WASHINGTON - Flanked by Lombardi trophies for Super Bowl championships in 1983, 1988, and 1992, Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder and Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke yesterday jointly announced plans to build a stadium complex for the football team at Potomac Yard in Alexandria, Va.
Gov. Wilder said it was possible that tax-exempt bonds may be used to finance the state's estimated $130 million portion of the development. But he stopped short of saying that bonds definitely will be used.
"Some of this may be bonds, may be authority bonds," he said, alluding to the possible creation of a state stadium authority empowered to issue bonds. "Some of it may be direct appropriations. It may all be authority bonds. We just don't know yet."
Gov. Wilder said it may be possible to issue bonds for the projects through an existing state authority. But he added, "It's going to be up to the legislature on what kind of funding mechanism to employ. We'll have to see whether it will require bonds."
The stadium itself is to be financed privately by Mr. Cooke.
The state's portion of the project will include: a new station for the Metro transit rail system, parking lots, utilities to within five feet of the stadium, landscaping and walkways for fan access to the stadium, a new road, and a specially designed concrete foundation to support the stadium.
Gov. Wilder said the project will help improve the "diminishing revenue stream in northern Virginia" caused in large part by Defense Department cutbacks that have adversely affected area defense contractors.
Mr. Cooke said yesterday that the stadium project definitely will be built at Potomac Yard, an old railroad switching yard, and will be ready for the opening day of the 1994 season.
Responding to reports that District of Columbia Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly still held out hopes the team would build a new stadium in the city, Mr. Cooke said, "Well, that's her view." He added, "We are going to build a stadium here at Potomac Yard."
Gov. Wilder, who said he is friends with Mayor Kelly, said he expects the friendship to continue despite the Virginia stadium site. "All is fair in love and war," the governor said. "And I love her madly."
The governor repeatedly pushed aside questions about how the state will pay for its share of the project. He said details will be released within several weeks.
As Mr. Cooke and Gov. Wilder made the announcement, local residents protested outside Potomac Yard with signs saying, "Improvements for Traffic and Beer," and "$130 Million and People Are Homeless in Alexandria."