Commanders Owner May Get DC, Maryland And Virginia To Bid To Build A Stadium for Him

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Joel Harris is looking for a new Commanders stadium.

The majority owner of the National Football League’s Washington Commanders franchise, Joel Harris, may have gotten a big gift from the United States House of Representatives in his quest to play the stadium game. Harris wants a new home for his Commanders business and getting Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D. C. to vie for Harris’ attention is a key component in the stadium game strategy. The House has passed a measure that gives the Washington D. C. government full control over the old RFK Stadium site and surrounding land. That is step one for Washington, DC to get the land. The United States Senate needs to pass identical legislation and two bills would have to be combined and then would have to be signed by President Joe Biden.

Harris has his stadium in Maryland but it is outdated and is looking for sites within the Beltway area. Maryland elected officials want to keep Harris’ business somewhere within the state. Maryland is spending more than a billion dollars keeping the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens ownership and Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles owners happy as the state through an authority is upgrading Baltimore’s baseball and football venues. Virginia tried to lure the owner of the National Basketball Association Washington Wizards and National Hockey League Washington Capitals, Ted Leonsis, to the commonwealth but a potential deal that would have seen Leonsis build an arena-village in Alexandria met with stiff resistance. Harris should have been keeping an eye on the Leonsis’s struggle to convince people that he should take his business across the Potomac River and get a large subsidy from the commonwealth. Washington D. C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wants the Commanders business back in Washington. Jack Kent Cooke moved his NFL franchise to Landover, Maryland in 1997. Cooke had spent years lobbying for a new DC stadium. Joel Harris now is lobbying politicians for a new stadium.

Joel Harris

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