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D.C. United Owner: We're Moving to Prince George's

D.C. United owner Victor B. MacFarlane met with a group of Maryland state senators today and told them he is committed to moving his team to a new stadium in Prince George's County. And the team and county leaders have scheduled a news conference Monday to announce that they will introduce a legislative bill in the state house authorizing United to move to the county and work with the Maryland Stadium Authority.

"We think there will be a huge benefit to bringing DC United to Prince George's County," he told them.

MacFarlane has threatened to move out of D.C. before. But his renewed courtship of the Prince George's contingent comes less than two weeks after the District government's development partner dropped out of a deal at Poplar Point, MacFarlane's favored location for a new 27,000-seat stadium. United has played at 48-year-old Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium since the franchise was founded in the mid-1990s.

United is committed to building a 24,000 seat urban stadium in Prince George's, MacFarlane told the Marylane legislators. He said the team is looking at three sites -- two at the Morgan Blvd. Metro Station and one at the Largo Town Center Metro Station.

A source close to the team told the Washington Post that United "tried for two years with the city. I'm quite optisimtic about this happening, but we've got a long way to go before it becomes a reality. A million things could go wrong, but everything looks good."

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said in a statement: "The Administration hasn't received or reviewed a copy of the legislation. Once we know more about the proposal we'll be in a position to comment."

How much the stadium would cost and how its financing would be structured is not clear, nor is the appetite for public subsidies for a sports arena in the current financial crisis.

At Poplar Point, MacFarlane talked of building a hotel and conference center, attached to the stadium, and was seeking between $150 million and $225 million from the District in public financing. The D.C. Council and Fenty had balked at committing such a large amoung of public dollars after the long-fight over the financing of the Washington Nationals baseball stadium, which has cost $674 million. However, many business and community leaders in Ward 8, where Poplar Point is located, has said they supported building a stadium for the team as a way to spur economic development in the city's poorest ward.

MacFarlane told Maryland officials today that the team would pay 25 percent of the stadium cost and, on top of that, propose dedicating tax revenue generated from ticket and concession sales for its construction. A press conference is scheduled for Monday at 1 p.m. at Prince George's Community College to provide further details.

United is committed to playing at RFK at least two more seasons, said Erik Moses, chief executive of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission. Under the team's deal with the commission, United will pay the city $1.2 million a year in exchange for use of the stadium and control of revenue streams from concessions and parking, Moses said.

"I want D.C. United to stay in D.C. as long as possible, forever," Moses said. "But I understand the political realities and financial realities to making this work."

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) said, "It's certainly regrettable if they find the need to look in other places. Our financial situation is quite precarious at this point...We have to be mindful of the financial condition we're facing at this stage. We have to do everything we can to stablize the budget for residents."

Council member Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large), chair of the Committee on Economic Development, questioned whether Prince George's County could provide a financical incentive for the team, considering the county's budget deficit.

"I'd love to see what kind of deal they have to offer," he said.

Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), who has championed a new stadium in his ward and criticized the Fenty administration's handling of the Poplar Point development, could not be reached. His spokesman, Andre Johnson, said that Barry "understands D.C. United officials have a team and business to run. His goal is to try to find ways to keep them in the District. He feels the mishandling of Poplar Point by the Fenty administration was a tremendous discourse for D.C. United."

By Rosalind Helderman, David Nakamura and Nikita Stewart

By David A Nakamura  |  February 12, 2009; 5:25 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , Economic Development  
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Comments


The one big problem with this move is the crime factor in pg county. Will people be escorted from the metro, or their cars, to the stadium? You wouldn't catch me dead, pun intended, in pg after dark. Maybe, in a lot of neighborhoods, not even in the daylight. A scummy place to work and an even scummier place to live.


Posted by: mortified469 | February 12, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Uh, RFK ain't exactly in the best neighborhood in DC. Poplar Point, where they wanted to build, certainly isn't. It'll be fine.

