A plan from Maryland governor Larry Hogan that could facilitate a new Washington Redskins stadium is drawing criticisms from some lawmakers, with infrastructure funding among the concerns.
The Redskins have played at FedEx Field in suburban Prince George’s County since the facility’s opening in 1997. With the 2027 expiration of its FedEx Field lease approaching, the team has been exploring potential long-term stadium options. Hogan’s pitch calls for the team to stay in Maryland as part of a tentative land-swap agreement with the federal government for a site near MGM National Harbor Casino. The land swap would see Maryland take control of 300 acres of land at Oxon Cove Park, which would be used for a new stadium and surrounding development, in exchange for yet-to-be-disclosed park land in Western Maryland.
That concept is preliminary at this stage and will have plenty of hurdles to clear, but some lawmakers within the state are voicing their concerns. While Hogan indicated that state taxpayer money would not go toward construction of the stadium itself, he left open the possibility that funds could be available for infrastructure improvements. That is a point of contention with Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch, who questions if the state is in a position to cover that cost. More from the Baltimore Sun:
Busch’s opposition isn’t the only hurdle for Hogan’s plan for the 300-acre site at Oxon Cove Park. State lawmakers are submitting legislation to block the move; the Washington Redskins are exploring other sites; a federal environmental study is needed, and both the General Assembly and the U.S. Congress would have to approve various aspects of the deal.
In an interview at the State House, Busch said providing infrastructure work for a new Redskins stadium could prove costly.
“I don’t know who’s going to vote for that,” Busch said of Hogan’s statement that the state could maybe pay for the necessary infrastructure improvements. “He can’t pay for the infrastructure he’s already promised people.”
Remaining in Maryland is not likely to be the only option for the Redskins, who are also being eyed by some District of Columbia officials for a new stadium and surrounding development at the RFK Stadium site. Virginia, meanwhile, has previously shown interest in landing the team, but its push has seemed to cool since Ralph Northam succeeded Terry McAuliffe as the state’s governor earlier this year.
Regardless of where the team ends up, it is likely going to take time for any stadium plan to come together. A potential Redskins Maryland stadium would have hurdles to clear, while redevelopment of the RFK Stadium site comes with its own set of complexities that are already sparking a debate at the federal level.