RICHMOND, Va. – Leaders from the state of Virginia, City of Richmond and Bon Secours Virginia Health System gathered today with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones and former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, along with community partners and guests, to celebrate the opening of the $10 million Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center, the new home of the Redskins summer training camp. The Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center opens to the public on July 25, with the start of the Redskins training camp, which runs through Aug. 16.
The pre-opening day event kicked off with a Presentation of Colors by the Fort Lee (Va.) Color Guard, followed by Richmond-area youth leading the audience in reciting America's Pledge of Allegiance. Former American Idol favorite and Richmond native, Elliott Yamin, sang the National Anthem, coinciding with skydivers landing onto the playing fields. Other highlights included children and invited guests entering the stage through a giant Redskins football helmet, as well as music by Richmond Public Schools' All-City Marching Band.
"Today marks an exciting, significant milestone in Richmond as we celebrate an important day, not only for Redskins fans, but for Richmond residents as well," said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. "We are grateful to all of our valued partners who worked tirelessly to ensure that this wonderful facility was built, and on time. We especially thank Bon Secours for joining us in this partnership that will generate millions of dollars to the city's economy. We also thank Bon Secours for their vision in bringing year-round health services to this state-of-the-art facility making Richmond an even better place to live and work."
The $10 million Training Center includes two full-size natural grass fields, a natural grass drill field, spectator areas, locker rooms and a high-tech training room. Bon Secours Virginia Health System also will ensure the facility serves as a valuable year-round resource for the community when camp is not in session. They will operate the facility as a full-service sports medicine rehabilitation and men's health center on the property throughout the year, in addition to offering fitness and education programs. The facility also will be home to movin' mania, Bon Secours' healthy kids initiative.
"Bon Secours is proud to open the world-class Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center, and we look forward to the Redskins' arrival in a few weeks," said Peter J. Bernard, CEO, Bon Secours Virginia Health System, official Training Camp Hospital Partner of the Washington Redskins. "Bon Secours for many years has extended its community health services through partnerships with the City of Richmond. And we take great pride in what we've accomplished with the city and the Washington Redskins, and the impact it will have, both economically and from a health perspective."
The City of Richmond is ensuring the facility will be available for a variety of sporting events, youth programming, tournaments and other uses that generate revenue and positive exposure for the City of Richmond when camp is not in session. Among the other noteworthy components of the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center will be a new city park with a multi-tier outdoor amphitheater and walking trails to enhance the benefits for residents, as well as camp attendees.
The year-round Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center will bring an estimated $40 million investment to Richmond and hundreds of new jobs. The three-week training camp is expected to attract more than 100,000 fans and bring tourism opportunities to Richmond, an estimated economic impact of $8.5 million annually. The Redskins training camp represents the single largest team sports event to take place within the Commonwealth of Virginia.
"Hail to the Redskins and welcome to Richmond! We are honored that the Washington Redskins call Virginia home, from their corporate headquarters in Loudoun County to their new training camp in the Commonwealth's capital city," said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. "I urge Virginians from Bristol to Norfolk to Arlington to make a trip to Richmond this summer to see their NFC East Champion Redskins prepare for another season of gridiron success!"
Redskins training camp will offer two practice sessions tentatively scheduled for each day, highlighted by Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday, Aug. 3. Admission is free for all fans. Practices range between one and two hours long. Following practice, Redskins players and coaches will be available to sign autographs and take pictures with fans, schedules permitting.
"The Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center is a state-of-the art facility. It gives players and coaches everything they will need to prepare for the season," said Joe Theismann, legendary Redskins quarterback. "I loved going away for training camp because players build camaraderie and a real sense of ‘team' by being together in one environment. The world-class facility in Richmond will provide an exciting and unique training experience, especially since it was built specifically for players and fans."