Does Maryland Have Enough Money To Keep The NFL’s Commanders In The State?

Buccaneers struggled against the Ravens; suffer a 27-22 loss

The  Washington Commanders franchise owners want a new stadium

Everett Dirksen, a Senator from Illinois between 1951 and 1969, allegedly said about federal spending getting out of control. “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.” Dirksen supposedly made that remark on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson sometime in the 1960s but no video evidence exists to back up the claim Dirksen made that comment. But you have to wonder about the state of Maryland’s sports spending and whether Maryland can compete with Virginia and the District of Columbia in the stadium game with Josh Harris’ National Football League Washington Commanders franchise in need of a new stadium. Harris’ business plays home games in Landover, Maryland although the business operates in northern Virginia. The problem Maryland might have is $600 million is earmarked for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens business and an upgrade of that franchise’s stadium. Another $600 million could be headed John Angelos’ way for his Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles business to pay for a stadium upgrade.

But wait there’s more. There are minor league baseball parks in the state that will be getting facelifts with the state picking up the tab and Maryland is gambling that investing in building a Hagerstown stadium for an independent league franchise will revitalize the city. In 2021, the Maryland General Assembly approved funding for a $70 million stadium that seats 5,000 people, for an independent Atlantic League team. The stadium will open sometime in 2024. The building will have other sporting events and some cultural events. The two stadiums that will get facelifts house teams that are affiliated with the Orioles franchise. The Salisbury stadium will receive $614,961 while Bowie’s Prince George’s Stadium will get $864,581.30. The cash outlay is more than $1.3 billion. Maryland will have to find more money if the state wants to keep Harris’ business in Landover.

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Everett Dirksen, 1967