Bill that could clear path to bring Commanders back to DC set for House vote

WTOP's Dick Uliano explains Del. Norton's stance on passing the revitalization bill

The House is set to take up a bill this week that will decide the fate of the old RFK Stadium site, and potentially the next home of the Washington Commanders.

The RFK Memorial Stadium Campus Revitalization Act will hit the House floor Wednesday, according to a spokeswoman for D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who’s co-sponsoring the bill alongside Rep. James Comer, R-Ky.

“It would allow the land where RFK Stadium sits — crumbling — to be used for a new stadium, parks, commercial or residential purposes,” the spokeswoman described the bill in a post on X.

The bill would let D.C. enter a 99-year lease on the site with the National Park Service, meaning the city could redevelop the area or possibly use the land to lure the Commanders to build their next stadium there.

The Commanders are under new ownership and the team is considering where its next home stadium will be. The team is contractually obligated to play at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, through 2027.

Mayor Muriel Bowser is a supporter of the legislation and has forged a working relationship with Comer, in an effort to keep it moving forward.

D.C. United was the last professional sports team to play at RFK in 2017. The stadium is eventually scheduled to be demolished, though no date has been set.

During a hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee earlier this month, committee chair Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., spoke in favor of the legislation to allow D.C. to lease the site.

“Addressing the management of the stadium campus will remove the management burden of the National Park Service and create a space used by the public, which I believe in the long run … will be a win-win,” said Westerman.

WTOP’s Mitchell Miller contributed to this report.

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Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

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