RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Monday, during a press conference close to the Science Museum of Virginia, Mayor Dwight Jones announced the city's plan to develop the Leigh Street (Science Museum) site as the new home of the Washington Redskins Summer Training Camp beginning in 2013.
Peter Bernard, CEO of Bon Secours, and Washington Redskins General Manager, Bruce Allen also talked about the exciting news at the press conference.
"I`m here to announce that Leigh Street is the official site for the Redskins summer training camp," said Jones.
He said the state of the art facility located in the 2700 block of West Leigh Street would consist of two professional grade football fields, a drill field and a drill house including medical offices.
"The field and locker rooms will be made available for the public's use when the Redskins are not in town and are not using it," Jones said.
Jones said the medical offices will include sports medicine and fitness.
"And, we look forward to moving that ball up the field," he said.
For Allen, the location is idyllic. Located right behind the Science Museum of Virginia where kids often frequent.
"..when we have young men and women meet a player at a training camp, it can change their lives. And, we`re looking forward to doing that. We are very excited. We feel this is the model that all NFL teams will follow in the future, and we`re looking forward to doing that. We are very excited," Allen said.
To pay for the project, the Mayor would extend a $10 million dollar line of credit to the Economic Development Administration (which owns the property). The Bon Secours Richmond Health System would pay $6.4 million to build the facility and lease the building for the next 8 to 10 years. The City hopes the sponsors could provide the balance of the remaining $3.6 million.
The groundbreaking is scheduled for November, and construction begins in February
In late August, the Science Museum-site emerged as a leading contender to land the new football training facility. It was among a dozen Richmond sites considered by a Mayor Jones-appointed committee to work with the team to find a training site.
In mid-August, CBS 6 reporter, Angela Pellerano's source said the 12-acre lot behind the Science Museum would likely be the Redskins summer camp destination. That source said team officials liked the Science Museum site because it required no demolition and it is close to the Science Museum of Virginia and Children’s Museum of Richmond -- family-friendly attractions.