Two Virginia legislators are pushing to safeguard taxpayers ahead of a potential three-way battle for a new Washington Commanders stadium under new ownership.
Del. David Reid told Front Office Sports that he expects Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., to be much more open to the possibility of public financing when Josh Harris’ group finalizes a $6.05 billion deal to purchase the Commanders.
“It would be naive for us to not be prepared,” Reid said. “The governor has been approaching this as a vanity project. Del. [Luke] Torian and I are proactively approaching this by asking, ‘Is it the right economic development opportunity for the Commonwealth?’ We need to build in certain protections.”
Current Commanders owner Dan Snyder was denied the same path amid investigations of him and the team.
Last June, a bill that would have led to the creation of a stadium authority and as much as $300 million of public funding for a $3 billion domed stadium in Northern Virginia was shelved.
There’s no current stadium legislation, although many in Richmond expect Gov. Glenn Youngkin to send down a bill to study the creation of a stadium authority in a special session in the coming months.
Reid and Torian are seeking an incentive-based approach to taxpayer backing, along with an end-of-life plan for the stadium site.
“Just because we have a different legislative schedule than Maryland or D.C., we don’t want to be left out of the conversation,” Reid said.