- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 10, 2023

If the Washington Commanders are sold, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is ready to talk business. 

Youngkin told Bloomberg that he’s willing to engage whoever buys the Commanders about a new stadium, telling the outlet that he continues to believe Virginia would be a “great place” to host a professional football team. The Republican governor said he thinks there’s a “real opportunity” to negotiate with the Commanders. 

Talks for the Commanders’ next stadium to land in Virginia broke down last year, but in December, Youngkin proposed spending $500,000 in a state budget amendment to study ways to lure the NFL franchise to the state.  

“My hope is that (amendment) communicates very clearly to whoever the buyer may be, that we’d sure like to have you in Virginia and we want to sit down and talk to you,” Youngkin said.

The Commanders said in November that owner Dan Snyder had hired an investment bank to explore “potential transactions” of the franchise. There has reportedly been no shortage of suitors for the club, which reports indicate have fetched offers of more than $7 billion.

Youngkin told Bloomberg on Monday that he has not engaged with any of the team’s prospective buyers. 

“I would hope to have a chance to negotiate something, at least to have a serious discussion” about a potential stadium deal, Youngkin said. 

Last June, lawmakers shelved a bill that would have cleared the way for the state to lure the Commanders to Virginia amid a number of controversies for the team. The legislation stalled after a series of officials publicly announced they were pulling their support from the project. State senator Chap Petersen said he no longer viewed the Commanders as a “viable NFL franchise,” while other lawmakers expressed concerns that the team’s intended area for the stadium  — Washington purchased an option to buy 200 acres in Woodbridge for $100 million — would further worsen traffic. 

The Commanders have faced an uphill battle in finding a replacement for FedEx Field, their suburban Maryland stadium. Washington’s lease expires in 2027.


• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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