Now and forever, not so much? Washington Business Journal reports today that DC United CEO Kevin Payne has restarted his discussions with DC council member Jack Evans, D-Ward 2, and Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton, D-D.C., about the potential of a new soccer stadium being built in the district around Poplar Point near the Anacostia river. Payne’s been here before, as he was in talks several months ago with Mayor Fenty, but the Mayor abandoned talks when it was evident they could not possibly swing funding a project of this magnitude.
The hope of United officials is to build a 20,000-seat stadium costing at least $175 Million so they can leave the archaic RFK, where DC United has won 100 games in 13 seasons (not too shabby!) With their $1.2 Million lease expiring after the 2010 season, commissioner of Major League Soccer, Don Garber, suggested the team relocate if they can’t find adequate funding to build a new stadium. Booo!!!! Bad idea.
Some say that the project could work if the city provided land at Poplar Point and partial funding for the stadium using revenue rom taxes on ticket sales, concessions and parking, rent for use of the stadium, and the sale of naming rights. The other option would be to try one of our neighbors – Virginia, which is apparently where the majority of DC United fans hail from, or Maryland, where the team has a spotty track record since PG County rejected their idea some time ago. The problem here is that Virginia doesn’t have a public stadium authority to work with the team, and finding 12 acres to build a stadium that is metro accessible in Montgomery County could be pretty difficult, according to Councilman Mike Knapp, D-District 2.
I know my hometown of Toronto built a stadium just for its team, the Toronto FC, but they also have insane attendance records, from what I can gather. Chalk it up to the fact that there are so many European descendants living in that city or whatever, but I would hate to see DC United leave the district. VAAAAMOOOOOS…VAAAMOS UNITED!!!