Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has said he is ready to enter into talks over a stadium for the Washington Commanders with potential new owners of the NFL franchise.
The Commanders currently play at FedExField in Prince George’s County, Maryland, but the team’s training base and headquarters are in Ashburn, Virginia. The Commanders have a contract to play at FedExField until September 2027 and the team has been exploring options for a new home. Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia have all been linked as potential locations.
“I continue to believe that Virginia would be a great place for a professional football team,” Youngkin told the Bloomberg news agency.
“I would hope to have a chance to negotiate something, at least to have a serious discussion. I will look out for Virginia taxpayers first and foremost, but I think there’s a real opportunity here.”
Youngkin’s latest comments come after the State of Virginia in June opted to shelve legislation designed to attract the Commanders to a new stadium, in the midst of the wave of negative headlines surrounding the franchise.
In February, Virginia pressed forward with efforts to attract the Commanders to a proposed stadium complex valued at around $3bn (£2.48bn/€2.79bn). The Republican-controlled House of Delegates and Democrat-controlled Senate passed two similar, but separate bills, that would have led to the formation of an organisation to oversee the financing and construction of a stadium in Northern Virginia that would be the centrepiece of a substantial retail and entertainment complex. However, the proposal ultimately failed to gain the necessary government support.
The Commanders were earlier said to have agreed an option to pay more than $100m for a parcel of land in Woodbridge, Prince William County that could house a new stadium as part of a wide-ranging sports and entertainment district.
Dan and Tanya Snyder, owners of the Commanders, in November hired Bank of America Securities to consider potential equity transactions involving the team amid multiple investigations into claims the franchise’s current leadership cultivated a toxic workplace environment.
These efforts could include a full sale of the Commanders and while Youngkin said he hasn’t engaged with any prospective bidders, he added that he last month proposed a state budget amendment to spend $500,000 on planning work for a new stadium in Virginia.
“My hope is that communicates very clearly to whoever the buyer may be, that we’d sure like to have you in Virginia and we want to sit down and talk to you,” Youngkin said.