Tuesday October 3, 2023

Magic Meets Maryland Governor as Commanders Seek New Home

  • Competition is brewing as lawmakers in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia seek to land next stadium.
  • Magic Johnson is part of new ownership and met with the recently elected Maryland governor.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Days before the finalization of Josh Harris’ $6.05 billion agreement to purchase the Washington Commanders, the biggest name in the ownership group was already wooing lawmakers. 

Magic Johnson met with Maryland Gov. Wes Moore within the last month, a source told Front Office Sports. While it’s unclear what the two discussed, the meeting comes as lawmakers in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. gird for a potential three-way battle to land the next Commanders stadium. 

“The Commanders have called Prince George’s County home for 25 years, and Gov. Wes Moore is committed to continuing this long-standing partnership,” Carter Elliott, Moore’s press secretary, wrote on Twitter.

Harris is expected to get FedEx Field and the 200 acres where that outdated stadium sits in Landover, Maryland, after NFL owners vote to approve the deal sometime this summer. The Commanders’ lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027 but could be renewed.

Lawmakers in Virginia are seeking safeguards for taxpayers before a special session expected to be called next month, where a new stadium bill could be offered. With investigations swirling around Snyder and the team, Virginia legislators shelved stadium legislation a year ago. 

Then there’s the RFK site in D.C., which the team once called home. But the land is controlled by the National Park Service and likely would require Congress to transfer the land to the District. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser is on board, although other city leaders and those who live around the site are expected to mount an opposition — if D.C. ever gets control of the land.

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