Posted by: spidergoose | February 12, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Terrible, terrible decision.

United will lose a significant amount of the Northern VA crowd if they move out there.

I know I wont be renewing my season tickets if they are in PG County.

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | February 12, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I love the uninformed judgemental comment. Morgan Boulevard, for one, is one of the metro stops closest to FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins. I can say this because I've made the walk myself with droves of fans in the daylight and at night - fans walk to and from the metro stop on gameday without evident concern for their safety. I would not be worried about it, and I doubt DC United will.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | February 12, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Good, time to move this franchise which has bent over backwards to be a positive entity in the District. Not only did they care for the residents of Ward 8 but they had a solid plan in place to provide employment and middle income housing. If David Nakamura wasn't such a shill for the Fenty administration he might report on all the good the club has done with after school programs, UnitedForDC (the charitable arm of the franchise) and books and reading programs for inner city kids. Let Nakamura report on the Washington Nationals from here on out and tell us exactly what they give back to the community besides refusing to pay their rent at their shiny new stadium.

Posted by: CHICO13 | February 12, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Terrible, terrible decision.

United will lose a significant amount of the Northern VA crowd if they move out there.

I know I wont be renewing my season tickets if they are in PG County.

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | February 12, 2009 6:03 PM

And what, exactly, would you have them do? Stay at RFK forever, which is already crumbling around them, all the while hemorrhaging cash? Obviously they want to build a stadium in the District, but that has proven impossible.

Posted by: spidergoose | February 12, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Good. I am sick of paying more taxes so that people can watch sports. If you are a grocery store owner, you don't bully your city into building you a store. You build the store yourself or find a developer to do it. There's no reason my tax money should go to support a baseball, soccer, or anything else team. D.C. has enough budget trouble as it is. It doesn't help that the people who bullied D.C. into paying for Nationals Park are now suing the city because some of the offices weren't finished for opening day. Hey Lerners--how much do we have to pay before you're willing to get us a team that will win some games?

How about this: we could start spending money on fixing up the public parks around the District that all seem to be in disrepair. Then maybe real Washingtonians could play sports if they wanted to. Pretty soon those sports enterprises will realize that this is one of the biggest markets in the country and maybe they'll start paying for it themselves.

P.S. Are they going to change the name to P.G. United?

Posted by: philb1 | February 12, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Hem Hem.. As a PG County Resident.. I kinda resent everything you said.

The Redskins don't have issues with fans getting back and forth to their cars and homes safely. The traffic and parking situation stinks, but that's a whole other issue. And no one complained about crime at the Capitol Center, which housed, the Bullets, Caps, and Hoyas for over 20 years.

Some of the United States most affluent, and educated minorites reside in Prince George's county.

And where are they DC United playing now?
RFK?
Uhhh RFK stadium isn't exactly in the best neighborhood, last time I checked.

The Redskins moved out of that neighborhood for Landover.

Maybe it's not crime you're scared of.
Maybe there's just too many black folks in PG. That's how it sounds to me.

Haven't heard anyone wanting to move anybody to Virginia or Montgomery County?

At the same time I wished that the DC gov't could have worked out a deal to have the stadium put @ Poplar Point. It would have been a big financial shot in the arm for the poorest ward in DC.

Like YOUNG JEEZY
I will always PUT ON for my CITY.. in this case.. I'll "PUT ON" for my county!

Posted by: RobAnthony | February 12, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

If Nakamura wasn't so biased he would have reported that in the initial proposal from DC United, they offered to pay for the stadium and have the city pay for the infrastructure. So now you can enjoy your Poplar Point empty lot that will accumulate trash and generate ZERO in revenues.

Posted by: CHICO13 | February 12, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Soccer fans are entitled to their team and their right to root for it.....but.....Uh, hate to say it but 98+% of DC residents couldn't care less about the soccer team or the soccer team leaving. Certainly the residents around the expanded RFK area will be glad to see the soccer "crowds" no longer in their neighborhood.

