Newly obtained documents show that Prince George’s and the state have developed an expanded vision for a five-mile economic development corridor to surround a new stadium, similar to Virginia’s “mini-city” approach. state and county told the team in confidential documents that Prince George’s would help further team president Jason Wright’s goals for a stadium project that is also progressing social justice initiatives.
Maryland is clearly willing to spend big on stadiums. Lawmakers are proposing a plan to invest $1.2 billion to upgrade the state’s other two major professional sports stadiums in Baltimore. But, so far, heads of state have not introduced legislation to implement the commanders’ speech.
And if Prince George’s loses the commanders and the multi-billion dollar project to build a new team stadium, the county would face an economic crater.
“I ask you to remember Prince George’s County,” Alsobrooks said in his first public appeal for money for the stadium proposal. “Residents of Prince George’s County deserve the same commitment and resources.
A spokesperson for the commanders said Wednesday that the FedEx Field site, where team owner Daniel Snyder already owns more than 200 acres, is the only site the team is considering in Maryland.
The 89-page pitch, delivered to the team in May and obtained by The Washington Post this week, offers the most detailed look yet at how a government vying for the team offered much more than incentives. economic or state-funded stadium.
He describes a “stadium district” that would not only anchor acres of sports-related development – including a hotel, convention center, shops, homes and an on-site sports betting site – but also funnel billions into a predominantly black jurisdiction that local leaders say have been repeatedly left behind.
“We believe the prospect of a new stadium represents an opportunity for even greater long-term impacts, serving as a driver for equitable and inclusive economic development and social justice,” the pitch reads.
Yet in the months that followed, Maryland leaders failed to submit a financial proposal for public debate, even as Virginia lawmakers advanced a lucrative bid for a stadium in northern Virginia. The team searched for a new stadium site for years, pitting the two states and the district against each other. Commanders are contractually obligated to play in Landover, Maryland until 2027.
Maryland’s proposal included a 65,000-seat indoor stadium as the development’s crown jewel, built just east of FedEx Field and atop the current parking lots, placing the stadium a 15-20 minute walk from a station. metro. The stadium-district concept is similar to those implemented with Truist Park outside of Atlanta, SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California outside of Los Angeles, and Nationals Park in southeast Los Angeles. Washington, which ushered in acres of redevelopment near the DC waterfront.
In Landover, the redevelopment vision would use the stadium to anchor the five-mile investment corridor. It would run along Central Avenue and four Blue Line stops from the DC boundary at Capitol Heights to downtown Largo, east of FedEx Field. The county has already begun investing resources in the “Blue Line Corridor”, with the goal of turning it into an urban extension of DC
Over 10 years, according to the pitch, the FedEx Field site would house nearly 4 million square feet of development, with rooms set aside to ensure minority-owned businesses benefit from the windfall. There would be four training grounds alongside the team headquarters, as well as public parks and 2,100 homes – many of which are designated as affordable housing, to help black families build “generational wealth”, says the ground.
The campus would be integrated into the community, hosting a K-8 charter school, a field for 16 basketball and volleyball courts, and a “team culture and history museum.”
Parts of the campus would be connected by a pedestrian and bicycle path, part of which would be an elevated bridge. He would be nicknamed the “Bobby Mitchell Greenway”, in honor of the team’s first black player.
“It can demonstrate how corporate partnerships can innovate equity, education, recreation and social justice initiatives,” the proposal states.
Money for Baltimore stadiums, but not for commanders
Although the proposal bore the signatures of Alsobrooks and Gov. Larry Hogan (R), Alsobrooks’ call to Annapolis on Tuesday signaled that the plan has yet to gain widespread local approval like Virginia’s. Hogan publicly rejected on Tuesday the idea that the state would build a stadium for a team, even though he supports investing in those of the Orioles and Ravens.
In May’s proposal to commanders, Maryland highlighted the Maryland Stadium Authority’s decades of experience with professional sports venues, likely to contrast with Virginia, which is expected to create a football stadium authority in the next special session. of the Commonwealth.
Hogan’s spokesman, Michael Ricci, downplayed the governor’s May field signing, calling it a “marketing piece” that “consists largely of pro forma information and boilerplate language regarding the capabilities of state agencies to help the team develop facilities.”
Ricci added, however, that Maryland “will continue to provide support and expertise to the county in its discussions with the team.”
A bill being considered Tuesday in Annapolis would allow the Maryland Stadium Authority to inject $600 million into upgrading the Orioles’ Camden Yards and an additional $600 million into the Ravens’ M&T Bank stadium. But efforts to amend the bill to include commanders have not moved forward, prompting public advocacy from Alsobrooks.
Prince George’s proposal suggests the team could, as in the Virginia plan, get a reduction in taxes generated by the new development – a feature that has not been publicly discussed. The county also had no plans to eventually expand tax incentives to reduce costs and attract further development around the stadium, including the team’s headquarters and practice facilities.
In an analysis, the proposal touted the viability of the FedEx Field site while pointing out the flaws of alternative sites the team had once considered, such as Landover Mall (“relatively small site with high acquisition costs”), Oxon Cove (“large site, but not near Metrorail” and “environmental constraints limit development potential”) and Greenbelt (“limited space on site” and “would compete with proposed FBI headquarters”).
The Commanders spokesperson said that after working with the county executive’s office, the team decided to focus on the FedEx location in Maryland.
Regional competition heats up
DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) outlined plans on Wednesday to build a $60 million indoor athletics stadium on the RFK Stadium campus as part of an effort to demonstrate his commitment to building a sports entertainment district and attracting the team. the. “I think world-class cities have their football team within their city limits,” Bowser told reporters.
In Virginia, Wright, the team’s president, met with Loudoun County officials on Tuesday to discuss the team’s concept for a new stadium and retail complex, likely near a quarry northeast of Virginia. Dulles International Airport, Loudoun officials said.
County Board Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) called the introductory meeting saying, “They went through a very high-level idea of what they want to come up with, if they were going to come up with Something.”
If commanders were to relocate to Loudoun at two other possible sites in neighboring Prince William County, Randall said, she would like the team to be more transparent about its issues of sexual assault allegations, which make the under investigation by Congress.
“I don’t particularly care who you are, what entity or individual you are – I will always stand on the side of listening and supporting women,” she said.
Prince William’s officials said they have yet to meet with commanders.
As jurisdictions seek the financial windfall a project would bring, Maryland leaders are also seeking to avoid the economic devastation that would be left behind if FedEx Field were abandoned.
“I have thousands of voters who live within a mile whose property values will drop if they have an empty stadium in their backyard,” Del said. Jazz Lewis (D-Prince George’s), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, whose district includes FedEx Field.
“We’re just looking for parity,” Lewis said, referring to the state’s willingness to invest $1.2 billion to retain Baltimore’s stadiums.
Whether or not the county keeps the team, Alsobrooks said getting resources to the Blue Line Corridor is a primary goal of his administration.
“This is our next opportunity,” she said. It is also, she said, the “best opportunity for commanders to achieve their vision of long-term economic sustainability.”
Antonio Olivo and Julie Zauzmer Weil contributed to this report.