An individual accustomed to the workforce’s venue plans mentioned the deal was an choice to buy about 200 acres of land for about $100 million.
If the Commanders construct a stadium in Woodbridge, it could be about 23 miles from the U.S. Capitol constructing. This could be practically double the 11-mile distance from the U.S. Capitol to the workforce’s present stadium, FedEx Discipline in Landover, Md., and the third-farthest distance from a metropolis heart to a stadium within the Nationwide Soccer League behind San Francisco (42 miles) and New England (28).
A Commanders spokesman declined to remark Monday. Earlier that morning, earlier than the information broke, workforce president Jason Wright declined to touch upon the state of the workforce’s stadium search.
“All the things is extremely confidential,” Wright mentioned in an interview. “The way in which that we’ve at all times endeavored to do enterprise with companions — Maryland, Virginia or D.C. — is to deal with this as their undertaking, their financial growth technique and to maintain all the things as quiet as potential in order that these goals they’ve are most capable of be completed.”
The Commanders’ settlement, whereas a sign that the franchise is critical about Woodbridge, doesn’t imply the transfer is a completed deal. The workforce’s stadium search has seemingly narrowed to 5 websites — Woodbridge; close to Potomac Shores Golf Membership in Dumfries, Va.; a quarry close to Dulles Worldwide Airport in Sterling, Va.; RFK Stadium in Washington; and a web site close to FedEx Discipline — and the deal in Virginia might finally be a negotiating tactic.
Margaret A. Franklin (D), the Prince William County supervisor who represents Woodbridge, mentioned she didn’t know something in regards to the settlement. “I don’t signify any space into account,” she mentioned by way of textual content.
One of many websites that has been into account is an space often known as The Touchdown at Prince William, a stretch of land close to Interstate 95 and the Prince William County Parkway that, in 2019, the county rezoned for eventual redevelopment. However Supervisor Kenny A. Boddye (D-Occoquan), who represents that space, mentioned he wasn’t conscious of any land deal there.
“I do know that they’re that land,” mentioned Boddye, including that he had not been contacted by the Commanders and discovered in regards to the workforce’s actions in Prince William by way of information studies. “There was no official software with the county or something like that. It seems like they’re simply form of making an attempt to lock up land on the potential websites they’re within the county.”
“No resolution has been made on a brand new stadium in Prince William County,” Christina Winn, govt director of the Prince William County Division of Financial Growth, mentioned in an announcement. “So far as we perceive, the workforce is exploring all of their choices, together with the place they at present personal land.”
She continued: “Whereas this information doesn’t imply the workforce has formally chosen Prince William County, we stay up for participating with the workforce to make sure any growth alternative could be a superb match for the neighborhood and there’s a constructive financial and financial profit to the county.”
The truth is, Commanders proprietor Daniel Snyder already owns a comparable quantity of land — greater than 200 acres — on the FedEx Discipline web site. The group has mentioned comparable plans for a “mini-city” with Maryland legislators, with a state-of-the-art stadium anchoring a big leisure complicated with eating places, retail and housing. The state has a plan to spend $400 million to develop the realm round FedEx Discipline however not construct the stadium itself.
The workforce has at instances indicated curiosity in returning to the RFK Stadium web site in Washington, however the District’s leaders have been unable to introduce laws to make the federally owned land a viable choice for a number of causes, together with financing.
In a latest Washington Submit survey of candidates for mayor and the D.C. Council, solely three of 24 respondents mentioned taxpayers ought to subsidize development or growth to help a brand new Commanders stadium — although one in favor of offering some financing was Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D).
“I help bringing the Commanders again to DC and could be prepared to organize the land for his or her use, however is not going to pay for stadium development or subsidize it,” Bowser wrote in response to the questionnaire. “Regardless, I name on the federal authorities to switch the land so we are able to use it to maximise recreation, retail & inexpensive housing.”
Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D-At Giant), who answered “no” on subsidies, has mentioned he helps the town gaining management of the RFK land however would oppose the Commanders occupying it till the NFL releases a report on the findings of its sexual harassment investigation into Snyder. He additionally mentioned the 13 council members are sharply divided on what to do with the land.
On Monday, the information of the choice got here as Virginia’s legislators obtained phrase to return to Richmond on June 1 to vote on a proposed state funds. That might be their final alternative to vote on stadium authority laws, which, just like the funds, was carried right into a particular session after the Normal Meeting did not wrap up its work within the common session that concluded in March. Legislators tasked with hammering out variations between rival Home and Senate stadium payments indicated final week that negotiations had been nonetheless underway.
The potential transfer brought about some to fret in regards to the impact on the neighborhood. If the Commanders finally construct in Woodbridge, the influence to native visitors on sport days “could be fairly darn vital” in a county that has been closely depending on vehicles for transportation, mentioned Stewart Schwartz, govt director of the Coalition for Smarter Development, a company that requires pedestrian-friendly communities constructed round mass transit.
As it’s, that a part of I-95 is perpetually congested throughout rush hour, a mirrored image of the truth that Woodbridge has change into extra densely populated because the inhabitants in Prince William continues to develop.
County officers and state lawmakers who signify the realm have lobbied for prolonged mass transit into the realm, although that might be prohibitively costly with out extra growth constructed round these trains, Schwartz mentioned.
Final yr, the Virginia Division of Rail and Public Transportation estimated that it could price $27 billion to increase both the Yellow or Blue Metro strains to that a part of Prince William.
The Virginia deal didn’t dilute hope from Maryland lawmakers that the workforce would stay in Landover. Maryland lawmakers this spring authorized investing $400 million within the space round FedEx Discipline, cash to dismantle the present stadium and construct facilities that might anchor a mini-city idea. The money might be spent no matter whether or not the Commanders relocate, however Del. Jazz Lewis (D-Prince George’s), who represents the neighborhood close to the stadium, mentioned he hoped the $400 million was only the start of an incentive package deal for the workforce.
“I would like it to be the start of the dialog,” Lewis mentioned. “After all I’d like them to remain and make investments … But when they’re going to go, then positive.”
The Commanders have been enjoying at FedEx Discipline since 1997 however have been looking for a brand new stadium choice for a number of years. The workforce is obligated to play in Landover till at the very least 2027.
The workforce’s stadium search figures to be a subject of dialog transferring ahead. It led a Monday morning panel of native sports activities executives hosted by the Larger Washington Board of Commerce.
“Jason, are we able to say the place the brand new location of the stadium —” started moderator Greg Wallig, the managing principal of Grant Thornton’s metropolitan D.C. and Arlington workplace.
“That’s the place we’re going to begin?” Wright mentioned with amusing, earlier than demurring.
Vozzella reported from Richmond. Erin Cox contributed to this report.