Reviews | Daniel Snyder Proves Why Taxpayers Shouldn’t Help Build Washington Commanders Stadium

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Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder has done a great job demonstrating why regional leaders shouldn’t use taxpayer dollars to subsidize a new team stadium. Few officials seemed as enthusiastic about the project as Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), but even he dropped his support, at least for now, for donating hundreds of millions of dollars to one of the richest men in America.

Mr. Snyder, who faces multiple allegations of committing and condoning sexual harassment of female employees, had been summoned to testify next week before a congressional committee investigating the case. The panel is also considering an accusation, from a former Commanders leader, of serious financial improprieties by the team.

But on Wednesday, Mr. Snyder gave notice, through his attorney, that he would not appear before the panel as requested. His arrogance is inexcusable; the committee should issue a subpoena compelling his testimony if necessary. (National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell has agreed to appear at the same hearing to discuss the league’s own investigation into Mr. Snyder and the team.)

Even if Mr. Snyder were an exemplary team owner, which he is not, the case is weak for spending public funds to help billionaire NFL owners build new stadiums, which are often used to extract their already substantial profits. And it makes even less sense to pour public funds into a scandal-ridden private company, especially when the outlook is murky at best for a healthy return on that investment for the surrounding community. In the case of the suburban Maryland towns closest to the commanders’ current home, FedEx Field, most residents would likely attest that the stadium has brought them little benefit since it opened 25 years ago.

Colbert I. King: DC is better off without the NFL – especially if it comes with Daniel Snyder

Like most NFL owners, Mr. Snyder doesn’t need a government subsidy. In Los Angeles, wealthy Rams owner Stan Kroenke privately funded the team’s new arena, SoFi Stadium, which opened nearly two years ago. Mr. Snyder can do the same.

Commanders intend to build a new stadium ready for the 2027 season, when their commitment to play at FedEx Field expires. Mr. Snyder has pushed for legislation in Virginia that would divert hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue generated by the new stadium, if built there, to help fund its construction. Mr. Youngkin, along with lawmakers from both parties, backed the plan wholeheartedly. But their zeal for the idea has faded amid ongoing revelations and allegations about the commanders and their owner – leading first to the legislation being drastically reduced, then to its abandonment by key lawmakers and, finally, , to the apparent desertion of Mr. Youngkin. The governor could have tried to force the issue when changing the state’s biennial budget, but he chose not to do so on Wednesday – the same day Mr. Snyder delivered the final blow to the House committee on monitoring and reform.

That should send a message, if needed, to Maryland and district leaders that Mr. Snyder might continue to woo. Regardless of the Commanders performance and outlook, it is madness to hoard taxpayer dollars for this team and its owner.

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