Three-time Super Bowl winners, the Washington Commanders, have been fighting for a new stadium for many years. Although their current facility is one of the largest in the National Football League, they dream of moving out to a venue that will be.... the smallest in the league, but for them exclusively.
The Commanders have been playing their home games at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland since 1997. Over the years, the facility's maximum capacity has changed, reaching over 90,000 seats between 2004 and 2010, to a "mere" 67,717 today. However, capacity varies from event to event. While NFL matches no longer hold more than 80,000 or even 70,000 people, more seats are made available for soccer matches, for example.
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In the last 5 years, the venue has hosted such famous European brands as FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus and Arsenal. FedEx Field was in the running to host the 2026 World Cup which, for the first time ever, will be held in three countries: USA, Mexico and Canada. The stadium, located just outside Washington D.C., shared the fate of M&T Bank Stadium in nearby Baltimore and was not included in the lucky "eleven" American arenas that will host the World Cup in four years' time.
Although the 25-year-old facility is not that old after all, by the standards of the best American football league, it is already "on the other side of the river". If the Commanders want to be in contention for the most important trophy in the NFL, the Super Bowl, they need to move to a stadium that meets the highest industry norms.
In recent years, new facilities have been built, for instance, in Las Vegas (Allegiant Stadium) and Minneapolis (U.S. Bank Stadium). The Commanders know very well that building a new home in the long run will not only ensure infrastructural and financial development, but also image growth. A new stadium = new opportunities, something they have been aware of in Washington since day one.
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There was already much discussion about moving out to a new venue 6 years ago, even before the name change, from the ethnically offensive "Redskins", to "Commanders". Bjarke Ingels Group even prepared a visualisation of the 60,000-seat Redskins stadium that would be built in Oxon Hill, in the southeastern suburbs of Washington.
Due to the location between the states of Maryland and Virginia, the possibility of situating the investment outside the administrative boundaries of the District of Columbia, where the US capital is located, was analysed. The club has even purchased 200 hectares of land in Woodbridge, Virginia, with the option to withdraw if it does not receive support from the state and Prince William County.
According to the latest plans, the Commanders would like to build a 55,000-seat domed stadium, along with an open-air amphitheatre to accommodate between 15,000 and 20,000 people. The project would also include exclusive shops, restaurants, bars and apartments. The cost of the entire investment is estimated to be... a whopping $3 billion! This is $1 million more than Allegiant Stadium, which was one of the most expensive venues in the world at the time it was completed.
For the time being, the move to Virginia is still undecided, which is not only due to a lack of funds. The Commanders have also made an attempt to purchase land near their current facility. The lease for Fedex Field from Prince George's County expires in September 2026, so the three-time Super Bowl winners still have plenty of time to think about it. The latest reports claim that the club will have to wait until at least next year to find out if they will receive funding to build a new stadium.