Has upcoming Commanders sale vote prompted D.C. power play for new stadium?

James Comer
James Comer / Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

Has the upcoming approval vote regarding the Washington Commanders sale prompted an aggressive power play to get a new stadium built in D.C.?

It won't take long for the doors to begin opening for the Washington Commanders once Josh Harris group's $6.05 billion deal to buy the franchise gets formal NFL approval at a special vote on July 20. Dan Snyder burned every bridge possible over his reign spanning almost 25 years, which pushed fans and sponsors away - restricting opportunities for growth along the way.

Harris and his team of wealthy investors come with far greater reputations and connections. Some corners might have been cut to get Snyder out of the picture, but they are more than qualified to take the Commanders from the football wilderness and back among the NFL powerhouses.

They'll already have a grand plan on how to take the Commanders forward. A recent report suggested that Harris is going to give everyone a shot at securing their own long-term futures, which raises the stakes for those in influential positions heading into the 2023 campaign.

Legislation paving the way for Commanders return to D.C.

There are some pressing priorities facing Harris' group upon taking charge. Among the biggest centers on a new stadium given the current state of FedEx Field currently.

This will be a long process with a venue to be decided. It won't be cheap either considering how modern-day stadiums have evolved into much more than a simple playing surface with seats.

One possible option is for the Commanders to make their triumphant return to D.C. According to a report from the Washington Post via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, fresh legislation is being prepared that would allow a new structure to be built on the RFK Stadium.

"House Oversight Committee chair James Comer (R-Ky.) is planning to introduce legislation that “could ultimately allow D.C.” to build a stadium for the Commanders or another mixed-use development project on the site of RFK Stadium. This would go a long way toward getting the team back in D.C., as it looks for a new place to play home games. Per the report, a spokesperson for the Committee confirmed that the legislation is being prepared. It would allow D.C. to develop the site, but it would not result in a sale of the land from the federal government to D.C. The National Park Service has leased the RFK Stadium site to D.C. under an agreement that runs through 2038. One source said a stadium-development deal would extend the lease by 99 years."

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk

Expect to see some counter-moves made by Virginia and Maryland in the near future as the districts clamor to make the Commanders' new stadium theirs. While the lucrative benefits of having such a site are obvious, this could also be great news for Harris when it comes to public funds and other elements to sweeten the pot.

While triggering a bidding war is risky business, this is another sign that the Commanders will be viewed differently once Snyder's dark cloud is removed for good. Harris saw what a goldmine this could be and others with business acumen thought the same, but executing plans effectively is the only thing that matters to a fanbase that became disenchanted beyond comprehension under the departing owner.

This could be D.C.'s power play. But there will be many twists and turns before something concrete emerges.