Bringing Commanders back to DC could generate over $1 billion annually: study

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: RFK Stadium is seen from East Capitol Street in Washington, DC on September 27, 2023. (Photo by Craig Hudson for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

A new study by D.C.'s Office of Economic Development reveals that attracting the NFL back to the nation's capital could generate more than a billion dollars in economic revenue annually.

The report emphasizes how D.C.'s professional sports teams generate billions in economic development and attract millions of tourists annually.

"There are various studies with different conclusions," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Nina Albert. "We wanted a study reflecting the impact of sports on D.C. and the return on public investment in sports stadiums."


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The report indicates that D.C.'s five pro sports teams — the Nationals, Capitals, Wizards, Mystics, and D.C. United — contributed $5 billion in economic impact in 2022, drawing 7.4 million visitors to the city in 2023.

"Sports generate significant energy, excitement, and identity, fueling development," Albert added.

The study details the impact of the Entertainment and Sports Complex in Southeast D.C., home to the Washington Mystics, in spurring nearby housing and development. It also highlights how Capital One Arena continues to drive downtown commercial growth.


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Furthermore, the report suggests that bringing the Washington Commanders to D.C. could boost development and job growth at the old RFK site and its surrounding 170 acres.

"Public opinion supports our investment in sports. Residents favor investing in Monumental Sports' future and a Commanders stadium in D.C.," said Mayor Bowser. "Visitation is crucial for our economy."

Mayor Bowser noted that attracting the NFL, World Cup soccer, and events like Taylor Swift's "Eras Tour" would require a new world-class football stadium at the old RFK site.