The Washington Commanders will be the Washington Commanders this year. And next year. And maybe for the foreseeable future.
As many with the organization have stated publicly, multiple sources tell CBS Sports that a name change for the franchise now under managing partner Josh Harris isn’t being seriously considered at this time.
Known as the Redskins until 2020, the Washington franchise took the name Commanders in 2022 after two years as the Washington Football Team. One source said that name change itself cost the team an estimated eight-figure tab in research and rebranding efforts, and the process itself took nearly a year and a half.
Several within the organization have opined that if the Commanders win this season and beyond, there won’t be much discussion about the name from a fan base eager to get back to the top of the league.
Harris and his group have been far more focused on bringing sponsor dollars while reconnecting with the community in the wake of the Dan Snyder wreckage. Harris, who took over the team officially in late July and made no changes to football operations, has been involved in understanding the “why” behind decisions made with the football staff while allowing the coaches and personnel staff to do their jobs uninterrupted.
Though Harris and others (including limited partner Magic Johnson) openly mentioned the old team name publicly around the time of the sale approval, a return to that moniker was never considered. Harris, team president Jason Wright and others have spent the past week across the District clearing that up.
The biggest issue facing the Commanders franchise — aside from the team winning — is securing a new stadium. FedEx Field is regularly rated as the worst venue in the league. Harris’ group has put in $40 million in renovations, but renovations will only go so far on what is a relatively dilapidated building by NFL standards and wouldn’t be financially worth the trouble.
New ownership wants to be strategic in its pursuit of a new stadium. Local governments in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia are actively engaged with the Commanders on potential sites and potential public funds. CBS Sports previously reported the Commanders hired Thad Sheely as a consultant in August, and he was essential in the development of MetLife Stadium more than a decade ago.
According to a source, an ideal timeline for the Commanders would be to have a site selected by the end of 2024. A stadium that would be able to host major events like a Final Four and Super Bowl would take about four years from that date.
Harris, who owns FedEx Field as part of the selling agreement with Snyder, is locked into the lease through 2026 anyway.