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

Posted at 11:28 AM, Feb 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-28 11:28:15-05

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

The move confirmed Wednesday comes two years before 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 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.

Commanders FedEx Field
FedEx Field photographed before an NFL preseason football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Friday, Aug. 12, 2011.

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 football but also a robust slate of top live events and concerts,” the team said in a statement.

The Washington Post was the 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 the butt of league-wide jokes.

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 before its opening.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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