The Washington Commanders’ move into the University of Maryland’s Discovery District could entice other companies to follow the team to College Park.

In addition, the move could broaden internship and employment opportunities in the city.

“They’ve got a real track record of hiring interns … from the University of Maryland,”  the Discovery District’s Chief Strategy Officer for Economic Development Ken Ulman said. 

The three-time Super Bowl champions moved their headquarters and more than 200 employees — not the athletes, though — to the top floor of 4600 River Road in January. The university, which owns the Discovery District, had the secure, four-story building constructed in 2020. 

The Discovery District is a 150-acre research park close to campus that has largely focused on supporting university-related startups and federal agencies, including IonQ, a quantum computing company, and the Food and Drug Administration.

“As we have matured as a district, we are now starting to be seen as a go-to location for companies of all types,” Ulman said. “The Commanders are a significant business with a lot of needs for diverse talent.”

The proximity to campus, Metro and eventually the Purple Line will make it easy for employees of  the company to visit local restaurants and shops. The team also will be able to recruit future employees from the local talent pool.

On the team’s move-in day, Testudo, the university’s mascot, welcomed employees to their new home.

“We’re really working very hard to make sure that tenants and partners in the Discovery District feel a connection to the university,” Ulman said.

In the aftermath of the pandemic and the rise of hybrid work, Ulman has found that highlighting local amenities and partnerships with the university differentiates the Discovery District from competing office space.

“When people are choosing where to locate an office, it’s that much more important to offer that value proposition to make sure people feel like they’re a part of a community, not just picking one of many office buildings that somebody could choose to rent space in,” Ulman said.

Not only is the Commanders’ move beneficial for the Discovery District, but having a household name based in College Park could also be an asset for the city as a whole, according to College Park Mayor Fazlul Kabir.

“So certainly we’ll be highlighting this exciting news as we try to attract new businesses in College Park,” Kabir said.

The Commanders have operated out of their Landover stadium, formerly called FedEx Field, since the late 1990s. The team’s contract to use the stadium will end in 2027. 

Speculation about where the team will move includes rumors of a return to RFK Stadium, in the District, especially as legislation to upgrade the facility makes its way through Congress. But team officials have said staying in Maryland, or moving to Virginia, are also options.