NFL considers using league money for Washington stadium upgrades, signaling G-4 fund rule change

This is a really short news item in the Washington Post, and I’m not sure what to make of it:

NFL owners are expected to vote Tuesday on providing league funding to the Washington Redskins for renovations to FedEx Field, two people familiar with the situation said.

The Redskins declined to provide details, but one of the people with knowledge of the matter said the $27 million renovation includes seating modifications, wi-fi, ribbon boards (a form of stadium signage) and a Hall of Fame expansion.

This is the second instance (the previous being the Philadelphia Eagles) of the NFL considering committing G-4 funds to a stadium upgrade project, despite there being no public money involved. Which is only strange because the G-4 rules clearly state that the money needs to go to public-private partnerships, and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross reiterated this to Miami officials as recently as this spring when he was trying (and failing) to get public subsidies for stadium renovations.

If the NFL has changed its rules for G-4 funding, that’d be great, as clearly the league has plenty of cash on hand to help teams with their stadium costs. If so, though, you’d think they’d at least announce it — though actually, given that there are still plenty of NFL teams trying to hit up their local governments for money by saying they have nowhere else to turn, maybe they wouldn’t.

6 comments on “NFL considers using league money for Washington stadium upgrades, signaling G-4 fund rule change

  1. My assumption here is that they are trying to get the stadium for the Redskins in the next decade, and asking for renovations now will make it way harder to get one. Thus, this will be all private funded, so that way this stadium will be slightly better over the next decade, and there will be no “hey, we already spent money on x, why should we spend it on y” issues.

  2. There only has to be private financing, there’s no requirement for public funding.

    The G-4 memo was just written poorly, but it’s clear in the details.

  3. If so, then Stephen Ross misrepresented it to Miami, because he used that as an argument for why he needed public money for renovations there.

  4. Of course Ross misrepresented it to Miami. That’s all part of the stadium game.

    The G-4 memo specifies the amount of private funds needed to receive NFL funds. It doesn’t make any mention of specific public funds. That was just an assumption.

    Read the memo again.

  5. “4d. The stadium construction project must be a ‘public-private partnership’;”

    Yes, that’s clear as mud. But it is odd (though welcome!) to see projects with no public involvement included under that provision.

  6. 1a through 1c spells out the three tranches of NFL g-4 funding and a public funding contribution isn’t a requirement.

    Someone at the league got sloppy with the general wording but the specifics clearly don’t require public funds.