As the Redskins continue to explore options to build a new stadium in Maryland, Virginia or D.C., an ideal site bordering Dulles airport in Loudoun County, Va., could soon be available.
More than 500 acres are expected to be sold or leased by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), Washington Business Journal reported this week. Three parcels on the western side of the airport include a 416-acre piece called Western Lands, a 56- to 68-acre spot adjacent to a future Silver Line Metro stop and a 45-acre site fronting State Route 606.
It’s a perfect location for a new football stadium, which the Redskins will need by the time their FedEx Field lease expires in 2027.
The expected tussle for the stadium is boiling down to Virginia, where the Redskins have their headquarters (Ashburn) and training camp (Richmond), versus Maryland. The team plays its home games in Landover.
The District, where the Redskins played from 1937 to 1996, is a long shot to regain the team given the lack of available land outside the RFK Stadium site, which has strong neighborhood opposition and might require the team to change its name, which some lawmakers view as racist.
This month, the MWAA published a report stating its requirements for prospective commercial real estate brokers who will help it lease or sell the parcels. According to the report, the Western Lands piece could be marketed as early as the third quarter of this year. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to lure the team before his term ends in January.
A source familiar with stadium talks told Express earlier this year that the airport site was considered Virginia’s strongest potential venue because of Metro access expected to be open by 2020.
The Loudoun properties would allow for commercial development around the stadium, a necessity considering that the facility is expected to cost more than $1 billion. The new stadium is expected to be smaller than FedEx Field, which is on a 200-acre plot. The Redskins, who have talked to Maryland, Virginia and District officials about a stadium for two years, also want an accompanying entertainment district, an add-on now popular for new NFL venues. The Loudoun parcels would provide needed room.
The Los Angeles Rams’ new stadium is on 298 acres and is scheduled to open in 2019 at a cost of $2.6 billion. The team said in November it was working with the Federal Aviation Administration, which has concerns the structure will conflict with radar at a nearby airport.
After gaining NFL approval on Monday to move to Las Vegas, the Oakland Raiders will build a $1.9 billion complex by 2019. However, the nearby Las Vegas Strip precludes the need for an accompanying entertainment district.
As far as the Redskins are concerned, Maryland officials are also considering a stadium as part of the National Harbor complex that recently added MGM National Harbor’s casino.