It's City Stadium vs. the Science Museum in the battle to host the Washington Redskins.
The sites were named Thursday as the finalists for Washington Redskins training camp beginning in 2013. The decision effectively rules out the possibility of SportsBackers Stadium or Virginia Union University hosting the three week camp.
"We want to find a location that will clearly stimulate a particular sector or street or corridor in the city," said Mayor Dwight Jones.
Jones was briefed on the recommendations during a closed meeting of an 18-member steering committee made up of city leaders and business executives. He said a final selection will be made in the next several weeks.
Among the determining factors: lot size, land ownership, and the speed with which it can be developed.
"You'll see some very tangible examples of things we had to consider, like, could you fit side by side placement of the fields? How could you incorporate a field house to serve the team? What about fan needs? What about parking needs?" said Michael Fraizer, chair of the steering committee.
The Redskins would require parallel playing fields for offensive and defensive units, plus a field house, parking, and other fan friendly areas.
Development of the winning site would cost an estimated $9-$10 million. A sponsorship committee would be responsible for bringing in the money, Jones said. The investment is expected to yield an economic benefit of $8.5 million annually, Jones said.
No matter which site is selected, city leaders expect construction to begin in January. NFL training camps typically are held from late July until early August.
Neither Jones nor members of the committee would commit to a favorite location. Earlier this month, two sources with knowledge of the discussions told NBC 12 the Redskins showed "significant interest" in the Science Museum site, which is comprised of mostly undeveloped state-owned land behind the museum. City Stadium, on McCloy Street adjacent to the Downtown Expressway, is city-owned.
In June, the team announced plans to host its annual summer training camp in Richmond, as part of a lucrative eight-year deal to keep the team's corporate headquarters in Virginia.
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