WASHINGTON — As the Commanders prepare for their opening season game this Sunday, new team owner Josh Harris gave WUSA9 a quick 1-on-1 interview ahead of the 2023-2024 season.
WUSA9’s new morning anchor, Wisdom Martin, talked to Harris about where things stand with the team, his unwavering excitement for this season, and more.
Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals is currently sold-out.
“Sunday’s going to be an amazing day, hosting a party of 60,000 people, but it’s our first game of the new ownership … a changed perspective for Washington D.C. we’re all very excited, we’re all feeling a lot of pressure for Sunday to go well,” said Harris.
The Commanders organization has faced a lot of scrutiny and has been in and out of the headlines for more than just football the past couple of years. As a result, this new ownership was anything but a smooth transition. When asked what the most shocking part of this new ownership journey has been, Harris’ response was shocking and humbling.
“What shocked me was the massive outpouring of support and love for this franchise that existed in Washington. It was a sleeping giant, I knew growing up how much the Commanders meant to the DMV. But the welcome that the team has gotten since the change has been incredible.”
Harris then went on to praise one of his co-owners, five-time NBA champion Magic Johnson.
“He speaks in a way that motivates me ... a man who’s got five rings. He’s an example … the league needs more people of color and he is really important to us,” says Harris.
Since Harris took over the team the next topic of discussion was moving the Commanders back to D.C. as a fresh start. In 1997, the organization moved to its current home at FedEx Field. The last known renovation made to the stadium was over 10 years ago. During which, seats were removed to add suites and party decks. Now, after nearly three decades, the stadium has started to look rundown.
People are suggesting that the team relocate. Talks of coming back to D.C. made their way through the rumor mill. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin even mentioned that the Commanders should move the entire organization to the state for lovers, not just their practice camp. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore wants the stadium to stay in Maryland.
However, despite the rumors of relocation, the Commanders announced in August, that they would be investing $40 million into renovating FedEx Field.
“We welcome the stadium conversation, ultimately we’re doing a lot to make sure FedEx Field looks great, but at the end of the day it’s an older stadium. We want to have a great place for the DMV to come to and we’re looking forward to making a lot of progress on that as quickly as we can,” Harris said.
While aesthetics, operations, and customer experience is a priority, Harris says his focus right now is winning Sunday’s game.
Fun fact: The Commanders’ first game at FedEx Field was against the Arizona Cardinals in 1997. The team from Washington won 19-13 in overtime. Hopefully some of that old history brings the team and new ownership some luck this upcoming NFL season.