Washington Area Professional Football Team Franchise Facility Interstate Compact Establishment Act of 2017

Introduced: February 6, 2017

Summary: To establish an Interstate Compact prohibiting a party state or a local jurisdiction from providing certain public incentives or financing for the construction or maintenance of facilities for a professional football team franchise in the Washington, D.C. area.

Councilmember Grosso's Introduction Statement:

Good morning. Thank you all for joining Delegate Moon and me here today.

As the Washington Football Team begins to explore options for relocating their football facilities, I believe it is important that D.C. clarify where we stand on how such a project would be financed.

So today I am introducing an interstate compact which prohibits the District from providing or offering special public incentives or financing for the construction of facilities for the Washington Football team.

More simply put, I don’t believe we should be offering special financial treatment in order to bring the Washington Football team back into the District of Columbia.

A football team worth over $1 billion should not need to rely on special government assistance to fund their facilities.

I especially do not public financing to go to a team with such a racist and derogatory name.

The city’s economy is thriving and our chief financial officer reports that the District’s financial health is strong.

Living in very uncertain times requires us to think more critically about how we financially plan for the future.

The events of the past two weeks have demonstrated that President Trump and the Republican Congress present a threat to that status. 

They are not above pulling federal funding over our determination to protect our immigrant communities and maintain our sanctuary status. 

Their plan to repeal Obamacare and leave tens of millions without health insurance across the country will be felt in all eight wards.

And the president’s nominee to be secretary of education makes it clear that funding for our schools could be undermined by misguided voucher policies.

We must be able protect the well-being of our residents, the education of our students, and the integrity of communities as these confrontations arise.

Regardless of our financial circumstances or the threat of federal overreach, research shows that NFL stadiums do not generate the significant local economic growth promised and cities tend to not recoup their significant financial contributions through increased tax revenue.

Funding a new stadium is just not in our city’s best interest at this time.

Furthermore, District tax payers’ money should not be used to further the commercial use of racist and derogatory terms that dishonors indigenous peoples.

Working across state lines on this issue is vital to ensure one state does not secure a competitive advantage over another in negotiations with the Washington Football Team.

We are still reaching out to Virginia legislators to find a champion for this issue in the General Assembly.

I want to thank Delegate Moon for his work on this interstate compact.  He will be introducing the companion to it in the Maryland House of Delegates.

He brought this idea to me and I was more than happy to be the sponsor of this legislation in D.C.