Legislation that could help Commanders build stadium at RFK to get first hearings

A bill that is geared to allow for the redevelopment of the aging Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium is slated for a pair of committee hearings next week. 

Rep. James Comer, Kentucky Republican, introduced the legislation earlier this year with bipartisan support from co-sponsor Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s non-voting member in the House. 

The measure, dubbed the D.C. Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Revitalization Act, is set to appear before the House Oversight Committee, which Mr. Comer is chair of, and the House Natural Resources Committee. 

Mr. Comer’s bill would allow the construction of a mixed-use development, which could include a new stadium, residential buildings, recreation facilities or commercial buildings on the federally owned land. 

The bill would also call for the transfer of the administrative jurisdiction of the site from the Secretary of the Interior to the Administrator of the General Services Administration. That transfer would allow the District to revamp the site. 

The measure would also extend the lease on the campus, which is set to expire in 2038, up to 99 years. 

The House Natural Resources Committee will weigh in on the measure first on Sept. 19. Mr. Comer’s panel will take a crack at the bill the following day. 

Though enticing to the Commanders, the legislation does not guarantee that a stadium will be built on the site. There is also the matter of funding the construction of a new stadium, which D.C. Council Chair said should come from private developers.  

The team’s new owner, Josh Harris, is also expected to consider proposals from Virginia and Maryland for a new stadium.

But if advanced by Congress, the bill could persuade the Commanders and Mr. Harris to move from the team’s current home at FedEx Field — building a new stadium could signal a fresh start for the team, which recently divorced from scandal-plagued former owner Dan Snyder. 

The Commander’s lease at FedEx Field is also set to expire in 2027, though Mr. Harris and the team’s ownership group have said they intend to renovate the stadium. 

Source: WT