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Anti-Soccer Stadium Petition Launched

Don't look now, but the drumbeat of opposition to a new, publicly subsidized soccer stadium for D.C. United has gotten started. Friends of the Earth, which is lobbying to keep much of Poplar Point devoted to environmentally friendly development, has launched a petition on its Web site, asking residents to join the fight.

The Web site reads: "Now Mayor Fenty and the Council are considering a proposal to use $150 million or more in public funds to subsidize a soccer stadium along the Anacostia. The issue here is not one of liking sports, but of who pays. We need all the public money we can get to achieve the goal of a healthy, energy efficient, livable city."

Friends of the Earth was among the groups which opposed the $611 million baseball stadium package. It intends to present the soccer petition to city leaders June 16.

By David A Nakamura  |  June 5, 2008; 4:19 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , David Nakamura  
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Comments

Hopefully this time, now that the District isn't as flush with cash, the Council won't sign off on borrowing such a huge amount of money for another stadium.

The District's CFO says the stadium financing could push us above our recommended debt limit. Increasing our debt would increase the chances that the District will delay or scale back on school modernizations. (Already this year, Mayor Fenty proposed cutting school modernization funding by 15 percent; thanks to the Council, the funds were restored.)

As the Post editorialized Saturday: "Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi is right to be worried about how much debt the District takes on. If the council decides to fund soccer, what other project won't be undertaken? Should the District pay out these millions of dollars when it is still unable to address the basic needs of many of its residents?"

The DCPS athletic budget is about $3 million -- we have too few teams, poorly paid coaches, falling apart uniforms etc etc. I'm all for a major investment in sports, but let's invest in sports in our schools and rec centers first!

Posted by: Marc Borbely | June 5, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

WHAT! Americans against the most popular past time in the world, who would have thought!

Posted by: MK Potomac | June 5, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Right. I mean, who cares about bringing in jobs and development for SE DC as long as suburbanites have their precious park space. I wonder if any of those "Friends of the Earth" have ever set foot in Poplar Point.

Posted by: TK | June 5, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Please explain to me why DC United can't play in the stadium on South Capitol Street?

Posted by: eclectic elder | June 5, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

DC United fans had online petitions too....

Posted by: sitruc | June 6, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Please explain to me why DC United can't play in the stadium on South Capitol Street?

Posted by: eclectic elder | June 5, 2008 11:45 PM
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No, do your own homework. It should be obvious if you know the stadium at all. I'm sick of explaining it to newbs.

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Right. I mean, who cares about bringing in jobs and development for SE DC as long as suburbanites have their precious park space. I wonder if any of those "Friends of the Earth" have ever set foot in Poplar Point.

Posted by: TK | June 5, 2008 11:37 PM
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Nor would they if it was kept as a park, for fear of getting mugged.


Posted by: S | June 6, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Wait, is that Nakamura leading the drumbeat? Surely he knows and has reported that DC United fans have had a similar petition for years now.

Oh, nevermind. The mouthpiece for Fenty and Co persists...

Posted by: Willardo DuPont | June 6, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Hey David, why don't you write about the petition that supporters of the stadium - thousands of them - signed and sent to the Mayor? Maybe it's because you're a tool of the Fenty Administration - a mayor who desperately wants a safe way out of the stadium commitment he made to 20,000 fans the week before he was elected. Is it even possible for you to write about this? We have no faith in your reporting David. The Post should have a zero tolerance policy toward reporters who agree to deals with the elected official they are charged with covering.

Posted by: James | June 6, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Good point Willardo. One owes it to equal time to post that petition as well:

http://www.petitiononline.com/dcunited/

Posted by: S | June 6, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

"Friends of Earth" tend to not be friends of anything.

Posted by: Reason | June 6, 2008 2:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm frequently bewildered when a group in DC says "stadiums don't help grow areas", when DC has a brilliant (private/public partnership) in the Verizon Center. It seems as thought he baseball stadium area is quite on it's way as well.

Does this 'friends' group have an idea to help the economy of the region East of the River? Do they have any sort of idea of what to do with land that's to be given to the District in order to raise money through tax revenue? Hint: Poplar Point isn't Yellostone and parkland doesn't raise a nickel for the District.

Posted by: Logic | June 6, 2008 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Don't look now, but the Washington Post is once again mocking people who want to stand up to those who want to hand over everything in this city to big developers. Refurbish RFK for the bloody soccer stadium.

Posted by: Now Look | June 6, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Don't look now, but the Washington Post is once again mocking people who want to stand up to those who want to hand over everything in this city to big developers. Refurbish RFK for the bloody soccer stadium.

Posted by: Now Look | June 6, 2008 8:08 AM
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WTF?!?? The Washington Post is *advertising* for the other side. Come down off the cross.

Posted by: Jim | June 6, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and refurbishing RFK would cost more than building a new one, but way to be fiscally "sound."

Posted by: Jim | June 6, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks. I try. Way to go to you too! YEA!!!!!

Posted by: gracias | June 9, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

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