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Virginia Lawmakers Greenlight Stadium Study, Eye Commanders

  • State legislators approved the $250,000 study on Wednesday as part of the delayed budget.
  • The study is an interim step as lawmakers look to woo new Commanders owner Josh Harris.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The first step toward a potential new football stadium for the Washington Commanders was on Page 486 of the budget passed by Virginia legislators.

The budget — which has been delayed for months as Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the politically split legislature battled over how to handle a multi-billion surplus — included a $250,000 study to “develop relevant capabilities, conduct planning, and evaluate potential economic incentives to attract sports teams to the state.” 

The House and the Senate approved the budget at a special session on Wednesday. 

Front Office Sports was the first to report that Virginia intends to launch its efforts to lure the NFL team away from its current home stadium site in Landover, Maryland. However, the budget item did not mention the Commanders.

They will use a quarter of a million dollars over the nine-plus months preceding the start of the state’s next fiscal year on July 1, 2024. Over that span, Secretary of Finance Stephen E. Cummings and his staff will “consider economic development proposals that are in the best interest of Virginia taxpayers to assist in relocating sports teams and their associated facilities to the state,” according to the budget item. 

Three sites were considered initially when former owner Dan Snyder sought to relocate the team to Northern Virginia. But that effort — which included as much as $300 million in public financing — failed to gain traction amid numerous investigations, and the bill was shelved in June 2022 before it made it to the floor. 

Josh Harris led an ownership group to purchase the Commanders, and the $6.05 billion deal became official in July. It’s expected that beyond Virginia, Maryland and D.C. will make meaningful efforts to be the home of the next Commanders’ stadium. 

The Commanders are headquartered in Ashburn, Va., and the Washington Capitals also train in Northern Virginia. Virginia, however, doesn’t have a single major professional sports team to call its own. 

 

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