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Maryland Gov. Moore Says Keeping Commanders ‘a Major Priority’

  • Moore, wearing a Chase Young jersey, visited Commanders training camp on Wednesday.
  • Moore met with a third member of the Commanders' new ownership group.
Wes Moore
A.J. Perez/FOS

ASHBURN, Va. — Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed autographs and chatted with another Washington Commanders’ ownership group member at training camp on Wednesday. 

Moore’s trip to the Commanders’ training facility in a No. 99 Chase Young jersey was another step toward his aim to keep the team’s next stadium in his state — an effort that began well before the ownership group led by Josh Harris was approved by NFL owners last month. 

“Keeping them in Prince George’s County is a major priority,” Moore told Front Office Sports. “In our first six months [in office], we’ve already allocated $400 million towards the [Metro] Blue Line Corridor, which is right near the stadium. It’s all about not just making sure we have a winner on the field, but also we’re developing winners off of the field [with] new businesses, new entrepreneurs. 

“Getting this done is very important to us.”

Counting billionaire Mitchell Rales who Moore chatted with here, Moore has met with three members of the team’s ownership group. Moore has had discussions with Harris multiple times, a source told FOS. FOS reported in May that Moore also met with Magic Johnson. 

The Commanders have called FedEx Field in Landover home since 1997, and the lease runs through 2027. 

“The state of Maryland is in really good hands,” Commanders President Jason Wright told FOS. “When he wants to come out here and represent the team, we are never going to say ‘no.’ We want him to be here. We are real close partners with him in Landover. 

“Of course, he and everybody else are discussing what our future plans look like, and our job is to listen. [Moore and other Maryland officials] have a clear economic development strategy for the state of Maryland.”

Dan Snyder, who owned the team the prior 24 years, inherited the stadium that had baked-in issues, including transportation headaches caused, in part, by the venue’s location that is more than a mile away from the nearest Metrorail stop.

Snyder had spent the years before he put the team on the market looking for a site for a new stadium. This search was limited to Northern Virginia as the controversies limited the political will to commit to public financing for the project. 

And even Virginia went kaput when legislation that would have allowed about $300 million in public money failed to even come up for a vote. 

But the franchise sale has opened up what will likely become a three-way race among D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. 

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin visited training camp on July 27, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has stepped up her pursuit of bringing the team back to the District. The Commanders played at RFK Stadium for decades before the move to Landover, and it would require Congress’ cooperation to make the RFK site feasible. 

“Josh, Mitch, and the team overall are very thoughtful,” Wright said. “They’re deliberate, so it’s gonna take some time. Granted, it’s not going to take too much time, but it’ll take some time. We are focused right now on immediate investments in the team — getting a championship-caliber team on the field — and investments on guest experience. We are really pushing really hard to do some things before game day. It’s a tight timeline.”

The new ownership group, which officially took control on July 21, has committed millions of dollars of upgrades to FedEx Field. The team’s first preseason home game is against the Baltimore Ravens on Aug. 21. 

“You can feel the energy that’s going on now,” Moore said. “People are ready. They’re ready for a change. They’re ready to win, and we have so much talent on the field, but talent alone is not enough.

“You’ve gotta have a winning culture. The reason that we’re really excited is because that is exactly what we’re building and developing in Maryland. Maryland has a winning culture where we can do big things — and the Commanders play a very important role in that.”

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