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Virginia lawmakers slash bid to bring Washington Commanders' new stadium to the Commonwealth

“Public reaction to this project has been underwhelming," one State Senator told WUSA9.

WASHINGTON — In what could be a major blow to plans for a brand-new Washington Commanders stadium in Virginia, state lawmakers are in talks to take hundreds of millions of dollars off the table in its bid to bring the team’s new complex to the Commonwealth.

Multiple sources within the Virginia Legislature tell WUSA9, talks are underway to slash the stadium financing package it plans to offer Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder from one billion to $350 million. That’s a stunning 65% decrease in the amount of money the Commonwealth would pony up to help Snyder build his new Commanders stadium on one of three proposed Northern Virginia sites.

When asked why, one State Senator, who asked not to be identified so that he could speak freely on the issue, said “Public reaction to this project has been underwhelming. With every passing day, it’s evident the team lacks gravity.”

In addition to the challenge of selling tickets, the franchise continues to operate under the cloud of sexual harassment investigations by Congress and the NFL. And with Virginia planning to pay back whatever stadium bonds it sells using future tax revenue from a new stadium, that unnamed State Senator added “a lot of us have concerns that the team has the ability to stay viable for a decade. Or even, five years.”

The news comes one day after the Buffalo Bills announced an agreement for a brand-new stadium in upstate New York, using $850 million in taxpayer dollars from state and local funding. That’s the largest taxpayer contribution ever for a National Football League stadium, and more than half of the projected $1.4 billion-dollar price tag for the Bills' new stadium.

D.C. and Maryland have both said unequivocally, they would not offer any taxpayer money to help Snyder build a stadium. Although they would offer funding for infrastructure improvements and development around the new facility.

Even at $350 million, Virginia’s stadium package remains the most lucrative being offered to Snyder and the Commanders. The stadium bill will be up for final passage during a special session of the Virginia legislature next week.

RELATED: Prince George's County leaders urge Snyder not to move Commanders stadium to Virginia

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