And speaking of RFK, why did the United owner make such a fuss about RFK being inadequate in an effort to extort a sweetheart stadium-and-infrastructure deal from the DC government? Apparently RFK is fine for site consideration for high profile soccer games as part of the qualifying process for the Olympics, World Cup, etc. So if it was adequate for those purposes, why wasn't it adequate for regular season league games?

So let the billionaire that owns the DC United go build a stadium in PG County whether or not Maryland is inclined to make a hundreds-of-millions of dollars gift to him.

United, pack up and be gone. But leave behind the "DC" part of your name, "DC United." "Prince George's United" or "PG United" fit the team a lot better.

Posted by: PostToastie | February 12, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse


This slamming of Prince George's is nothing more than thinly veiled racism. Sick of it....

A white Prince Georgian...

Posted by: Towards_Light | February 12, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Two things:

1. They can't stay at RFK because they have to RENT the stadium. They make NO MONEY staying there.

2. Moving to PG County will destroy VA support. Perhaps they can make it up with folks from MD, who knows? I for one will never buy season tickets again. I know many others here in VA that are in the same boat.

Posted by: Hoost | February 12, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

A bad move on the part of the United. While the Skins made a similar move to PG County - it would be fair to say that it was not a good move. The stadium is out in the middle of no where, is difficult to get to. As a NO VA fan of the Skins and a season ticket holder I can honestly say I go to (an average) of one game a year because of the inconvenience factor associated with going to Suburban Md to watch a game. And that's for a team I love. You think people in this town will go to the suburbs for a team that they are luke warm about? In contrast, the Caps and Wizards have reaped huge benefits from moving their home to downtown DC. Suburban sporting venues in this area have been an utter failure.

Posted by: smalaveetil | February 12, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

As a fan, I'd be glad if the stadium situation was settled. Personally, I have no problem with RFK, but it's clear to me that the District has no interest in maintaining it, and only uses DC United as a placeholder until its goal of an NFL return comes true.

The PG deal, as reported at 75% cost minus some dedicated tax revenue, seems like a lot of public financing to me, but I have no frame of reference. I wonder how this compares to other similar sized projects? Perhaps the key is that dedicated tax item - how much might that be?

It will be interesting to see how this develops, and also how the District reacts. Might this all be a negotiating ploy by the team?

Posted by: CDRHoek | February 12, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

"Under the team's deal with the commission, United will pay the city $1.2 million a year in exchange for use of the stadium and control of revenue streams from concessions and parking, Moses said."

Wait, I thought parking and concessions were *not* under team control - just tickets?

Well, at least we have some progress. Would you rather the team end up in Portland or St. Louis than in Maryland?

Posted by: LookingDangerous | February 12, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I would be interested in the details. Who will actually own the stadium if DCU only puts up 25%? McFarlane likes to make big plans with other people's money. Doesn't he have any of his own -- especilly since CalPers pulled the plug on him an no longer allow him to invest their funds?

Posted by: LostinPotomac | February 12, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I ride the Metro from Northern VA to RFK. Between the distance to the metro and the fairly long ride to the stadium, it's already at the edge of how long I want to travel, stay at the game and travel back. I always have to leave early because of the massess of Northern VA folk going back on the metro.

Regardless of neighborhoods or anything else, I just think it is going to be too far for many Northern Virginians who aren't close to the district. As Goff said the other day, maybe more fans will come Baltimore and Annapolis to offset the loss. It's too bad. DC really blew this and I'm disapointed that the Poplar Point site did not work out.

Posted by: Beckster1 | February 12, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Terrible, terrible decision.

United will lose a significant amount of the Northern VA crowd if they move out there.

I know I wont be renewing my season tickets if they are in PG County.

