Meeting to discuss Redskins training site - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Meeting to discuss Redskins training site

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A deal to bring the Redskins Training Camp to Richmond has a lot of fans buzzing with excitement, but not everyone is on board just yet.

City officials made a presentation last month, announcing a partnership with Bon Secours and the location of the site on Leigh Street. But now, some residents have questioned whether the site near the Science Museum really makes sense, and whether the city is taking on a cost that could be passed on to taxpayers.

Second District Councilman Charles Samuels hosted a meeting for residents, giving them the chance to ask those questions of City officials.

"The property, there's no parking space!" said one person.

"It is one of the biggest green spaces that we have for my family," added another.

City leaders say they'll keep some green space and there will be spots for parking. Another big question tonight, why the site on Leigh street and not City Stadium or a nearby football field?

Officials say both the Redskins and Bon Secours preferred the site near the museum, because they saw the proximity to the museum is a way to interact with children and promote childhood wellness.

Another hot subject boiled down to the financial agreement the City made, both in terms of cost to the city and projected revenue from the deal.

 "I'm looking for a better explanation than what I've seen for the kind of money the city is going to put in it and what they're going to get back out of it," said Dewitt Whittington.

City officials say similar NFL fields have brought in much more revenue than the cost the city will take on in the project. They also point out that the agreement to expand health systems in the West and East end will improve health opportunities for many desperately in need of good health care. 

"If you can turn something from a small project into something that can impact the East, the West, and the second district; something that will bring medical care to the needy; something that will provide for the expansion of a non profit in our City; and something that will bring $8.5 million  in economic activity and create more than 200 new jobs, it's something that we need to really seriously consider," expressed Samuels.

Samuels went on to add that the project isn't official until City Council approves it. The earliest they could vote on anything is Monday the 12.

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