As Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe pitches a new stadium to the Washington Redskins, he is suggesting that the state could do the project without taxpayer money.
The governor has made a very public effort to court the Redskins, and spent much of last year pitching Loudon County as the potential home for a new stadium. McAuliffe is making his case as Virginia, the country’s most populous state without a major sports franchise, competes–most prominently with the District of Columbia–to land the team.
In his latest pitch, McAuliffe laid out a potential funding model. Rather than using state funds, he is proposing that the development rights be the main catalyst for the proposal. More from FOX 5:
“There were no taxpayer dollars involved,” he said. “You do development rights around the stadium. It’s got to work for the Redskins. It’s got to work for the taxpayers around the commonwealth of Virginia.”
McAuliffe believes that having the Redskins stadium in Virginia could be a compliment to what he describes as Virginia’s “booming” economy. He compared his proposal to what was done in Los Angeles with the Rams when the decision was made to leave St. Louis and move to their eventual new stadium in Inglewood.
McAuliffe referenced conversations with the Redskins owners Dan Snyder, Robert Rothman and Dwight Shar saying, “It would be great for the Redskins, it would be great for the commonwealth of Virginia, so Dan knows where I am and I have talked to Dan and Bob and Dwight, the owners of it. Now, their lease isn’t up until 2027 so they do have some time, but we have been in active negotiations, but we don’t need taxpayer dollars.”
This seems to be a very preliminary proposal, as McAullife did not address potential infrastructure costs nor whether options such as tax breaks could be on the table.
As he noted in his remarks, the Redskins’ lease arrangement gives them time to sort through their options, but the situation is much different for McAuliffe. The governor is term limited in his position, and his successor will be chosen in the state’s November election. Time will tell if that affects any discussions between the Redskins and Virginia, but McAuliffe definitely seems to want to maintain a dialog about the stadium,
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