Well...we have all had a chance to digest the latest news out of Redskins Park regarding a possible new stadium design. First, let's point out the positives, and there are some biggies.
I love how it doesn't seek to seat 150,000 people. This can't be overstated. Going head-to-head with Jerry Jones can lead to some pretty stupid decisions (after all, the best way to combat stupid is with stupid). I was dreading the possibility of sharing the gameday experience with 75,000 fans of the other team each week. Keeping the seating bowl to a modest amount of seats (whatever it ends up being) is the best way to go.
I love that there is no roof--football is an outdoor sport. The weather is a factor, and should always be a factor in my humble opinion. Those that disagree with this, know that I understand your position, but handling the elements is quite the equalizer. Further, tailgating in terrible weather is simply the greatest experience in the world, and I don't think partying in the rain and snow for seven hours should be followed up by heading indoors.
Now...the moat. Our network brethren at Curbed.com pointed out that the moat was not meant to keep people out, but I am dubious. I think it is a cool feature, and I think the Redskins and the designers should take more credit for an obvious security feature. Calling it "for kayakers" just doesn't work for me. Moats are for security. Always have been. Always will. And what is so wrong with that? In this day and age, NFL stadiums are targets--HUGE, SOFT targets. I LOVE the idea of putting a moat around the stadium. As someone who has been inside the stadium on gameday for a very long time, I would feel pretty damn safe inside a stadium surrounded by a moat. Hell, they should electrify it. They should widen it. If we're being serious--and I am always serious when it comes to building moats--they should make the moat so wide, the stadium appears more like an island. We could call it "The Rock," or "Kirkatraz."
(As a side note, The Battle of Copenhagen--from whence BIG, the Danish architectural firm that designed the project, hails--did not go so great for the Danes. If this moat becomes a reality, I think we need some security input from...somebody else.)
If you're going to have a moat around a building in or near the nation's capital--a city with a rich and uniquely identifiable architectural history--why not have a fresh take on the castle theme? I'm not talking drawbridges and dungeons, but rather a modern take on that kingly structure (is kingly a word?). What if our stadium was simply known as "The Castle" (not quite as cool as "The Jack," but could grow on us)?
At the end of the day, I guess the real point is that ALL I CARE ABOUT IS HAVING A WINNING FOOTBALL TEAM. If the stadium became the home of a winning team, and hosted some victorious playoff clashes, all the little nuances of a building play second fiddle. I know that McLovin is hard at work building a roster that can give us this kind of experience, and if it comes in a brand new stadium with a cool moat, well that is just great.
Most hallowed sports grounds are consecrated on the field of the play, and almost never by kayakers. No matter what Dan Snyder decides to do, he just needs to remember that building a winner is far more important than building a...well, building.