News & Politics

5 Facts About Dumfries, Virginia, the Possible New Home of the Washington Commanders

It's indirectly responsible for the myth of George Washington and the cherry tree.

Photograph by Flickr user josuppi.

The Washington Commanders have purchased about 200 acres of land in Prince William County as the site of a possible new stadium, according to ESPN. The land cost the Commanders $100 million, John Keim reports. The team is eyeing more land just off I-95 in Dumfries, Virginia, Keim writes.

According to a source, their plans include a 60,000-seat domed stadium — so it can be used throughout the year — as well as the team’s practice facility; an amphitheater seating 15,000 to 20,000; a small indoor music arena; high-end retail shops; bars and restaurants; and residential living. The roof would be translucent and the stadium’s facade could change colors — it would be white during the day and, for example, burgundy at night.

Here are a few facts about the team’s theoretical new home:

  1. Dumfries is named after a town in Scotland. Scots pronounce its name “dum-FREESE,” while Virginians tend to pronounce their version’s name as “DUM-freeze.” Both are acceptable in context.
  2. Dumfries is the oldest chartered town in Virginia.
  3. It’s home to the Weems-Botts Museum, named for Mason Locke “Parson” Weems, the first biographer of George Washington (and the source of the cherry tree myth), and Benjamin Botts, who worked as a defense attorney for Aaron Burr.
  4. According to the town’s own website, “Due to numerous factors, Dumfries peaked in size and importance in 1763.”
  5. Dumfries is something of a hotspot for legalized gambling: Rosie’s Gaming Emporium opened last January, and ground has been broken on a huge new resort on the site of a former landfill, which WJLA reports could open as soon as late next year.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.