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Hail to the Redskins – New Richmond Residents!

Training_centerThe reigning NFC East champion Washington Redskins unveiled their new $10 million dollar state-of-the-art training facility in Richmond on Monday, July 8.  The team will call the Richmond-based Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center home during their three-week training camp, which kicks-off Thursday, July 25.

No stranger to pomp and circumstance, the Redskins welcomed community leaders and members from across the Commonwealth to a lively grand opening celebration.  The ceremony began with a performance from the Richmond All-City Marching Band, parachute jumpers gilding through the air and onto the new field and the singing of the National Anthem by former American Idol finalist and Richmond native, Elliot Yamin.  Guest speakers included former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones, Bon Secours Virginia Health System CEO Peter Bernard, and Washington Redskins Senior Vice President and Executive Producer – Media Larry Michael.

The new training facility will offer both entertainment and an economic boost for the Richmond region.  Fans from across the country can see their favorite Redskins in action before the season begins at no cost.  During Richmond’s inaugural season as training camp host, it means getting a unique first look at how RGIII has bounced back from his knee injury, or how well 2012 stand-out rookie Alfred Morris will perform his second year on the field.  The value of the training center has a far greater reach than simply entertaining fans and preparing players for their next run at a Super Bowl championship.  The facility will bring an estimated $40 million investment to the city of Richmond and hundreds of new jobs.  The economic impact of the training camp alone is estimated to be around $8.5 million a year.

For those of you that don’t know, I am a die-hard football fan so having an NFL franchise training camp right around the corner is like music to my ears.  I had the privilege of being a part of the on-site media relations team for the grand opening celebration.  It was an incredible experience to witness the immaculate facility, which was constructed in only a mere five months, weeks before the doors open to the public.  Let the countdown to training camp begin!