Regional Compact To Oppose Public Financing For New Redskins Stadium Appears Doomed

Regional Compact To Oppose Public Financing For New Redskins Stadium Appears Doomed

Move by Virginia legislature likely ends hopes for deal this year

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FedEx Field in Landover

BERNARD GAGNON, CREATIVE COMMONS

Efforts by lawmakers in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia to pass a regional compact to oppose public money being spent on a new Washington Redskins stadium appear to have fallen short this year.

Last week, a Virginia General Assembly subcommittee voted 7-0 to table a bill filed by Republican Del. Michael Webert that would have blocked state subsidies for a new Redskins stadium in Virginia, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

By tabling the bill, the legislature effectively killed the proposal this year, according to the paper.

Del. David Moon (D-Takoma Park) has sponsored a similar bill in the Maryland legislature to prevent the state from spending money on a new stadium and D.C. City Council member David Grosso also introduced a similar bill in the District.

However, without Virginia agreeing to the compact, the bill filed in Maryland wouldn’t go into effect even if legislators were to approve it this year.

Moon’s version of the bill states that all three jurisdictions would have to approve the compact by Jan. 1, 2020. If the General Assembly were to approve it, it would be voided on Jan. 1, 2021, if Virginia and D.C. fail to pass their own measures.

Moon said in January he supported the compact proposal as a way to keep taxpayers from having to fund a new Redskins stadium with public money, which he said is a bad deal from an economic development standpoint.

On Monday, he said he believes getting all three jurisdictions to agree to the compact will be a mutli-year effort.

"There's really not a particular time pressure on the three governments to act right now, since the stadium lease has years left on it," Moon said. 

The Redskins are interested in moving out of FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, when the team’s lease ends in 2027. Team leaders have said they’d like to find a more urban location and have begun discussions with leaders in all three jurisdictions.

Moon noted that this year the compact received significant media attention, which helped introduce the concept of the three jurisdictions potentially coming together to oppose public subsidies for a new Redskins stadium.

This year was the second year in which Moon introduced a bill in the Maryland General Assembly proposing the compact.

"Win or lose, my hope is that by introducing this compact year after year it's going to shape the public conversation about whether public subsidies are appropriate for a new NFL stadium," Moon said.

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