Support Us Button Widget

What’s the future for the Commanders training camp?

The football team won’t be returning to the River City, leaving a large facility near Scott’s Addition.

RICtoday_WashingtonTrainingFacility_Outside

The training facility is close to Scott’s Addition and the upcoming Diamond District.

Photo by RICtoday

Table of Contents

Ten years ago, professional football came to Richmond in the form of a training facility for the Washington team, then known as the Redskins. The city’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) leased the land for 20 years, but the Commanders only agreed to venture south for eight — and now they’re officially not coming back.

Despite the end of the camp, taxpayers will still have to contribute $700,000 annually towards the lease until 2033. However, EDA board chair John Molster told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the space is a major development opportunity to use the space for the public good.

The Bon Secours Training Center currently hosts outdoor events, weddings, and corporate gatherings. In August, it will be the site of the inaugural Iron Blossom Music Festival, relocated from Monroe Park.

RICtoday_WashingtonFootballTeam_TrainingCamp

Washington last practiced in Richmond in 2021.

Photo by Joe Glorioso, All-Pro Reels

Areas for improvement

The facility has run into issues before. There’s only one locker room and limited outdoor lighting, making hosting events like high school sports games a challenge. The shortage of on-site bathrooms is also a problem for larger events like concerts and festivals, requiring the use of portable restrooms.

Improvements are on the table, though. New construction just has to be approved by the state and should be in line with the current use of the property.

Development ideas

Although the next steps for the training facility are further down the road, we can’t help but wonder how Richmond could best use the space. With expanded restrooms, the site’s proximity to Scott’s Addition and the upcoming Diamond District could make it an ideal spot for community events and festivals. The original conception of the facility even included a local food truck market.

We want to know — what are you imagining for the space? Send us your ideas and you could be featured in a future newsletter.

More from RICtoday