The last few months for the Washington Football Team has seen the organization undergo massive change. That has altered the franchise’s direction with the aspirations to reshape their identity and culture entirely. However, Washington has another crucial decision to make that doesn’t deal with their pending name change.
Washington working through massive changes
The Washington Football Team has gone through enormous changes this offseason that have shifted the franchise’s entire landscape.
The organization finally moved on from their previous racially-connected team name that stuck around for nearly 90 years. That came after they became financially pressured to make a change. Team owner Daniel Snyder resisted the move over the last several years as he believed the moniker’s link to the franchise’s history was invaluable.
However, it saw several of the team’s significant financial partners up the ante to get that change moving forward. FedEx, who holds the naming rights to the franchise’s stadium under a $205 million deal that extends through 2025, sent a request to change their name.
It has also featured sponsors, such as Nike, Amazon, and Pepsi, pressuring the organization to make that move. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell chimed in on the situation with support backing a name change. All That backed Snyder into the corner to cave into the suggested move.
Since then, the franchise has conducted a thorough search for a new name, but that process could take a backseat to another significant decision.
Washington is looking to find a new stadium
The attention around the Washington Football Team has remained on their pending name change.
However, the franchise is also heading toward another crucial decision that doesn’t concern that situation. New team president Jason Wright recently voiced that he has the task of finding a new stadium for the franchise, according to Jabari Young of the CNBC.
Head coach Ron Rivera will handle the football side, while Wright will oversee business operations, including helping to determine the club’s new name and logo. But Wright will also be faced with what he calls “a beast” – delivering team owner Dan Snyder his new stadium.
“The clock is ticking on that,” Wright said an interview with CNBC last week. “That is a major endeavor and an economic driver not just for the club, but for the entire region.”
Wright has much on his plate to navigate through the franchise’s many rough public situations. However, a considerable amount of his attention remains on the upcoming new stadium project. Washington still holds the desire to play at their old playing site at Robert F. Kennedy(RFK) Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Their previous stadium is scheduled to be demolished in 2021, which will more than likely become the location of their new arena. It should be noted that there is a lease with the state and Prince George’s County that will keep the football team at FedEx Field until 2027. Previous team president Bruce Allen made strides toward a 60,000 seat stadium that could look much like how the RFK stadium did.
There are still several hurdles ahead, such as the land where their old stadium resides. It’s the property of the U.S. Department of the interior and located in the District of Columbia. All that will require Wright to utilize his business and people skills to hammer things out. Nonetheless, it’s quite clear that he has his hands full far beyond the expected name change.
More changes to come
Beyond all that, the Washington Football Team is finally taking steps toward much-needed changes to their image, identity, and culture.
There are still plenty of issues to work through first, such as the additional troubling matters involving former cheerleaders. Jason Wright may have more on his plate than he bargained for, but it’s a chance to get the organization where it should be.
The task ahead is quite grand, but the pathway toward redirecting Washington into where it must go is quite clear.