WASHINGTON — Congressional investigations into Daniel Snyder aren’t just causing legal problems for the Washington Commanders owner. They may be hurting his search for a new stadium too.
If there’s going to be a new Washington Commanders stadium complex it will need the blessing of city or county lawmakers who have final say over land use permits.
Now Snyder’s battles with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform are raising concerns among some elected leaders about going into business with him.
“I don't imagine anyone wants to do business with somebody they think is untrustworthy or unethical,” said Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall.
The Commanders are actively trying to buy land for a potential stadium site near Dulles, but Randall said she has yet to decide whether she would vote in favor of a stadium deal.
She said she’s closely monitoring the Oversight Committee’s investigation and Snyder’s refusal, thus far, to appear before it.
“I've been troubled by a lot of things that I've heard. And I've been troubled by, I think more what I haven't heard, which is any concrete answers from, from the team and from Mr. Snyder specifically,” Randall said. “I'm always a little concerned when people question whether or not they should even respond to congressional subpoenas.”
In Prince William County, where the Commanders have already reached a purchase agreement for another potential stadium site in Woodbridge, Supervisor Jeanine Lawson said she opposed a stadium agreement with Snyder from the start.
“I definitely don't want to come across as somebody that you know, has the mindset I told you so,” Lawson said. “But I had a strong feeling that the scandals were not going to go away. And if anything, they have they've escalated.”
Lawson said she believes Congress’s investigation and Snyder perceived refusal to cooperate with it has the potential to change “yes” votes to “no.”
“I don't want to speak for my other colleagues, but I would imagine it does,” Lawson said. “I mean, I don't know how it couldn't.”
The one place where county leaders reached by WUSA9 don’t seem as concerned about Snyder’s off-the-field issues is Prince George County, the site of the current, and many there hope, future Washington Commanders Stadium.
In a statement, Councilmember Mel Franklin said “I am very concerned about the allegations, but I see the Washington Commanders franchise as much bigger than one individual. I still support a Downtown Prince George's Sports, Entertainment, and Residential District...anchored by a new Commanders stadium. I believe that is in the best interests of the residents I serve.”
In D.C. there remain huge land use hurdles to a return to the old RFK site, but even District leaders are watching the Snyder saga play out in Congress.
In an email, Councilmember Elissa Silverman wrote “I am very troubled by the allegations and by Mr. Snyder’s ownership of Washington’s football team.”
WUSA9 reached out to the Washington Commanders for comment, but the team did not immediately respond.