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Redkins Coming to Virginia Beach Next Summer


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I could walk from my house to any of this. Cool!

Redskins plan fan-appreciation festivals in Va. Beach

By JIM DUCIBELLA, The Virginian-Pilot

© December 2, 2005 | Last updated 9:33 PM Dec. 1

For the next three years, the Washington Redskins will be vacationing in Virginia Beach. They’d love for you to join them.

The team and the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau have entered into a three-year agreement to produce the “Redskins Beach Blitz,” a fan-appreciation festival. The 2006 event is scheduled for June 2-4, primarily at the new Convention Center. City officials hope to attract 15,000 people.

The team is lining up former and current coaches and players and the team’s cheerleaders to participate.

At the center of the weekend’s activities will be a 55,000-square-foot, interactive “theme park” that the Redskins will erect inside the Convention Center. It will be similar to interactive exhibits found at the Super Bowl.

A black-tie dinner at the Cavalier Hotel, a golf tournament at TPC of Virginia Beach, and coaching and cheerleading clinics at the Convention Center are set. Under consideration is a huge “tailgate party,” to be held at an oceanfront park.

“Our goal is to bring out-of-town folks to Virginia Beach, to have them see the changes that are taking place, just like we did with the Redskins,” said Jim Ricketts, director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Once the Redskins became more familiar with the city and the Hampton Roads region, they quickly became very excited about the whole idea.”

A list of attendees and additional events is expected after the first of the year, said Mike Stevens, the Redskins’ senior vice president for sales and marketing . He said the charge for the theme park is expected to be “nominal.”

“The people in Virginia Beach are coming at us with all kind of great ideas for this,” Stevens said. “This is becoming exactly what we hoped for when we first decided to do it — something above and beyond what other teams do. Those are just glorified autograph sessions.”

Stevens said the original idea was to hold the event in Northern Virginia. Then officials from Virginia Beach contacted the team with a similar idea and told them about their new, $202.5 million convention center. Six weeks ago, Redskins officials visited the city and decided to give the event a regional focus.

“The building is spectacular, perfect for what we want to do,” Stevens said. “We consider Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Richmond, Hampton to be in our back yard, and we thought, 'Why not give something back to the people down there and also offer people in Northern Virginia and elsewhere the chance to come down to a great vacation spot and spend some time with the Redskins.’”

The Redskins are already promoting the event. Fans can sign up to receive information at www.redskinsbeachblitz.com.

The team has started airing a commercial filmed at the Oceanfront on coach Joe Gibbs’ weekly TV show and on the giant replay screens at FedEx Field. In it, a surfer is sitting placidly atop the water when a man wearing a Redskins uniform and helmet explodes out of the water beside him and begins exhorting him to take on the next big wave.

There’s also a print ad in which a young child is sitting on the beach, burying a Redskins player in sand.

“We’re having a lot of fun mixing the themes of football and the beach,” Stevens said. “We think it’s an ideal match for us.”

Reach Jim at 757-446-2364 or jim.ducibella@pilotonline.com

Redskins Beach Blitz

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Woo-hoo! The Skins used to play a preseason game down here in Tidewater for years. Now, all it seems we get besides the games is relatively-minor newspaper coverage and the smallest Redskin store I have ever seen in my life.

I have to agree. That is the smallest Redskin store I've ever seen. The trailers outside of FedEx can carry a larger inventory.

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sounds nice but what's the point? :whoknows:

the point is to reward/strengthen up the fan following in areas outside of the beltway--many of these people here are rabid fanatics that for some reason or another never get the chance to go to FedEx...and hopefully, the team will gain a bunch of new fans or fencesitters as well...

For those that don't know, 15-20 years ago, this area used to be a SOLID redskins fan bloc...But then the team stopped having great seasons, and fans jumped off our bandwagon and on Dallas/Philly...To complicate matters, the Carolina Panthers were born, and a few years after that, the Falcons started to get good as well---all of these factors have made the skins fan base here a fraction of the size it used to be

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