The Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center opened July 8 in a ceremony highlighted by speeches from dignitaries—Gov. Bob McDonnell, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones and former star quarterback Joe Theismann—along with performances by skydivers, Richmond’s all-city high school marching band and Elliott Yamin of “American Idol” fame. Opening festivities concluded, city officials are counting on the $10 million facility to serve as an economic engine.
Part of an economic development deal between the city and Bon Secours, the complex is expected to bring $40 million in investment investment to Richmond and create several hundred jobs. Its website states that approximately 100,000 fans are expected to visit the center each year, with 60% of them traveling to Richmond from an average 100-mile radius.
Located on a 17-acre site behind the Science Museum of Virginia, the training center includes two full-sized football fields, a practice field, a gymnasium and locker rooms, as well as improved amenities for fans. The public has access to a 2.5 acre park with a trail for running and walking, a 500-seat amphitheater, a children’s music garden, and a water wall.
The Redskins will spend three weeks at the training center each summer for at least the next eight years. For the rest of the year, it will be available for a variety of activities. The Richmond Economic Development Authority serves as the facility’s manager.