DUMFRIES, Va. — Potomac District Supervisor Andrea Bailey is a cheerleader for Prince William County and her hometown of Dumfries.
So, when she first heard about the potential for a new Washington Commanders stadium from County Economic Director Christina Winn during a closed session of the Board of Supervisors about a month ago, she took it seriously.
“It was just described to us that there is an opportunity for, this kind of opportunity to come to our community,” Bailey said. “But it wasn’t described in any details at all.”
Those details were later reported first by WUSA9: A 700,000-square-foot, 16-acre stadium surrounded by training facilities and team offices, a 14,000-seat amphitheater, hotels, residential, retail and nightlife.
That is exactly the kind of economic development Bailey told WUSA9 she is pushing for in the Potomac Shores community of Dumfries where the Commanders could potentially build their mini-city.
But out of all the potential sites the team and owner Daniel Snyder are considering, Dumfries is the furthest from the heart of the District. Thirty-five miles from downtown DC, Google Maps says it could take up to an hour and a half to drive to Dumfries during rush hour for a weeknight night game, and that’s not counting stadium traffic.
Bailey shrugged off critics who say a stadium in Dumfries would be too far.
“I say you’re missing out because Dumfries is not the Dumfries you may remember,” Bailey responded.
Bailey said the transportation issues will be helped by a Virginia Railway Express Stop, or VRE, just a stone throw from the stadium site. That VRE station is set to open later this year, and will provide rail service to Dumfries from Union Station, L’Enfant, Crystal City and Alexandria.
The county supervisor also said a boat ferry service on the Potomac River from Alexandria is well in the works. And Bailey said these projects are all planned to happen, with or without a without a football stadium. A project which would ultimately have to get the blessing of local elected leaders, whenever the team decides to build.
“I can’t make a final decision on the Commanders coming here,” Bailey said. “I think that has to come from the community.”
In a statement, Kenny Boddye, the Prince William Board Supervisor from Woodbridge, the second site under consideration in the county, had similar comments.
“While I am aware from media reports of the team’s interest in both the Occoquan and Potomac districts of Prince William County, I have not had any conversations with the Commanders regarding potential site locations for a stadium in Prince William County. Should the football team move forward with a proposal to locate in Prince William, I would weigh the project on its individual merits as information became available, to include input from community members” Boddye wrote.
The timeline for the Commanders to make a decision on where they will ultimately build remains unclear, as the team awaits final passage of a $1 billion stadium financing plan for Snyder by the Virginia General Assembly.
Snyder is also weighing a competing proposal from Maryland for the Prince George's County site. Although that package is not nearly as large as the one nearing approval in the Commonwealth.
The District is seemingly out of the running for the new stadium, a result of infighting about whether the RFK site in Southeast should be used for residential uses and land control issues which still have not been ironed out with the federal government.