FedEx ends naming rights agreement for the Washington Commanders stadium long known as FedEx Field

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FedEx has ended its naming rights agreement to the Washington Commanders’ stadium in Landover, Maryland, a venue that had been known since 1999 as FedEx Field.

The move confirmed Wednesday comes two years prior to the expiration of the current agreement scheduled for 2026, and as the NFL club under new ownership looks for a site on which to build a new stadium that would open later this decade.

“We continuously review our marketing programs to ensure our investments are aligned with our evolving business objectives,” FedEx said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. “As part of this review, we have decided to not continue as the naming rights sponsor of FedEx Field as we focus on our broader NFL sponsorship and opportunities that reflect our global footprint.”

Dan Snyder sold the stadium naming rights to FedEx in 1999 when he bought the team. FedEx founder and chairman Fred Smith was a minority owner of the team until 2021, when Snyder and his family bought out the shares held by Smith, Dwight Schar and Bob Rothman.

Snyder last year sold the team to a group led by Josh Harris and including Magic Johnson and others for $6.05 billion.

Unlike Nationals Park, home of Washington’s Major League Baseball team by the same name, don’t expect the Commanders’ stadium, which also hosts soccer games and concerts, to go without a sponsorship for an extended period of time.

“We have already started the process of identifying our next stadium naming rights partner — a partner who will play a crucial role in ushering in the next era of not only Commanders but also a robust slate of top live events and concerts,” the team said in a statement.

The Washington Post was first to report the news.

On Tuesday, the Commanders announced $75 million in renovations to the aging stadium, including upgrades to the sound system, escalators and elevators, water and mechanical systems and other infrastructure improvements. There was no hot water in the home and visiting locker room showers after a game late last season, and in previous years the stadium had pipe leaks and other problems that made it a butt of league-wide jokes.

The Commanders ranked last among the league’s 32 teams on the NFLPA’s latest annual report card released Wednesday, including complaints about the locker room and team’s outdated training facility, which is in Ashburn, Virginia.

The union said players had “issues issues with cleanliness, citing multiple sewage leaks this season” and were unhappy about the lack of a family room and daycare facilities for children on game days.

Harris received a rating of 8.6 out of 10 from Commanders players for his willingness to invest in facilities.

Upon taking control of the team, Harris talked about improving how fans get in and out, among other changes to the game day experience that had devolved in the final years of Snyder’s ownership.

His group is still considering options in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia for the team’s new home that would replace the current one, which was rushed to completion in 1997 under the orders of then-owner Jack Kent Cooke, who died months prior to its opening.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday night passed a bill that would transfer the land currently occupied by the husk of RFK Stadium from the federal government to the District, moving it on to the Senate. The bill says, “The city could use the land for stadium development, residential and commercial development, recreational facilities and open space.”

The team last year said it supported efforts by the city to get control of that site, which is the favored place of a new stadium by many fans. RFK Stadium is where Washington played from 1961-96 when Harris and co-owners Mitchell Rales and Mark Ein were fans of the team.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL



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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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