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | February 12, 2009 6:03 PM
_______________________________________________

Umm, have you ever heard of a team called the Washington Redskins? They're a storied Washington area football team. They are located off the Morgan Blvd metro station. I would bet a significant number of fans are from NoVa. Plus the area surrounding RFK is the ghetto. DC doesn't want to play ball, so United has to go elsewhere.

Posted by: jabreal00 | February 12, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Apparently RFK is fine for site consideration for high profile soccer games as part of the qualifying process for the Olympics, World Cup, etc.

Posted by: PostToastie | February 12, 2009 6:39 PM

I'm sure the team made the most of problems at RFK during negotiations, but power was lost several times during games last year! I'm glad that USSF has selected RFK for another qualifier this year, but I'm surprised by it. I think that the power and light failures (and that chunk of concrete that broke of and fell a couple years ago) show a stadium that needs some work.

If it were properly maintained, RFK is fine, in my opinion. But since the District refuses to do any work there - as they intend to replace it when the NFL comes back - it does keep degrading.

Posted by: CDRHoek | February 12, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow--PhilB1 and Post Toastie--didn't get your coffee this morning? Someone took your favorite parking space?

1. PhilB1, there was no tax money DC United was asking for. They wanted the land and they wanted DC govt. to put in water/sewer and roads to serve the larger plot of land (most of which wouldn't have been for DC United). Note: DC Govt has to put in roads and sewer/water regardless of who builds there. Instead, Fenty figured it made sense to put the land out for bid. The group that put in the "best bid" now is taking about delaying all building for 10 years (because it makes no sense to put in condos or office space in a depressed market). So DC Govt. gets hosed--they have a lot they have to send police and trash collection through, they get no revenue from it. Oh, and the DCU masterplan included park space. So now, DC Govt ends up with LESS tax money to do the things you want done.

2. PostToastie--what's your point? No-one is arguing that 90% of the District wants to go to DC United games. In fact, 90% of the public doesn't want to go to Caps games or Nats game. You know what--I bet there are all sorts of things worthy of spending money on that right now 98% of the DC population wouldn't pay increased taxes for--yet they're still worthy of doing. And for what it's worth Posttostie, the Ward residents were the ones firmly in support of building the soccer stadium--go figure!

You say that RFK is good enough for high profile matches--um....gang, most of the US World Cup qualifying matches aren't held at RFK anymore. Ditto with Olympics. The actual World Cup matches were held in 1994--you think the stadium has aged just a little bit since then? Why did the Skins move out? In fact, why is rumored that Snyder wants to move BACK to DC and have them tear down RFK first? RFK has a great pitch but it's falling apart and it loses money for RFK.

Here's the deal: DCU has bent over backwards to the city and city govt. just isn't getting it done. DCU can't keep waiting and waiting. I'm not going to love commuting to PG County for games. But we'll make it work.

Posted by: JoeW1 | February 12, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

As a Virginian who prefers that DC United stay in the District, I am thrilled that DC United will have a new home anywhere in the Metro area. I will most definitely go wherever the new stadium is built. I may not go as often, but I will still go.

There are a lot of Virginians who don't go into DC or MD, for whatever reason, and there are a lot of DCers & MDers who don't go into VA, for whatever reason. I think that driving in an unfamiliar locale has a lot to do with it.

If you check out your ADC Road-maps or your GPS, you shouldn't have any problems going anywhere in our Metro area.

Posted by: bs2004 | February 12, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Terrible, terrible decision.

United will lose a significant amount of the Northern VA crowd if they move out there.

I know I wont be renewing my season tickets if they are in PG County.

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | February 12, 2009 6:03 PM

-------------------------------------------
I think you're wrong.
I will renew mine, mike316, and I live in VA.
Either you're chicken little or just a troll.

There's nothing wrong with PG County.

Posted by: Towson_Tiger | February 12, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Well Mr. MacFarlane, screw you. Get the hell out. Just don't call your team DC United. It is PG United.

