Washington Commanders spend $100 million on land in Virginia for possible stadium

ASHBURN, Va., — The Washington Commanders paid more than $100 million for land in Virginia, a possible next step in building a new stadium as well as numerous retail shops, restaurants and apartments.

According to a source with knowledge of the purchase, the Commanders paid a little more than $100 million for approximately 200 acres. The deal was completed late last week, but has not yet been filed with Prince William County, the site of the land. One source called it the team’s preferred site for a new stadium though other options remain open.

There’s a chance the franchise will buy an additional 65 to 70 acres in the same area, about 23 miles from Washington and right off an exit on I-95 in Dumfries, Virginia. The site is approximately 80 miles from Richmond.

The Commanders like this site because of how it can be developed. According to a source, their plans include a 60,000-seat domed stadium — so it can be used throughout the year — as well as the team’s practice facility; an amphitheater that seats 15,000 to 20,000; a small indoor music arena; high-end retail shops; bars and restaurants; and residential living. The roof would be translucent and the stadium’s facade could change colors — 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 the surrounding property, but its contract to play at this site expires in 2026. The team can renew it and stay on longer, if needed.

Before it agrees to a site, the team needs to find out how much money the state and Prince William County are willing to commit prior to finalizing plans to build.

That’s why the franchise is keeping options open in Maryland and the District of Columbia as well as other sites 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 its current home. The Commanders also are still looking at land in Loudoun County, close to their current practice facility.

The team would like to return to the District of Columbia at the RFK Stadium site, its home from 1961 to ’96. But because the site is on federal land, numerous government hurdles make that a longshot.

Virginia’s legislature continues to discuss creating a stadium authority that would authorize money to help pay for a new Commanders stadium. Under one proposal, the Commanders would receive $350 million from the state.

It’s uncertain how much money the Commanders would spend on their own to build a stadium.

The land purchase comes amid ongoing investigations into Commanders owner Dan Snyder.

Both Congress the NFL continue to examine and of sexual harassment, which Snyder has strongly denied. Team officials also responded to of financial improprieties with a 105-page letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission, with emails and signed affidavits that they say proves their innocence. The attorney general’s offices in Virginia and the District of Columbia said they will investigate the financial claims.

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