By Washington Business Journal, Oct 17, 2023
The District has named a team of consultants to help it study financing models for investment in new and existing sports stadiums, not only to address potential funding for a new Washington Commanders stadium, but also potential capital outlays for Nationals Park and Capital One Arena.
JLL and the Robert Bobb Group — founded by the eponymous DC city administrator under Mayor Tony Williams — will lead a study in conjunction with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. The District said the consultants will study the economic and fiscal impact of sports teams and venues, financing mechanisms and comparable stadium projects, and “the impact of potential relocations of existing major sports teams into the District.”
Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration issued the request for proposals in August, shortly after a group led by billionaire investor Josh Harris acquired the Washington Commanders for $6.5 billion. The new ownership appeared to reopen the door to a new football stadium on the RFK Stadium lot — a door that had been locked shut as long as the team was owned by Dan Snyder. The Commanders are searching for a new home, either in DC, Virginia or Maryland, to replace FedEx Field in Landover.
Bowser has said revitalizing the RFK Stadium site and returning the Commanders to Washington are among her top priorities, as a means of breathing new life into the DC economy.
“I think the job of being Mayor in a post-Covid environment is different than it was in my first eight years, and part of that has to do with the recovery of our downtown and our economy,” Bowser said Monday.
But a new football stadium is only one item on the agenda, as both the Washington Nationals and Monumental Sports & Entertainment are lobbying for upgrades to their respective arenas — Nationals Park and Capital One Arena.
In the statement, acting Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Nina Albert said the study “will continue our work to support DC’s sports teams and further understand their contribution to our city’s economic and cultural landscape.”
The purpose of the study is to “deliver a credible understanding of the actual and potential fiscal, economic, and community impact of sports and major sports teams to inform conversations and decisions about potential future investments,” according to the DC statement. Both firms have previously conducted large-scale studies for the District — JLL on the Southwest Waterfront and Nationals Park, and the Robert Bobb Group on a new soccer stadium at Buzzard Point.
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) announced the selection of a team to perform a Sports Study to support DMPED’s work to plan, coordinate, and support professional and recreational sports in Washington, DC. The team selected to lead the Sports Study is Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc (JLL) and the Robert Bobb Group.
“DC is a proud sports town that values our professional teams and the critical role they play in the District’s vibrancy,” said Acting Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Nina Albert. “The Sports Study will continue our work to support DC’s sports teams and further understand their contribution to our city’s economic and cultural landscape.”
The Sports Study will identify potential financing models for District investments in new and existing sports facilities. Over the course of the study, the team will conduct an analysis of current needs, existing financing mechanisms, and comparative research. The Study will also deliver a credible understanding of the actual and potential fiscal, economic, and community impact of sports and major sports teams to inform conversations and decisions about potential future investments. In addition, the Study will analyze the economic impact of sports and entertainment venues in the District to date, as well as the impact of potential relocations of existing major sports teams into the District.
JLL is a leading national real estate advisory company that has worked with more than 50 municipalities and professional sports teams to deliver successful results for their clients. JLL has also worked with District government in many capacities dating back to 2001, including work done with DMPED focused on the Southwest Waterfront and Nationals Park.
Robert Bobb Group is a DC-based minority-owned consulting firm that focuses on public-private partnership consulting. They have worked with the District in the past to improve efficiencies in District operations and have conducted similar work for other municipalities around the country. Their deep understanding of city government and their team’s past work in DC government will provide valuable perspective when further developing the Sports Team’s economic study.
In July, Mayor Bowser created the DMPED Sports Team to work closely with the District’s professional teams and coordinate across District agencies, including the Chief Financial Officer and Events DC, to maintain, attract, and grow world-class sports teams and sporting events in Washington, DC. The DMPED Sports Team will also focus on supporting the development of the next generation of DC athletes and coaches.
To learn more about the DMPED Sports Team and to get in contact with the team, visit dmped.dc.gov/SportsTeam.