Posted by: jethro1 | February 12, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

DC government is such a joke. They give the store away to the Nationals and the ungrateful MLB/Lerners, and then disrespect DC United which has worked tirelessly in the community. Maybe DC's financial situation wouldn't be so "precarious" if they chose their business partners more wisely.

Posted by: Pedalada | February 12, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Jethro, I'll still support them!

P.G. United! Clap-clap, cla-cla-cla-clap!
P.G. United! Clap-clap, cla-cla-cla-clap!
P.G. United! Clap-clap, cla-cla-cla-clap!
P.G. United! Clap-clap, cla-cla-cla-clap!
P.G. United! Clap-clap, cla-cla-cla-clap!
P.G. United! Clap-clap, cla-cla-cla-clap!
P.G. United! Clap-clap, cla-cla-cla-clap!
P.G. United! Clap-clap, cla-cla-cla-clap!
P.G. United! Clap-clap, cla-cla-cla-clap!

Posted by: bs2004 | February 12, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Nakamura, Fisher and the Post have taken a pretty hard line stance against DC United's new stadium since day one and I think as soon as Berry backed the project the Post and Fenty made sure Poplar Point would never become a possibility. The worst scenario for them would be Berry actually succeeding in Ward 8 and cutting the ribbon on a huge new soccer/hotel/retail/residential development on his watch.

It was all politics. Nakamura, Fisher and the Post had no problem with a $600+ million DC financed stadium for the Nats. They distorted the numbers and the amount that was going to be used to pay for the DC United stadium vs. the amount that was going to be used to pay for site cleanup (which will be necessary with any Poplar Point development).

MacFarlane finally realized that fighting a DC political battle is expensive and pointless…especially when Berry joins your side.

Good work DC and thank you Post for your extremely biased coverage…and now you have your excuse to stop coverage of an outside of DC sports team.

Posted by: Southeasterner | February 12, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Seems like an appropriate time to post this again:

"Thank you Kevin for this D.C. United jersey and congratulations on your terrific season. It is great to see over 20,000 fans here at RFK supporting D.C. United. It is my hope that your fans will soon be coming to your brand new soccer stadium at Poplar Point in Anacostia. World class fans, and a world class team like D.C. United, deserve a world class stadium. And I am going to make it a priority to help you build that stadium. Thank you -- congratulations and good luck to the Black-and-Red!"

-Adrian Fenty on Oct 29 2006 (right before a mayoral elction mind you)

link to full article: http://www.mlsnet.com/news/team_news.jsp?ymd=20061031&content_id=77524&vkey=news_dcu&fext=.jsp&team=t103

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 12, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking at the Metro Trip Planner. From Franconia-Springfield to New Carrollton or Greenbelt takes about 1hr 20min to 1hr 30min, it looks like.

I love the black and red, but that's a lot of blue and orange or blue and green between here and there. Probably wouldn't stop me on a Saturday, but those midweek or Sunday night matches, forget it. And this year that would only be two matches, plus whatever else gets added into the schedule as the season progresses.

All of us United fans want this to work. We need our own stadium, we need the revenue that goes along with it (or at least the owners do). But, man, three hours on a train for two hours of footy. Maybe I need to become PGMatt.

Posted by: novamatt | February 12, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Virginia's suburbs are poorly served by Metro. Therefore we are drivers. As the crow flies, this is only a few miles further.

But we're not flying crows; this adds a lot of night, post beer driving for the far suburbs, which are thick soccer areas. I used to go to Capitol Center a lot, and it was the drive after on the Beltway that stopped me from going. RFK has the quickest and easiest exit for Virginians that you could hope for.

Not whining, just telling you my reality. If my trip home goes from 40 minutes (current) to 65-70 mins (my guess from the Cap Center days), it will have an impact on the games I attend.

Posted by: JkR- | February 12, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mayor Fenty for insuring that I never spend ANOTHER dime in the District of Columbia.

