Virginia Football Stadium Competing Bills Head to Negotiations

Efforts to create a Virginia Football Stadium Authority in the hope that Washington Commanders games could soon be played in the Commonwealth advanced Wednesday with votes in the House of Delegates and the state Senate.

Although both chambers endorsed the concept, they support very different structures for authority.

Commanders owner Daniel Snyder is pursuing a project that would integrate a new NFL stadium into a larger mixed-use development. Three Virginia sites are under consideration, two along I-95 in Prince William County and one in Loudoun, in the southeast quadrant of Rt. 28 and Old Ox Road in Sterling. This property, which now houses a quarrying operation, has been rezoned to allow for the construction of a large mixed-use community known as Waterside.

The Senate plan would authorize 40-year bonds to fund a stadium, send sales tax revenue and both corporate tax and a portion of personal income tax revenue generated from the stadium to the stadium authority, and allow localities to condemn the pitches to be given to the stadium authority.

The House of Delegates plan is more constrained, with a shorter funding period of 20 years, no new eminent domain power and only redirecting sales tax revenue to the stadium authority. The House version also directs half of the revenue from the sale of stadium naming rights to the stadium authority.

After today’s votes, the bills will be sent to a conference committee for negotiations.

The House vote supporting the bill was 54-46. The Senate vote was 30-10.

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