The Obama Administration will not support a new Washington football stadium unless the team changes its name, according to Jonathan O'Connell of the Washington Post. Washington currently does not play in D.C., but there has been a push to get a new stadium approved and built there.
RFK Stadium occupies the site where Washington has targeted a potential new stadium. However, a lack of support from the current administration would be a serious roadblock to the efforts. While the Obama Administration can't make the ultimate decision on whether a new stadium is built, it can put pressure where it's needed, and there's already plenty making things complicated for the RFK Stadium site.
The National Park Service owns the parcel of land where the stadium would need to be built, and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser that the NPS was unlikely allow for the construction of a new stadium unless the name is changed, according to the report. Jewell also deals with treaty relationships with Native American tribes.
Washington's stadium since 1997, FedEx Field, is located in Maryland. The team holds training camp in Virginia, where there is talk of a new stadium being built as well.
There's been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the team name and the stadium issue, though Washington owner Dan Snyder maintains the team will never change its name. The United States Patent Office rejected Washington's trademark for its team name last year, and that saga remains ongoing.
Last year, Snyder was chastised by 50 senators over his decision to stick with the name and support it. Despite public outcry, some question whether a even a new stadium in D.C. could actually make a name change happen. For now, it's at least one barrier for entry into the D.C. market.