, teams traveling to a different city to hold training camp has become less and less popular. In 2019, 22 of the league’s 32 teams stayed home — whereas only 10 teams did so in 2000.
The Redskins were one of 11 clubs to travel for camp in 2019. Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Kansas City, the L.A. Rams, Oakland and Pittsburgh were the others.
Traveling for training camp was originally seen as a way to build team chemistry. Former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan believed in that and was a big proponent of moving the team to Richmond for camp. Washington also hosted camps at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, from 1963 to 1994, and Frostburg State University in Maryland from 1995 to 1999. The Redskins moved back to Carlisle for a two-year stint in 2001.
Without Richmond, the Redskins will hold practices at their team facility in Ashburn. That should not be a problem for Washington as it returns to Ashburn every summer midway through the preseason following its stay in Richmond.
The Redskins also hosted training camp practices in Ashburn from 2002 until 2012, when Washington struck the agreement with Richmond.
Team facilities have yet to fully re-open since the NFL issued a work-from-home due to the coronavirus. Last month, the league started to allow back some employees, though players and coaches have not yet been allowed to return.
Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.