(WDVM) — The team is considering moving to Woodbridge, 35 miles away from its current home at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
Lawmakers weigh whether to approve $300 million for the project.
Senator Steve Newman will support it under one condition.
“The only thing that I would ever support is that there would be bonds issued. But the Commanders team would have to pay every single penny of that. If not, there should not be a deal.”
But Senator Chap Peterson opposes any taxpayer money for a new football stadium.
“I think the team at this point lacks fan support,” Peterson said. “They lack an identifiable brand. I haven’t seen any metrics showing they have the support of the community, the fan base, the season ticket projections to be a long-term partner for the Commonwealth.”
The Commanders, meanwhile, remain optimistic.
“We are grateful for the bipartisan support the stadium authority legislation has already received,” said Team President Jason Wright in an email statement. “And any additional time will certainly provide us with more opportunities to share how this project can create new jobs, generate significant tax revenue, and spur economic development for surrounding communities and the Commonwealth as a whole.”
The Commanders have played at FedEx Field since it opened in 1997. Fans who live near the stadium are not happy they could lose their team.
“The word Washington, I believe it should be home,” said Alex Casimir. “Hoping they’ll be able to find a home here in Washington, DC instead of moving the team outside of DC.”
Others remain hopeful they’ll keep the Commanders.
“It’d be a damn shame if they left us,” said James Durrette. “Then everybody got to switch over and be a Baltimore fan or Cowboys fans like they already were. Gotta see what they’re going to do.”
Fans said they would continue to support the team, even if it moves.
The Commanders are considering four other sites around the district, including FedEx Field and their original home at RFK Stadium.
The team is obligated to play in Landover until at least 2027.
Virginia lawmakers also delayed action on a new stadium because of sexual harassment allegations involving team owner Dan Snyder. However, they could resume debate on the issue when they reconvene later this month.