WJTV News Channel 12 - New Washington Redskins training camp facility

New Washington Redskins training camp facility

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The two brand new football fields are just the beginning of the $10,000,000 Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond.

There's a new training facility and locker room building, plenty of room for VIP'S, a Redskins store, and lots and lots of vendors, and the result is an NFL Class, three-week, summer football carnival.

Bruce Allen, Redskins General Manager told us, "People ask us did we hit a home run -- we did a grand slam this first year.  The reception we've gotten from the business community and the kids has been fantastic.  Players like it.  We have a first class facility and I really do believe that other teams will follow this lead in the future."

Before this year the Redskins practiced in Ashburn, in Northern Virginia and only drew a small fraction of the fans they have drawn here.  In fact, Bruce Allen says they have already drawn more than the Governor's estimated 100-thousand fans.

"We had some high goals.  The mayor and Governor McDonnell, and we think we are going to hit the 100-thousand fan objective within ten days," said Allen.

And those fans have been pouring in.  Morning sessions are described as walkthroughs, or light workouts. 

Afternoon sessions are more intense.   And all of it is free for the fans.

Michelle Rodgers is one of those Fans.  "This facility is beautiful.  We've actually been to Ashburn for the last three years. It's a whole lot bigger, more things to do for the kids and it's beautiful out here. "

Aside from the action the fans say they really like the access to the players and almost all of them are hoping for at least one autograph.

"I like the feeling you can actually interact with the players.  Pierre Garcon was nice enough to sign autographs for about half an hour," said Chris Schurman a Richmond Fan who took the day off from work to come and watch his team.

As for the 49 weeks a year the Redskins are not at the new facility -- it is going to become a city park.  They will use the training fields for local athletic events and the new building will become a men's health and training center.  Overall officials expect this facility will have a 40-million dollar impact on the City of Richmond.

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