The Washington Football Team is considering Loudoun County as the location for a new stadium and commercial complex, according to a Dec. 17 report by The Washington Post.
The Post was the first to report that team officials want the Virginia General Assembly to pass legislation to convert the state’s existing baseball stadium authority — created in 1995 with the hope of attracting a Major League Baseball team to Virginia — into an entity that could oversee the financing and construction of a new National Football League stadium.
Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) said on Monday the county has not been approached about the plan. The Washington Football’s headquarters is located in Ashburn, west of Route 28 in Loudoun.
“We would not do anything that was not financially advantageous to the county,” Randall said to the Times-Mirror. “And we would not do anything that we didn’t have the infrastructure to support.”
She said a potential area in the county that would have the infrastructure and would be allowed under the county’s land use plan is in Loudoun’s urban policy area, which includes the Metro Silver Line.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) announced in early November they have declared substantial completion for work on Phase 2 of the Metrorail Silver Line extension project into Loudoun County.
This milestone means that major construction is complete and allows operational readiness testing to begin, during which the contractor will demonstrate the project’s functionality, as a key step toward delivering the new rail line to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), according to officials.
WMATA operates the Metrorail system.
The Metrorail project was built in two phases. Phase 1 opened in 2014 extending Metrorail service from East Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue in Reston. Phase 2, along the Dulles Corridor, includes Metrorail stations at Reston, Herndon and Ashburn, as well as at Dulles International Airport.
The upcoming stations in Fairfax will include Innovation Center, Herndon and Reston Town Center.
“Revenue service,” which is when people can begin riding Metro in Loudoun County, is expected to begin in the spring of 2022, according to a Nov. 5 statement from Loudoun County. When revenue service begins, members of the public will be able to access three garages that will serve the two Metrorail stations — one at the Loudoun Gateway station and two at the Ashburn station (North and South).
Planning has been in the works for more than 15 years and has been pushed back three years beyond its initial estimated opening date due to construction issues.
Supervisor Tony Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) said he adamantly opposes the idea, according to an email to members of the Loudoun County delegation.
Buffington wrote, “When this issue last publicly arose during my first term in office, I heard from a large number of my constituents who were adamantly opposed to the idea for a variety of reasons to include traffic, increased crime, and routine ingress and egress of large and often rowdy crowds.”
People associated with the plan said told The Post that no legislation has been filed yet, but the team hopes to advance a bill through the General Assembly session that begins Jan. 12.