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D.C. city council won’t support using RFK stadium site for new Commanders stadium

Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss if Commanders DC Jack Del Rio's comments on January 6 could and should impact public funding the team is seeking to build a new stadium.

Virginia state senator Jeremy McPike said on Wednesday that he thinks Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio’s reference to the January 6 assault on the Capitol as a “dust-up” were the “nail in the coffin” for any chance of public financing for a new stadium in the state.

While there’s nothing official on that front, it looks like another possible spot for the Commanders to build a new home is off the table. In a letter to D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Norton on Thursday, city council member Charles Allen wrote that he and a majority of the other council members believe that a future football stadium at this site is incompatible” with their vision for the future of the site currently occupied by the team’s former home RFK Stadium.

Norton and other officials have discussed working to bring the team back, but Allen wrote that studies have shown there is no economic benefit to subsidizing football stadiums and that District taxpayers will wind up footing part of the bill for the stadium “no matter what promises the Commanders make” to the contrary.

“We all hope that the Washington Commanders can address its ownerships many off-the-field failures — in particular its failure to provide a safe working environment for women — and, secondarily, can return to its former glory on the field. However, we believe this riverfront property, one of the last large undeveloped parcels of land in the District, must be utilized in the best interest of District residents,” Allen wrote.

In a tweet, Allen called Del Rio’s comments another reason not to use public money on the project before adding that a stadium is “a uniquely bad use of a tax dollars” in any circumstance.

Maryland approved $400 million to use to develop the area around the team’s current home FedEx Field earlier this year, but Governor Larry Hogan said the state would not get into a bidding war to keep the Commanders.