WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) today released the following statement on H.R. 4984, the D.C. Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Campus Revitalization Act.

“There is no reason that this bill needs to be considered right now, much less rushed through Congress. The current lease for the RFK site extends until the year 2038, which means that we have a lot of time on the current lease to seriously examine the issues raised by a proposed new 99-year complimentary lease of federal land to the District of Columbia for the purposes of building a new football stadium for a private franchise.

“I appreciate that the District of Columbia is facing the potential loss of the Capitals and Wizards to Virginia and is understandably eager to get this deal done. We feel the pain of having a cherished local sports team threatening to decamp to another jurisdiction. However, we believe there are significant policy issues that should and must be worked out in order for this legislation to command real support in the region and in Congress. These issues include the proper role of federal and local public financing for stadiums for private billion-dollar sports franchises, the equities of transferring extremely valuable federal land on a 99-year lease to a state or the District of Columbia for no payment at all, and whether there should be incorporation of the views of people in the neighboring community and throughout D.C. who have been objecting directly with Congress to different aspects of the apparent plan to expedite the building of a new stadium on 174 acres of federal land.

“I hope we can examine these issues in a serious and deliberative legislative process. We are confident that a more thorough examination of these issues will help us arrive at a satisfactory result for everyone involved.”