When the Redskins hired political strategiest Frank Luntz to run focus groups and give the team insight into how fans think, it appeared to be a step toward dealing with the rising opposition to their team name. And that was, indeed, one topic for conversation in a recent Luntz-run focus group paid for by Redskins owner Dan Snyder.
But Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post reports that the Redskins are interested in a lot more than just what fans think of the team name. And among the other topics discussed as an intriguing question: Would fans be interested in attending a game at RFK Stadium?
Richard Dassing, a Redskins fan and retired D.C. police sergeant, was part of the focus group and says that at one point, Luntz asked, “Who would like to see a game played at RFK Stadium?”
“The place just erupted,” Dassing said of the response. “He pointed to just about everybody there, and said, ‘When I say RFK Stadium, what do you think about?’ The Hogs, the ’80s, tradition, Super Bowls. It just went on and on, and everybody was in favor of that. Of all the topics, I would say that was the most pouplar topic that was talked about.”
It seems extremely unlikely that the Redskins would play a regular-season game at RFK Stadium, where they played from 1961 to 1996. The old stadium is significantly smaller than FedEx Field, which opened in 1997, and Snyder isn’t likely to give up the kind of gate revenue that he would have to give up to play a real game there. But a preseason game at RFK wouldn’t be totally out of the question.
The focus group also did talk about the Redskins name, but Dassing said that wasn’t the main emphasis of the meeting.
“That came up, but that was just one of literally hundreds of topics that was being spoken about,” he said.
Luntz did ask those in attendance if they had any ideas about a replacement name. Which, if Snyder is to be believed, will NEVER actually be needed.