Washington Football Team officials are meeting with Virginia legislators to consider potential locations for a new stadium, according to media reports and one local legislator.
The team is considering sites in Prince William and Loudoun counties, according to state Sen. Jeremy McPike, D-29th, who said he met with officials last week.
When contacted by InsideNoVa on Thursday, Board of County Supervisors Chair Ann Wheeler declined to comment on the potential. In March 2020, shortly after she took office, Wheeler told InsideNoVa columnist Al Alborn that Prince William would be an ideal location for a stadium.
McPike said the team is considering a smaller stadium with a dome as part of a vast multi-use complex including commercial and residential uses. McPike said it would be like a “mini downtown.”
The team’s conversations with legislators are “exploratory” at the moment, McPike said.
McPike wasn’t sure whether the team is considering sites in Washington, D.C., or Maryland, but The Washington Post reported that the team hadn’t ruled out locations there. The team is based in Ashburn, in Loudoun County.
McPike would not comment on potential locations in Prince William.
The Washington Football Team’s contract at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, ends in 2027. The stadium was constructed in 1997.
McPike said the economic development impact of a stadium proposal means it shouldn’t be dismissed outright.
“It’s always something to keep our mind open to,” he said.
Media reports indicated the team wants the General Assembly to pass legislation to revise Virginia’s existing baseball stadium authority. The entity was created in 1995 with the hopes of bringing a Major League Baseball team to Virginia.
The Post reported that the team wants the entity to be revised into one that could oversee finance and construction of a new National Football League stadium. The Post reported that under such authorities, officials typically create a district and dedicate some or all of the new revenue generated from the complex to construction or related infrastructure.
“The days of taxpayer fully-funded stadiums have fully gone by the wayside,” McPike said.
No legislation related to the authority had been filed as of Thursday.
McPike said the stadium would need to emphasize multimodal transportation and be near major hubs.
Prince William is not served by the Metro system. A study released by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation in October estimated an extension to the Triangle area could cost up to $27 billion.
Metro’s Silver Line is being extended into eastern Loudoun County, near Dulles Airport, where the team had reportedly eyed potential stadium sites previously. The Silver Line extension is expected to open in the spring.
McPike said the team’s fan base is strong in Virginia, and the team has been increasing its connections to the state.
“I know any proposal like this comes with controversy,” he said. “I think the key is that we keep an open mind.”