Although Prince George’s County’s Blue Line Corridor Project has long been touted as a sales pitch for a potential new Washington Commanders stadium near FedEx Field, county officials are emphasizing that the project’s purpose is to provide an overdue investment in the community — regardless of the Commanders’ future in the county.
The Maryland Board of Public Works unanimously approved the up-to $400 million investment, coined the Blue Line Corridor Project, on Jan. 25. Construction to develop a five-mile stretch from Capitol Heights to Largo including the area surrounding FedEx Field is slated to begin soon.
Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said the plan will be a critical economic asset to the state, creating job opportunities and improving residents’ quality of life.
“The Blue Line Corridor will be the region’s next big destination and Prince Georgians will have a wonderful new set of amenities to enjoy in their own backyard,” Alsobrooks said.
District 5 councilmember Jolene Ivey, who represents Landover, said the approved investment has been more than 25 years in the making after it was promised when the Washington Commanders moved to FedEx Field in 1997.
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Now, Ivey emphasizes that the plan is to provide necessary improvements to residents who live on the Blue Line Corridor.
“Whether [the Commanders] stay or whether they go, we have opportunities to create a place that is comfortable and welcoming and serves the people in that community,” Ivey said.
Del. Jazz Lewis, who represents Maryland’s 24th District, agreed with Ivey about the broken promise made to his district.
“The original promise made to this community … that they would see a higher quality of life, amenities and walkable communities and everything that we hoped for, that didn’t happen,” he said.
The Commanders’ lease at FedEx Field expires after the 2027 season and questions are swirling about a new stadium as embattled owner Daniel Snyder is looking to sell the team. Discussions about potential new stadium locations in Washington, D.C., and Woodbridge, Virginia have also come to the forefront.
While all signs point to Blue Line Corridor development being an appealing pitch to potential new owners, Lewis reiterated that it is not the project’s motivation.
“We’re trying to build an environment where any type of partner would want to be: a dynamic downtown environment where people are walking, engaging in shopping and enjoying themselves,” Lewis said.
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The development plan addresses numerous critical concerns of residents, including pedestrian safety and access to healthy and affordable grocery stores, Lewis said.
“Standard bike and walkways and even dedicated bus lanes are going to help our pedestrians who are walking or riding trains,” he said.
He added that he hopes the investment will be able to attract businesses to create a prosperous nightlife and fine-dining scene in the area.
Amenities in the project include an amphitheater, youth sports facilities and infrastructure improvements such as bike lanes and pedestrian safety enhancements.
Lewis said despite the future of the project, he hopes the Commanders remain in Prince George’s County. He said he has seen improvements in community relations with the team since team president Jason Wright joined the organization in 2020.
But Ivey was much more candid in her assessment of the Commanders’ future in the county.
“The Commanders aren’t our priority. The people in that area are our priority,” she said