Under a plan floated by Maryland governor Larry Hogan, a potential land swap could facilitate a new stadium project to keep the Washington Redskins in the state.
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, and Hogan’s plan calls for the team to stay in Maryland as part of a potential land-swap agreement for a site near MGM National Harbor Casino.
Under a tentative land swap deal with the federal government, the state would gain control of 300 acres of land at Oxon Cove Park in exchange for park land in Western Maryland. Once under Maryland’s control, the Oxon Cove Park land would be redeveloped through a new Redskins stadium project that includes surrounding development.
Such a plan could keep the Redskins in Prince George’s County, while adding a major amenity near the existing MGM National Harbor Casino and National Harbor development. However, the plan has plenty of steps to complete if it is to be finalized. The state does not have a firm agreement with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, and the finalization of any land-swap agreement is expected to require congressional approval. In discussing the plans, Hogan emphasized that state taxpayer money would not be on the table for construction of the stadium itself, but that it could be available for infrastructure improvements. More from the Baltimore Sun:
If the deal goes through, Hogan said Maryland taxpayers would not be paying to build a new stadium. He said the state might provide funding for infrastructure work, however.
The governor also said the deal would likely need approval of Congress.
“We’re not going to build a billionaire a stadium,” Hogan said. “We’re not going to spend one penny for construction. … Maybe infrastructure improvements.”
Given the number of years left before their lease expires, the Redskins have some time to evaluate their stadium options. The RFK Stadium site is one option floated within the District of Columbia, and congressional officials have been debating a provision that could extend the city’s lease for the property while adding language that effectively allows for surrounding commercial development. 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.