Gov. Glenn Youngkin still would like to have a professional sports team located in the commonwealth, even though state lawmakers recently punted on a proposed “framework” to bring the Commanders to Virginia.
“I have always said that Virginia should be the best place to live, work and raise a family — and oh by the way, we should have a professional sports team,” Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin told WTOP.
Lawmakers were passing on the chance for the time being, Youngkin said, citing “some issues that need to be resolved,” but he was adamant about negotiating a stadium deal with a professional sports team that’s “good for Virginians.”
Youngkin said that Virginia needs to pass laws that would create a stadium authority before it courts the Commanders.
The Commanders made headlines last week when defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio made controversial remarks comparing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to the protests that followed the police murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020.
The Associated Press reported that multiple Virginia lawmakers pointed to Del Rio’s comments as another reason not to vote on legislation luring the Commanders to the state. The bill was already on its last legs, and was pushed off the table for the rest of the year.
Other lawmakers had previously questioned the durability of the rebranded Commanders. Democratic state Sen. Chap Petersen, from Fairfax, said last month that he didn’t “have confidence in the Washington Commanders as a viable NFL franchise.”
Petersen’s comments came days after a report that the Commanders purchased 200 acres of land in Prince William County that could serve as a potential stadium site.
WTOP’s John Domen, Jose Umana and The Associated Press contributed to this report.