Virginia Hopes For Rosy Future With Gaming & Football

Written By Matt Boecker on June 16, 2022 - Last Updated on August 1, 2023
Washington Commanders Virginia

The Rose Gaming Resort in Dumfries, Virginia might’ve just lucked out.

This small town — population 5,687 — is the future home of the Rose, which is slated to open in 2023. Now, the town and its newest neighbor may soon be welcoming another big name in the coming years.

Washington Commanders eye new stadium in Virginia

According to an ESPN report, the freshly-named Washington Commanders purchased roughly 200 acres of land in Woodbridge — just a 25-minute drive north from Dumfries on I-95.

The land cost the Commanders over $100 million and is only 10 miles from Dumfries. While the Woodbridge land is the top option for Washington and team owner Dan Snyder, the franchise is also evaluating additional options. But the team hasn’t officially commented on Woodbridge or other areas the team may relocate to.

FedEx Field in North Englewood, Maryland is the Commander’s current home. The team owns the stadium and its surrounding area. But after 2026, Washington will not be contractually obligated to play there.

Information has yet to be made official, though Snyder reportedly has the following construction plans for the next Commanders stadium:

  • 60,000-seats and a dome for year-round use
  • Team practice facility
  • 15,000-20,000 seat amphitheater
  • Small indoor music arena
  • Retail shops
  • Bars and restaurants
  • Residential living

The Rose could score big with Commanders

Colonial Downs Group, the investor behind the Rose, is elated at the idea of Washington moving just 10 miles down the road. If 60,000 football fans flock to the area for each Commanders home game, there’s sure to be large crowds making their way to the Rose during the NFL season.

Colonial Downs initially picked Dumfries as the home for the Rose to attract bettors from the more affluent communities of DC and Northern Virginia. An NFL team moving to the area would be a massive cherry on top.

What to expect from Rose Gaming Resort

The $400 million plan to construct this Rose resort is Colonial Downs’ largest investment yet.

It will sit on what was previously the Potomac Landfill. But, as the old saying goes — one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

The Rose intends to offer its guests:

  • 50,000 square feet of gaming space housing maximum 1,800 machines
  • 305-room luxury hotel
  • Eight bars and restaurants
  • Cultural center
  • Meeting and events space
  • 80 acres of green space with hiking and fitness trails, athletic fields and playgrounds

When Virginia sports betting launched in 2020, Old Dominion lawmakers only approved construction rights for five casinos with slot machines, table games and sports betting. This particular Dumfries proposal wasn’t selected, so the Rose will instead feature historical horse racing (HHR) terminals.

HHR machines are similar to slot machines, but they feature previously-run horse races to determine a winner rather than basing wins on random numbers.

Colonial Downs led the charge for Virginia to legalize HHR terminals. Now that these machines are approved, the Colonial Downs Racetrack has reopened. The advent of HHRs also allowed for off-track parlors to open in New Kent, Vinton, Richmond, Hampton, Collinsville and a temporary location in Dumfries before the main resort’s construction concludes.

Photo by AP/Patrick Semansky
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