Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe is making his case for the state landing a new Washington Redskins stadium, citing advantages relating to development.
McAuliffe has been a vocal proponent of a new Redskins stadium in the state, making the argument for Virginia to land the team as it considers its options beyond FedEx Field. Currently, Virginia is the most populated state in the United States without a major sports franchise.
On Thursday, McAuliffe visited the team’s training camp in Richmond and stated his case for why Virginia should land the team. Among his central arguments was the state’s ability to provide land for a stadium and related development. The governor believes that Virginia–specifically Northern Virginia–can offer a site large enough to support a stadium and surrounding amenities in a way that cannot be matched by markets such as Washington, DC. More from The Washington Post:
From there, McAuliffe pivoted to the latest method of financing massive NFL projects in which a stadium is part of a vast retail, shopping and hotel complex, by relying on development funds (in addition to considerable tax breaks) to foot the bill rather than taxpayers. The new stadium planned for the Rams and Chargers — Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park — is the prototype.
“You need an area with a big enough land mass to it, like they’re doing in L.A.,” McAuliffe said. “They’re basically building a new city around the football stadium.”
A project on that scale probably wouldn’t be possible on land in the District of Columbia. Maryland, he noted, already has a professional team in the Baltimore Ravens.
“So I feel very good that in the future you’re going to see this team move to Virginia,” McAuliffe said, adding that Northern Virginia had many potential building sites, include one near Dulles Airport along Metro’s Silver Line.
McAuliffe is currently serving out the final months of his term, and is not eligible for reelection this fall. What happens beyond the end of his term remains to be seen, and the Redskins’ lease at FedEx Field does expire until 2027.
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