The Washington Redskins are in a weird place. They finally ended their tumultuous marriage with Robert Griffin III, and they snuck into the playoffs in 2015 behind some pretty good quarterback play from backup-turned-starter Kirk Cousins. But getting rid of one stain on the franchise puts the focus back on another one—the controversial Redskins name. It has no place in contemporary society, but owner Dan Snyder has vowed never to get rid of it.
So when 60 Minutes covered Snyder’s plans for a new stadium for his franchise—a shiny, outlandish structure that would put Jerry Jones’s AT&T Stadium to shame—those of us who remain cynical couldn’t help viewing the announcement as a big-new-toy distraction to keep people’s minds off the ‘Skins name and other transgressions.
Regardless, this thing is ridiculous. Citing a desire to turn the football stadium into a year-round destination, not just a place where people come for eight Sundays a year, architectural firm Bjorn Ingels Group revealed renderings of what the stadium of the future might look like—complete with … wait for it … a wave pool around the entire facility backed up against plenty of sand, in case you felt like building a few sand castles before you go watch some good old-fashioned football.
“The stadium is designed as much for the tailgating, the pre-game, as it is for the game itself,” Ingels said. “It literally becomes a picnic in a park to make the stadium a more lively destination throughout the year without ruining the turf for the football game.”
Though the new Redskins stadium isn’t in the plans until the 2020s, color us skeptical about the wave pool and dudes surfing as part of fans’ pregame festivities. These renderings feel more like the concept cars you see at the Auto Show than something that will ever come to life. Still, whether just for show or not, you can’t deny Snyder’s love of the grandiose.