The area around FedEx Field in Landover will be undergoing a facelift. Maryland officials voted to initiate the process of providing up to $400 million in bonds toward developing the area as part of the Blue Line Corridor Plan.
The Maryland Board of Public Works, made up of Gov. Wes Moore, Comptroller Brooke Lierman and Treasurer Dereck Davis, voted 3-0 on Jan. 25 in favor of setting up a memorandum of understanding for the development.
FedEx Field area to receive major facelift
Shortly after the online sector of Maryland sports betting went live, Fanatics Sportsbook opened a retail sportsbook at FedEx Field — the first in-stadium sportsbook in the NFL and home to the Washington Commanders. The stadium in Prince George’s County is also currently being renovated and upgraded to enhance fan experience.
Development around the stadium will include a convention center, an arts and entertainment amphitheater and also other infrastructural improvements, like parking garages. For Moore, the newly elected governor of Maryland, it was the first time chairing a Public Works meeting.
“This is going to be an economic game-changer for Prince George’s County and for the state, the community surrounding the Blue Line Corridor, and a great win for our state and for our region.”
Development part of ongoing Maryland initiatives
None of the $400 million pledged for the FedEx-area project will go to the Commanders for a new stadium. Instead, the bonds will be issued through the Maryland Stadium Authority.
The measure authorizes the Authority to use money from the Maryland Lottery to build infrastructure in Prince George’s County. The county plan called for developing the area into a transit hub with new residential, retail and entertainment amenities.
Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks told the board that development around FedEx Field is just part of a much larger improvement plan for the county.
“In addition to this bonding authority, we are investing in projects up and down the Blue Line, including infrastructure improvements at metro stations, a state-of-the-art cancer center, and many more projects that are focused on transit-oriented growth.”
Last year, the Maryland General Assembly approved the bonding plan, and then-Gov. Larry Hogan signed it into law. Hogan also signed a separate bill that increased bond authorization for both Camden Yards, home to the Baltimore Orioles, and M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens. The measure greenlighted borrowing of up to $600 million for each stadium.
Project will move forward even if Commanders vacate stadium
These funds will be available even if the Commanders leave the state when their lease expires in 2027.
The team, which has played at FedEx since 1997, has been looking into new stadium possibilities. Both Virginia and the District of Columbia have shown interest in luring the Commanders away from Maryland. Lawmakers in Virginia are working on an incentive package to bring the team to the state. Virginia currently lacks a major pro sports franchise.
Last year’s revelation that the Commanders acquired the right to buy 200 acres in Woodbridge, Va., raised questions about a potential move. There was also speculation the team might build a stadium near Dulles International Airport.
Prince George’s County Council Member Mel Franklin believes staying in Prince George’s County would offer the best odds for the Commanders. The team already owns the land FedEx Field sits on. And Franklin said the county would work with the team to transform the stadium into a mutually beneficial structure.