Henry Grabar is a staff writer for Slate’s Moneybox and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.
The fact that the Washington Redskins do not play in Washington has been a source of deep frustration for the District of Columbia for years now. Since 1997, in fact, the team has made its home in neighboring Prince George's County, Maryland, having fled aging RFK Stadium for greener pastures (only D.C. United, Washington's MLS team, still plays at RFK, and they've been trying to leave for years, too.) The Redskins' lease at Maryland's FedEx Field isn't up until 2027, so it would take a hell of a deal to bring the team back across the river.
What if D.C. had something to trade? Like, maybe, the headquarters of the FBI?
That's the outlandish deal that NBC's Washington affiliate is reporting that D.C. officials have floated to their counterparts in Prince George's County. The FBI headquarters for the football team, straight up.
The FBI, like the Redskins before it, is seeking to leave its creaky D.C. residence, a hulking lump of concrete on Pennsylvania Avenue. Why not swap them for the 'Skins?
It sounds crazy, and unfortunately, according to the Washington Post's Mike DeBonis, it is. He says the official on record, Ward 2's Jack Evans, has been trying to push this deal for years. But the chances of it going through are next to nil -- Maryland thinks they'll get the HQ anyway, the District doesn't have any real sway over the FBI, and Virginia is also courting the Bureau.
But as hypothetical swaps go, it's a fun one to imagine.
Top image: Gary Cameron / Reuters.