City Cast

Could the Commanders Return to DC?

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on July 27
RFK Stadium looking crusty.

RFK Stadium looking crusty. (Priyanka Tilve/City Cast DC)

Congressman James Comer (R-KY) has introduced legislation that could give the old RFK site back to D.C. and bring the Commanders back to the District after years of playing at Fedex Field.

Right now the site is owned by the Department of Interior. Its lease with D.C. only runs until 2038 and can only be used for sports and recreation. This has hindered the city's ability to attract developers and start new projects there. Some sources say Congress is considering giving D.C. a 99-year extension on the lease, with no use restrictions.

Mayor Muriel Bowser has been a strong champion for returning the Commanders to RFK, even going around city officials to ask House Republicans to work with her on it.

According to Washington Post Commanders beat reporter Sam Fortier, the team desperately wants out of the dilapidated Fedex Field which they’ve played in for nearly two decades.

“The fan base of this team has degraded in the last 24 years under Dan Snyder. Being at RFK, which people call the spiritual home of this franchise, would do immeasurable good and would be a fig leaf to the fan base,” Fortier told City Cast DC.

Broccoli City Festival Day 2 at RFK Stadium on July 16, 2023

Broccoli City Festival Day 2 at RFK Stadium on July 16, 2023 (Brian Stukes/Gety Images)

As of July 2022, the majority of the D.C. Council opposed a new stadium at the RFK site, saying the land could be put to better use. However, two of those members are no longer there and Mayor Muriel Bowser continues to be enthusiastically supportive. “What the council thinks is a major question. And we won't know until it comes down to a vote,” said Fortier.

Our podcast City Cast DC covered what the new Commanders ownership could mean for this debate.

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