Posted by: CHICO13 | February 12, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

This is great news!
Oh. For all you uninformed people who think big bad Prince George's County is too dangerous....
I'm 52 and white. I've lived in this county all my life. It's a great place to live.
Maybe United can build it's stadium right near the PG Redskins, eh?

So sorry there's such ignorance about our county but I'm thrilled to have United moving here.

We'll be there cheering for United, that much is for sure.

Oh. By the way, the possible sites for the stadium are only a couple of Metro stops from RFK. I'm sure all those Virginia fans can suffer through a couple more stops.

Posted by: robin5956 | February 12, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Even the area Latinos won't want to drive into plauge infested PG county. They work hard and don't want their ride punked by some "yo".

Posted by: ImpeachObama | February 12, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I fixed your comment for you.

This slamming of Prince George's is nothing more than thinly veiled racism. Sick of it....

The only white Prince Georgian...

Posted by: Towards_Light | February 12, 2009 6:43 PM

Posted by: ImpeachObama | February 12, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the memories at RFK! Now the Maryland and PG County taxpayers can pay for the move. Best of luck.

Posted by: NewEra | February 12, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love the extreme overreactions. As it happens, last season, I discovered the Morgan Blvd Metro Station. If I'm leaving my Bethesda home late for a United game, I make the circle all the way over to Morgan Blvd., and hop on the Metro for an 12 minute ride to RFK. Often, that seems like a better bet -- and certainly cheaper than parking at RFK. I'm quite happy to use the Metro, and walk to my car after the game. No worries about the neighborhood, which is mostly woodlands.

I find it incredible that NoVa fans can't ride another 12 minutes. I realize that might be a time crunch for those who cut it close getting to DCU games on time, but for the rest of you -- shame on you. Besides -- look at the schedule. DCU is going with Saturday night games. Surely you can make it out on a Saturday night, and deal with another 10 or 15 minutes on the Metro.

Drivers from NoVa -- shame on you, too. It's probably no more than 10 or 15 minutes more to your drive. Hell, when the Cosmos were around, I had to make it back and forth over the GW Bridge. It was an hour on a good day.

They've chosen a good location that's not much different than where they're at now. Sure, Poplar Point might have been more centrally located -- but they're not at Poplar Point now. They're at the very edge of the city, and bow they'll be a few miles out on the other side of the river. Big deal.

Posted by: fischy | February 12, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

You're kind of over reacting there too fischy, just because some N.VA people are saying they don't like it, there are a ton who will go regardless. The Barra contingency will go wherever they build it. And I'd say more than half our members come from VA.

Posted by: CHICO13 | February 12, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Where's the outrage by the Mayor and City Council? The Nationals held events in PG County and the Council is still crying. DC United, OTOH, is a successful franchise, on and off the field. The District is letting them leave without a whimper. I hope the team changes it's name to something other than DC United once the move is through. Like Capitol United or something that gets the taint of the District out of the name.

The last day DC United plays at RFK will be the last dime I ever spend in the District. Thanks for nothing, Fenty.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | February 12, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

So that'll be a 40 min drive to Vienna, then 1 hour on the Metro. Hmmmmm, I'd still do it! Never on weekdays though. Or just drive all the way with my GPS. If it means a place of our own, then do it! It's for the better of the club and that comes first. Might mean a few less games from out here in farmland, but a new stadium and the team not moving is awesome! Oh yea....screw you Fenty!

Posted by: boda-united | February 12, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I hope they utterly fail if they move from DC.

Posted by: CrestwoodKat | February 12, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I hope they utterly fail if they move from DC.

Posted by: CrestwoodKat | February 12, 2009 8:04 PM
---------------------------

Um, why? They don't want to leave DC, they have to.

Posted by: spidergoose | February 12, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

And Jayrockers, don't be so dramatic. The District is still THE entertainment and cultural center of this region. I'm sure we'll get more of your money.

