Saturday December 9, 2023

Commanders Era Begins In Washington

  • The announcement concludes the franchise's move away from Native American imagery.
  • Focus now shifts to finding a new stadium to replace outdated FedEx Field.
Washington Commanders
Washington Commanders/Design: Alex Brooks
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Dan Snyder stood at the podium Wednesday to introduce his Washington Commanders, a rebrand the NFL owner vowed would “never” occur. 

The placeholder “Washington Football Team” has been used for the last 18 months, when Snyder relented to criticism over the team’s former derogatory name that could have cost the team several sponsors.

More than 40,000 fan submissions flowed in, and the Commanders won after other popular names were tied up by trademark squatters.

The rebrand will reportedly cost the team as much as $20 million, twice what Snyder was fined by the NFL at the conclusion of the league’s investigation of WFT’s alleged toxic workplace last year. That investigation will be the subject of a House Oversight Committee roundtable discussion on Thursday.

With the new name out of the way, next up is a proposed $2 billion domed stadium. The lease at outdated FedEx Field is up in 2027.

  • Two bills were introduced in the Virginia legislature, with two suburban counties considered as possible sites.
  • Maryland, where FedEx Field is located, is in the running, although the lack of legalized sports betting could hinder things there.
  • The site of RFK Stadium, where the Commanders called home for decades, has also been explored.

Next Name Change?

Cleveland’s MLB team became the Guardians in July, and the Commanders announcement completed that franchise’s move away from Native American imagery, but the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, and Kansas City Chiefs remain.

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