ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Commanders have paid more than $100 million for land in Virginia, a possible next step in building a new stadium as well as numerous retail stores, restaurants and apartments.
According to a source familiar with the purchase, Commanders paid just over $100 million for approximately 200 acres. The deal was completed late last week, but has yet to be filed with Prince William County, the site of the land. A source called it the team’s preferred site for a new stadium, but said other options remained open.
The franchise may purchase an additional 65 to 70 acres in the same area, about 23 miles from Washington and just off an exit on I-95 in Dumfries, Virginia. The site is approximately 80 miles from Richmond.
Commanders love the site because of how it can be developed. According to a source, their plans include a 60,000 seater domed stadium – so it can be used all year round – as well as the team’s training centre; an amphitheater with 15,000 to 20,000 seats; a small indoor music arena; high-end retail stores; bars and restaurants; and residential life. The roof would be translucent and the facade of the stadium could change color – it would be white during the day and, for example, burgundy at night.
Washington wants to leave FedEx Field, which was built by former owner Jack Kent Cooke and opened in 1997. The team owns the stadium as well as surrounding property, but its contract to play there expires in 2026. The team can renew it and stay longer, if necessary.
Before agreeing on a site, the team needs to know how much money the state and Prince William County are willing to commit before finalizing construction plans.
That’s why the franchise is keeping options open in Maryland and the District of Columbia as well as other locations in Virginia. Maryland said it would spend $400 million to develop the area around FedEx Field in Landover. The team would then build a domed stadium near their current home. The commanders are also still looking for land in Loudoun County near their current training facility.
The team would like to return to the District of Columbia to the site of RFK Stadium, its home from 1961 to 1996. But because the site is on federal land, numerous government hurdles make it a long shot.
The Virginia legislature continues to discuss creating a stadium authority that would authorize money to help pay for a new Commanders Stadium. According to one proposal, the franchise would receive $350 million from the state.
It is unclear how much money the commanders themselves would spend to build a stadium.
The purchase of the land comes amid ongoing investigations into Commanders owner Dan Snyder. Congress and the NFL continue to review the sexual harassment allegations, which Snyder strongly denied. Team officials also responded to allegations of financial impropriety with a 105-page letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission, along with emails and signed affidavits they say prove their innocence. The Virginia and District of Columbia attorney general’s offices said they would investigate the financial claims.