Posted by: CrestwoodKat | February 12, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I am sad all around. I wouldn't call the racism I see as thinly veiled in some cases. I think DC is making a massive mistake. I would prefer to see them stay in DC, but if I had McFarlane's millions invested in the team, I wouldn't spend one extra day in a situation where I have no hope of making money. Chang and McFarlane didn't buy the team because they thought we were cute and deserved their cash. They are in it for the money, as we all would be.

If you won't go see "PG United", then stick with your Maryland Redskins.

Posted by: bdwooton | February 12, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

mortified469 you're an idiot to make such a racist remark. I don't see redskins fans being escorted to their cars. You need some minority friends.

Posted by: 40acres | February 12, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

While it is unfortunate that United will more than likely move, what's worse are the "fans" that won't renew simply because they have to travel a bit farther. The team doesn't need fans like that. The team needs this...they should have had this long ago. I think folks understand some aspects of the District's money issues, but they have had more than enough time to come up with a solution. If you are truly a fan, you do what you have to to support your team.

Posted by: United008 | February 12, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, comments by PostToastie were pretty uninformed. In regards to the wusses who won't drive from NoVa to PG: suck it up! I drive from Charlottesville to RFK. Get over it!

Posted by: bigwave | February 12, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

38 year old white male here, who lives in Vienna, VA.

PG is fine. It is only what 2 or 3 metro stops farther? driving may be a little more difficult, but who knows? i drive now, and it can't be much farther. comparing united to skins games is crazy. there is about an 70,000 person difference.

all the racist haters who are ragging on PG - get a grip. crime is everywhere. i for one will be keeping my tix, and still bringing the kids.

Posted by: torrey151 | February 12, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

This sucks for everyone but PG county. Shame on Fenty for blowing this. There's only so long DC United could take getting lied to and extorted from. At this point the very best poplar point can hope for is crystal city but it's looking more and more like federal triangle without the government buildings.

congratulations fenty - you have failed and this lifelong District resident will remember.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | February 12, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

"This slamming of Prince George's is nothing more than thinly veiled racism. Sick of it...."

No it isn't. Facts don't lie. The crime in PG County is out of control. How is it racist if these are the facts? The answer is it isn't. Sounds like you have a hard time dealing with the facts.

Posted by: JDB1 | February 12, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

United, pack up and be gone. But leave behind the "DC" part of your name, "DC United." "Prince George's United" or "PG United" fit the team a lot better.

Posted by: PostToastie | February 12, 2009 6:39 PM
-----------------------

Hah! Yeah, like when the PG Bullets and PG Caps used to play at the PG Center back in the day.

Dude, remember when Judas Priest rocked the PG Center?!

Posted by: edgeonyou | February 12, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

To my fellow Virginians--Before whining about distances/metro times, take 30 seconds and use mapquest to see that the new sites are only 10-15 minutes past RFK. Its not like they relocating to the Soccerplex.

Posted by: jmingus | February 12, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

For all the fans who will not travel to see dc play in MD, its easy, its your choice and no one will take that away from you. Just next don't call yourself a fanatic, just call yourself a casual fan or a baseball fan.

I just got back from the US game in OHIO and will tell you that its the Fanatics that will lead UNITED and the league to the next level, without them there would be no MLS. The casual fan can moan and groan, but United knows that no matter what decesion they make the Fanatic will always be there for the Team. The Fanatic bleeds for the colors, and the Fanatic is the one that brings more fanatics to the games. So just moan and groan as much as you want, THIS FANATIC will go anywhere to see UNITED.

2 Loves
USA and UNITED

Posted by: Norteno4life | February 12, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

A couple of things to keep in mind. If you're a super-ultra-hardcore fan, you'd go see United if they played at 8:30 every Tuesday morning in Towson. And you wouldn't have to worry about your flag blocking someone's view because there would be nobody behind you.

People in Northern Virginia are skittish about driving long distances. We have this bad traffic thing going on, you see, and we know how one-hour trips can make you wish you had brought a meal or two with you. And maybe a change of clothes.

