ASHBURN, Va., -- The Washington Commanders paid more than $100 million for land in Virginia, a possible next step in building a new stadium, as well as numerous retail shops, restaurants and apartments.
According to a source with knowledge of the purchase, the Commanders paid a little more than $100 million for approximately 200 acres. The deal was completed late last week, but has not yet been filed with Prince William County, the site of the land. One source called it the team's preferred site for a new stadium, but other options remain open.
There's a chance the franchise will buy another 65 to 70 acres at a site that is approximately 23 miles from Washington, D.C., and would be right off an exit on I-95 in Woodbridge, Virginia. It would be approximately 80 miles from Richmond.
The Commanders like this site because of how it can be developed. According to a source, their plans include a 60,000-seat domed stadium -- so it can be used throughout the year -- as well as: the team's practice facility; an amphitheater that seats between 15,000 and 20,000; a small indoor music arena; high-end retail shops; bars and restaurants and residential living. The roof would be translucent and the stadium's facade could change colors -- it would be white during the day and, for example, burgundy at night.
Washington wants to leave FedEx Field, which was built by former owner Jack Kent Cooke and opened in 1997. The team owns the stadium as well as the surrounding property, but their contract to play at this site expires in 2026. They can renew it and stay on longer, if needed.
Before they agree to a site, the team needs to find out how much money the state and Prince William County are willing to commit before finalizing plans to build.
That's why they're keeping options open in Maryland and the District of Columbia as well as other sites in Virginia. Maryland said it would spend $400 million to develop the area around FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. The team would then build a domed stadium by their current home. Washington is still looking at land in Loudoun County, near their current practice facility.
The team would like to return to the District of Columbia at the RFK Stadium site, their home from 1961-96. But, because it's on federal land, numerous governmental hurdles currently make that a longshot.
Virginia's legislature continues to discuss creating a Stadium Authority that would authorize money to help pay for a new Commanders stadium. Under one proposal, the Commanders would receive $350 million from Virginia.
It's uncertain how much money the Commanders would spend on their own to build a stadium.
The purchase comes amid ongoing investigations into Commanders owner Dan Snyder. Both Congress and the NFL continue to examine allegations of sexual misconduct, which Snyder has strongly denied. They also responded to allegations of financial improprieties with a 105-page letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission, with emails and signed affidavits that they say proves their innocence. The attorney generals' offices in Virginia and the District of Columbia said they will investigate the financial claims.