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 multiple 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 other options remain open.
It’s possible the franchise could purchase an additional 65 to 70 acres on a site about 23 miles from Washington, DC, and would be just off I-95 in Woodbridge, Virginia. It would be about 80 miles from Richmond.
Commanders love this site for 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 facility; an amphitheater that can accommodate between 15,000 and 20,000 people; 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 their contract to play there expires in 2026. They can renew 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 they keep 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, Maryland. The team would then build a domed stadium near their current home. Washington is still looking for land in Loudoun County, near its current practice facility.
The team would love to return to the District of Columbia at the site of RFK Stadium, their home from 1961 to 1996. But, because it’s on federal land, numerous government hurdles currently make it a long shot.
The Virginia Legislature continues to discuss creating a stadium authority that would authorize funds to help pay for a new Commanders Stadium. According to one proposal, commanders would receive $350 million from Virginia.
It is unclear how much money the commanders themselves would spend to build a stadium.
The purchase comes amid ongoing investigations into Commanders owner Dan Snyder. Congress and the NFL continue to review the sexual misconduct allegations, which Snyder strongly denied. They 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 attorneys general’s offices said they would investigate the financial claims.