Letter: Peter Fedders, Leesburg

Editor: It’s strange these days to see bipartisanship anywhere. It’s stranger for that bipartisanship to be used to give Dan Snyder a billion dollars in state bonds. 

The talk of a new multi-billion-dollar football stadium in Loudoun has been in the news with state senators and Gov. Youngkin showing intent to pass “legislation to convert the state’s existing baseball stadium authority … into an entity that could oversee the financing and construction of a new National Football League stadium.” This “authority” would have unaccountable power to take land and money for a billionaire’s ego project. Loudoun leaders need to reject a new stadium authority and reject a new Commanders stadium in Loudoun. 

With new sports stadiums come promises of “it pays for itself,” economic development, and Super Bowl dreams, but modern-day stadiums are nothing but a drain on taxpayers, traffic headaches, low-wage jobs for a few days a year, endless demands for infrastructure improvements, and rapid requests for stadium updates. Del. Barry Knight of Virginia Beach claims that this is “not just a stadium,” a common catchphrase to sell citizens on stadiums that are empty 96% of the year. 

The latest “it pays for itself” idea is the billion-dollar bond idea passed in the Virginia House Committee on Appropriations. Sen. Saslaw (D) of Fairfax touted this plan as free of taxpayer burden. “It does not create a penny of debt,” he told the committee. This bill claims taxpayers won’t pay for the stadium. The bonds would be paid for by a “projected $3 billion in tax revenue from the new stadium” over 30 years. That means any local tax revenue from the stadium would not come to Loudoun but back to the state to pay back the bond. In reality, rosy revenue projections often fall short for these stadiums.

These projects also move fast; when the Atlanta Braves left Atlanta for Cobb County in 2013, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners had only two weeks to dig through a complicated 30-year deal. The public had less time to ask questions of local officials. Once a stadium authority passes in Virginia, Snyder and Virginia will immediately start negotiations on the stadium location. At that point, if the state wants the stadium in Loudoun, nobody here will be able to stop them. The traffic, congestion, and headaches will land at our feet. 

And finally, stadiums across the country do not benefit taxpayers or their municipalities even with an honest partner. Snyder has destroyed the team’s reputation on the field and decimated its fanbase. He continues to be investigated for allegations of sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct that occurred here in Loudoun. The team is stonewalling the release of last year’s investigation. The team culture is now under study by Congress. Is this an honest partner Virginia wants to enter a 30-year billion-dollar relationship? We can’t hold Snyder accountable for what he has done to this team, but our elected leaders can by saying no to a stadium in Loudoun.

Peter Fedders, Leesburg

10 thoughts on “Letter: Peter Fedders, Leesburg

  • 2022-02-12 at 2:32 pm

    Please do not let them build a football stadium in Loudoun County! These things NEVER work out as projected. Just remember the boondoggle that the Metro Silver Line turned out to be! A football stadium will be an albatross the size of a humpback whale hung around the necks of Loudoun residents.

    We do not need to pay corporate welfare to rich little brats like Snyder. He and his investors have enough money to build a stadium wherever they want and I do not intend to subsidize something I will never use.

    Let’s get a non-profit started to oppose this just like we killed the horrid Disney theme park idea not that long ago.

  • 2022-02-12 at 2:49 pm

    Hear, hear!! And well said.
    Snyder can’t fill the stadium in PG County, why would we want to build him another one here in VA?
    DC’s mayor has stated repeatedly that the team belongs in DC and they already have the infrastructure to handle that volume of traffic (mostly). They should consider upgrading/expanding RFK stadium. My friends in DC want the team there…they can have ’em.
    On the topic of Snyder, we all have our thoughts on him. But considering his litigious nature, it’s best to refrain from commenting. I can’t wait to see the results of the Congressional study–just to have the NFL turn around, clutch their pearls, and do absolutely nothing.

  • 2022-02-12 at 5:50 pm

    Simple: What was promised to Landover, MD and how did that work out financially? If Richmond wants a stadium by all means feel free to allow one where you live but if you think it is possible to stick Loudoun with this albatross while Richmond takes all the sales tax I don’t think our Supervisors are that stupid. 🙂

    • 2022-02-14 at 9:45 am

      In just a few short years I have learned to never underestimate the stupidity of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

  • 2022-02-13 at 8:29 am

    Not one dime for Danny!

    If he wants a new stadium he and Younkin can built it themselves.

  • 2022-02-14 at 10:41 am

    Because Loudoun has such a great track record on stadiums and corporate welfare. By the way, has the soccer team paid any rent yet?

  • 2022-02-14 at 3:25 pm

    I hope the rumors that the NFL owners are finally going to push out Dan Snyder are true. Regardless, the billionaire boys club of NLF owners do not need a public handout. Stadiums are money losers. Just look at the 2-bit stadium Loudoun just financed. It’s a financial loser.

  • 2022-02-14 at 5:35 pm

    I oppose the stadium because I don’t think it brings enough to the table. If you look at the CapitalOne arena they have the Caps, Wiz, The WNBA team, the Hoyas, Concerts and a number of other events like Ice Capades and Monster Jam. These events keep the local businesses busy year round.

    At lease the Nationals play in their stadium 81 times plus concerts. Businesses again have thrived in the area for 8 months to survive the cold season.

    I can think of a single brick and mortar business that truly benefits from FedEx.

  • 2022-02-14 at 5:45 pm

    Nope. Don’t need it. Don’t want it. Not now. Not ever.

  • 2022-02-16 at 5:35 pm

    Public private partnerships always leave the taxpayer holding the bag. No to stadiums and No to Youngkin on this one just like Joe, it will not cost taxpayers a penny, my arse!

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