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Some fans not happy Commanders could move to Virginia

A team spokesperson announced the organization had “procured” 200 acres of land in Woodbridge, Virginia on Monday.

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — If the Washington Commanders move to Woodbridge, some Maryland fans say they will not be too happy.

On Monday, a team spokesperson announced the organization had “procured” 200 acres of land in Woodbridge, Virginia; valued at approximately $100 million. However, the spokesperson added the team is still looking at multiple locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Virginia State Sen. Jeremy McPike described the deal as a "purchase option," which would give the team the right to buy the land in the future.

Prince George’s County resident Bernard Clark was not thrilled about the news when he first heard it.

“The whole organization, it’s a mess,” he said.

He said he did not think Maryland fans would be willing to travel any farther south than the District to watch the team play.

“I think they’d travel south to Washington DC, and that’s about it,” Clark said. “They should be in DC. They’re the Washington Commanders.”

Earlier this month, WUSA9 Chief Investigator Eric Flack obtained Nielsen Scarborough data that shows the team currently has more fans in Virginia than Maryland and their popularity has been waning north of the Potomac due to the sustained success of the Ravens franchise in Baltimore.

Still, some Marylanders believe Washington football diehards would drive 30 to 40 miles south to see the team compete.

“I think that no matter where they move, fans will come out and support them,” said Prince George’s County resident and fan Alex Thomas. “But, if the team continues on this downward spiral that we’ve seen for years and years now, I think it’ll be hard to have fans invested in a team that’s now in a different part of the DMV.”

If the team does set up shop in the Commonwealth, Virginia State Senator Jeremy McPike has a friendly reminder for Maryland fans who may be wary of a long commute.

“Us Virginians have traveled [to Maryland] for years,” he said.

The Prince William County senator said he could see a new stadium, with additional amenities, attracting new fans from Richmond too.

“It's kind of interesting to see entertainment, retail restaurants, housing, and sort of a mixed use,” McPike said. “It's a great concept."

However, he reminds everyone in the region, this deal is not done yet.

“I want to hear from constituents,” he said. “We need to figure out if I can help to fix some of the existing transportation and traffic problems in the process.”

McPike said he would like to address traffic issues on roadways like Interstate 95 and the Prince William Parkway first.

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