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Virginia Lawmakers Greenlight Stadium Study, Eye Commanders

Virginia legislators have taken the first step toward potentially luring the Washington Commanders to the state by allocating $250,000 in their budget to conduct a study on attracting sports teams. While the budget did not specifically mention the Commanders, it signals the state’s interest in hosting the NFL team.

The budget, delayed due to debates over handling a multi-billion surplus, was approved by both the House and Senate during a special session. The allocated funds will be used over the next nine-plus months to develop capabilities, plan strategies, and evaluate potential economic incentives to attract sports teams to Virginia. Secretary of Finance Stephen E. Cummings and his team will assess economic development proposals to determine their benefit to Virginia taxpayers.

This move comes after former owner Dan Snyder’s failed attempt to relocate the team to Northern Virginia, involving up to $300 million in public financing. However, that effort stalled amidst investigations and was eventually shelved in June 2022.

The Commanders were purchased by an ownership group led by Josh Harris in a $6.05 billion deal that was finalized in July. While Virginia is actively exploring the possibility of hosting the Commanders, Maryland and Washington, D.C., are also expected to make efforts to secure the team’s new stadium.

The Commanders are currently headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia, and Northern Virginia is home to the Washington Capitals’ training facility. Virginia does not have its own major professional sports team, making the potential arrival of the Commanders a significant development for the state.

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