Jason Wright, president of the newly-named Washington Commanders, has insisted that the NFL team will be playing in a new venue in 2027 amid continued speculation over the future home of the franchise.
It was announced yesterday (Wednesday) that the Washington Football Team would henceforth be known as the Washington Commanders. The team had been known as the Washington Redskins until July 2020, when it dropped the name due to its connotations of ethnic stereotyping.
With the new name of the team now finalised, attention is turning to where the Commanders will be playing after the team’s lease deal at FedExField expires in September 2027.
FedExField is located in Prince George’s County, Maryland but the Commanders’ training base and headquarters are in Ashburn, Virginia. The team has been exploring options for a new home and last month Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin backed plans to build a new NFL stadium in the state.
Following yesterday’s announcement, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser released a statement saying that the team’s next chapter should be “a return to winning, right here in DC”.
The team played at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in D.C. from 1961 to 1996, before moving to the newly-built FedExField the following season.
Maryland is also keen to retain the Commanders and although Wright would not be drawn on the location of the team’s next home, he confirmed that the franchise would leave FedExField when the lease expires.
“We will be in a new venue in 2027,” he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper. “That’s about the only timeline I can give you.”
Wright added: “This is first and foremost an economic development project. It’s something that’s going to drive economic and social outcomes for the next 30 years in this area. And we take it that seriously.
“(The three localities) have economic development plans. They know how they want this to develop and grow. They know how they want equitable capital to flow through this economy. And we are on board with that. And it’s about them telling us how we can fit into their plans. And then we’ll go where we best fit into those plans.”
Image: Anders Krøgh Jørgensen on Unsplash