ASHBURN, Va. — Two days after visiting the Baltimore Ravens training facility in Owings Mills, Gov. Wes Moore (D) crossed state lines Wednesday to check out the training camp of the Washington Commanders — another step in his push to convince the team to build its new stadium next to its current one in Prince George’s County.

It has quickly become apparent that, publicly and privately, Commander’s officials have no idea yet where the club’s next stadium will be built. The team has agreed to play at FedEx Field, which opened in 1997, through 2027, though that isn’t a hard and fast deadline. The Commanders own the stadium so no one would be kicking them out.

Gov. Wes Moore (D) and Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller (D) pose Wednesday with the Hogfarmers, fans of the Washington Commanders football team. Credit: Josh Kurtz / Maryland Matters

Maryland will have stiff competition for a new stadium, however. With the help of Congress, the District of Columbia may be able to lease the Commander’s land near RFK Stadium, the team’s old haunt and site of its glory years, and the District’s emotional pull on a sizable chunk of the fan base will be hard for the new ownership to resist. Virginia has been wooing the team on and off for the past few years and seems poised to start again now that Snyder is out of the picture.

“I’m conflicted,” said Virginia Del. Suhas Subramanyam (D), who was on hand at the training camp Wednesday and greeted Moore and Miller with hugs. “I like Governor Moore and Lieutenant Governor Miller, but on the other hand, I love Virginia more. If the team wants to build a new stadium, this would be a great place for them to be. Virginia is the best place in the country to do business. We just have to make sure it’s good for taxpayers.”

Subramanyam, a former Obama administration official who ousted a veteran incumbent in a Democratic primary for state Senate this spring and seems poised to join the upper chamber next year, represents Ashburn and environs, near Dulles International Airport. The area surrounding the Commanders’ practice facility is populated by large warehouses, corporate “fulfillment” centers, new housing developments, and a jaw-dropping number of windowless data centers.

Moore’s pitch to the team is that Maryland has committed $400 million to beef up the so-called Blue Line corridor near FedEx Field. The state and Prince George’s County envision a massive mixed-use development with a vast entertainment district.

Moore on Wednesday frequently compared the Commanders’ effort to rebuild and rebrand to the state’s aspirations for the Blue Line corridor.

“There’s so much talent on the field, but that’s not enough,” he said. “You’ve got to build a winning culture. To keep the team in Prince George’s County is a major priority. But we’re also developing winners off the field — new developers, new entrepreneurs, new community enterprises.”

After talking briefly with reporters, Moore and Miller spent half an hour chatting with fans standing along a white picket fence overlooking the two practice fields. They shook hands, signed footballs, posed for pictures, and hugged three members of the Hogfarmers, burly, bearded guys wearing construction helmets with pigs’ ears and snouts, who raise money for kids with cancer.

Moore and his entourage also spent half an hour along the sidelines of one of the practice fields, watching the action and playing a quick game of catch. But it seemed to lack the signature moment of earlier this week in Owings Mills, when Moore, a former Johns Hopkins University football player, caught a long pass from Ravens’ star quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Still, Moore stayed on message.

“It’s nice seeing them practice here,” Moore told onlookers as he worked for the crowd. “They’re Maryland’s team.”

This article was originally published on and is republished with permission.

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