Maryland has a $400 million plan for Commanders, but it won’t build a stadium – Baltimore Sun
Maryland’s incentive program to keep Washington commanders in Landover would cost $400 million in the area around FedEx Field, but it prohibits building a stadium for the team.
The proposal, approved by a legislative committee on Monday, is Maryland’s first public offering in multistate court for the team and the economic advantage a new NFL stadium could create.
Maryland’s plan would use the Maryland Stadium Authority to funnel state lottery money to Prince George’s County, which could use the $400 million to build infrastructure and a ‘sports entertainment facility’ in the area. surrounding the team’s current home.
The county could use the money even if the team moves to Virginia or returns to the district.
“It will be great for Prince George’s with or without the COs,” Del said. Ben Barnes, a county Democrat who helped broker the deal. “We hope this will encourage them to stay, but if not, we will not forget these communities.”
Maryland’s proposal follows news that a congressional committee is investigating allegations of financial improprieties within the team, potentially complicating the public’s desire to help fund a new stadium home in the one of the courts.
The state’s incentive program could be sweetened in the future with potential tax credits or tax revenue streams for the team, which is obligated to play in Maryland until 2027 and has long sought to replace its obsolete stadium.
Maryland’s current proposal does not invest directly in team commanders or owner Daniel Snyder, who already owns more than 200 acres around FedEx Field and has a complicated relationship with Maryland power brokers.
A spokesman for the commanders declined to comment on the proposal, which has less than a week to gain support and passage before the General Assembly adjourns for the year.
In Richmond, some Virginia lawmakers believed the allegations of irregularities could derail that state’s legislation to create a stadium authority to oversee the construction and funding of a facility for the team.
The Virginia House and Senate were unable to resolve differences between their rival stadium bills before the General Assembly adjourned last month, but the measures were deferred to the special session. which started on Monday. Key negotiators have agreed to cap state tax revenue to fund project obligations at $350 million, but other details remain unresolved.
“It’s certainly not gaining momentum and these revelations shouldn’t help,” said Sen. Adam Ebbin, a Democrat from Alexandria and one of the few negotiators tasked with balancing the bills in a conference committee.
“There is a continuing and worrying trend with both fiduciary issues [and] the corporate culture of the team,” he said. “While I don’t support a deal at all, the General Assembly and the Governor have a responsibility to the ratepayers to do their due diligence before entering into a deal with the commanders.”
Of the. Marcus B. Simon, a Democrat from Fairfax and a skeptic of stadium bills from the start, saw the allegations as a red flag.
“Why the hell would you want to go into business with this team on a stadium deal?” he tweeted. “They’re blocking Congress from investigating their toxic culture of sexual harassment and now we can’t trust their books?”
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, backed the stadium effort in January, during his first speech to the legislature. Asked on Friday whether reports of possible financial irregularities had turned him off the idea, he said he was unfamiliar with the information.
A reporter asked Youngkin if, as a former Carlyle Group executive with experience in ‘corporate digging’, he would be reluctant to team up with commanders amid the allegations.
“Well, I think one of the things we always have to be aware of is who our counterparts are,” he said. “I also believe that a development of the size that we’re talking about would be good for Virginia, and those have to be balanced. I mean, I think what I’ve always said is that my job is to to represent Virginians and the taxpayers of Virginia, and to make sure that if there’s a deal, it’s a good deal, and that’s what I’m committed to.
In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, flatly refused last month to support building a stadium for the team or engaging in a bidding war, saying, “If Virginia wants to do this , and they want to go to Virginia, I’d say, ‘Good luck.’ “
On Monday, Hogan offered no opinion on the new proposal going through the legislature to boost the community around FedEx Field, saying, “I haven’t seen anything about this bill.”
The governor supported separate legislation to spend $1.2 billion to upgrade facilities for the state’s two other professional teams in Baltimore: M&T Stadium for the Ravens and Camden Yards for the Orioles.
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Commanders and governments plan to build a mini-city around a new stadium, complete with homes, restaurants, retail, offices and public amenities to make the area a year-round destination. The land that Maryland officials developed included a bike path, an elevated pedestrian bridge, and a field with basketball and volleyball courts. The vision moved the stadium within a 15-minute walk of the metro system.
The debate was scheduled to begin Tuesday in the Maryland House of Delegates.
In the district, the possibility of bringing the team back to the RFK stadium site is further complicated by the expanding congressional investigation.
DC Council Speaker Phil Mendelson, a Democrat, said Monday he finds it “reasonable” to pay the substantial cost of the infrastructure needed to make the RFK site suitable for a new stadium, as proposed by Mayor Muriel. E. Bowser, a Democrat.
But Mendelson said he wouldn’t support spending taxpayer dollars developing the site until a full investigation into the team’s sexual harassment issues becomes public.
“Until the various sexual abuse or harassment reports or investigations” are completed and made public, he said, “I am not inclined to be helpful.”
Washington Post reporters Sam Fortier and Ovetta Wiggins contributed to this article.