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D.C. mayor wants Redskins to return, save Hill East

Friday - 3/23/2012, 7:46am  ET

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - D.C. Mayor Vince Gray wants the Washington Redskins to move their practice facility back to D.C. as part of a plan to redevelop the Hill East area.

Residents of the neighborhood in eastern Capitol Hill gathered at the D.C. Armory on Thursday night to listen to Gray speak about the idea.

"I don't know whether it's a training facility or what, but we need to find something to jump-start Hill East," said Gray.

A master plan to redevelop Hill East was approved nine years ago but the project never got under way. The plan would transform the site -- where D.C. General Hospital used to be -- with residential, retail, office and medical elements.

The mayor stressed there isn't currently a plan to move the team.

"What this has been, frankly, is a conversation," Gray said.

If the idea moves ahead, Mayor Gray says it would take years for the master plan to be revised and approved, but he feels strongly that the team should return to D.C.

"They are not 'the Prince George's County Redskins.' They are not 'the Northern Virginia Redskins,'" the mayor said. "They are 'the Washington Redskins.'"

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)