The Washington Commanders are working on two stadiums, but one doesn’t exist yet.
That was the message from team owner Josh Harris, who recently provided some updates on the team’s current and future venue goals.
“We’re going to improve the existing stadium as much as we can while we look for a new home,” Harris said at Sports Business Journal’s Dealmakers conference in D.C.
Since purchasing the Commanders for an NFL-record $6.05 billion this summer, Harris and his ownership group have already committed $40 million for immediate upgrades to FedEx Field — and the franchise will likely keep spending to make an often criticized stadium a better place to watch an NFL game.
“We did as much as we could in six weeks,” Harris said, referencing the short time frame between closing on the team purchase in July and the start of this season. “But there’s a lot more work to do in the offseason.”
Harris knows the long-term answer is not FedEx Field: “We’re going to be looking at, ultimately, how do we move to a new stadium?”
Options to build a new venue in D.C., Virginia, or Maryland remain on the table, but Harris didn’t lay out a new timeline. In September, he told Front Office Sports that plenty of work was on the horizon. “We’re very early, very early,” Harris said at the time. “We’re beginning to create a real estate organization and just beginning to think about it.”
Through five home games this season, the 4-8 Commanders are 27th out of 32 teams in average home attendance, drawing just over 64,000 fans per game, about 94% of capacity at FedEx Field, which ranks 20th out of the NFL’s 30 stadiums in capacity.