And we're really skittish about driving into Maryland, which we don't know anything about except that it's very, very far away. I've actually driven to a couple of Open Cup games at the Maryland Soccerplex, which was apparently located somewhere in central Pennsylvania.

I love United. And I'm going to go to games at the new stadium, if I can find it. But I'm going to go to fewer ones, and I'm not going to go to any when I have to work the next day. And there's probably a lot of people out there like me. I'm sure United have thought long and hard about this, and think this is the best decision they can make. That's fine. It's maybe not completely random that the 24k seats for this is 3k less than what they talked about for Poplar Point.

Posted by: novamatt | February 12, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I hate Fenty for his lies and betrayal and I have never met the man. However if one day our paths cross I will be sure to lay in on him for being a true politician and spewing lies to get votes.

Posted by: elfelixg | February 12, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said in a statement: "The Administration hasn't received or reviewed a copy of the legislation. Once we know more about the proposal we'll be in a position to comment."///
YOU COULDN'T CARE LESS SO GO TO HELL.
"I want D.C. United to stay in D.C. as long as possible, forever," Moses said. "But I understand the political realities and financial realities to making this work."
YOU ARE AN A.HOLE. THERE IS NOTHING IN YOUR HEART THAT YOU WANTED TO KEEP UNITED IN DC OTHER THAN THAT DESIRE TO TAKE THE PROFIT. YOU TREAT US HORRIBLY IN RFK."I'd love to see what kind of deal they have to offer," BROWN said.
MUCH BETTER THAN YOU CAN EVER VISION CERTAINLY.
SO SCREW THEM ALL. I will go no matter where in the metro area. United can keep the same name as the skins.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | February 12, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh, gee, I've seen the error of my ways from the taunting of such true fans....maybe someday, I can be a true fan too. Not sure if I live far enough away, though...

Posted by: JkR- | February 12, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Can't build it in DC but Gotta build it somewhere. If in VA you lose the casual fan from the land of Mary. Build it in MD. you lose the casual from the land of Virgins. I wish it was in DC but just build the damn thing.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | February 12, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

While I have mixed feelings about public financing of stadia or most businesses, I have to laugh at DC. They overpaid and overbid, bidding against themselves, for the Nationals. The stadium cost much more than projected and now Lerners, who received a free stadium and concessions, will not pay rent while using the stadium. The stadium looks like crap. Someone better find out where that almost $ 700 million went !

Posted by: labear | February 12, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

novamatt hit it right on the head. people in va sit in enough traffic, and while its great to say "oh get over it, its just another 15 minutes", we all know thats bs. And its the same for Metro. I too will continue to support the team and go to games, but I will certainly go to less of them.

and i still can not understand how the dc government built a $600M + stadium for the Nats, but balked at the notion of covering infrastructure costs for a parcel of land that would not have even been available for use by the city, were it not for the legwork put in by United.

Posted by: VTUnited | February 12, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse


Fenty, and the Post through their cynical manipulations and their mutual hatred of Marion Berry, and disdain for the 8th Ward - bunch of nothings ( as far as they see it), thought they would play the United. Now Fenty's picked developer has dropped out.

What is also ironic is that the District was going to pay for infrastructure and in-kind payments, the same if not more than McFarland was asking for them to pay for this new developer. What would the people of Ward 8 get as compared to what United was offering, virtually nothing, but then again, they are nothing. If Fenty chose to truly take the money that would have gone to the United and done something for Ward 8, I would support that, but that is not the case.

What did Fenty and the District get with this other developer, they would get to own the stadium and rent it to DC United. If the upfront cost were about the same, what is this really about. I think politics and ego for Fenty !

When I saw the new developer's deal, I was like "say what". Where's the savings ????

Posted by: labear | February 12, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

The stadium looks like crap. Someone better find out where that almost $ 700 million went !

Posted by: labear | February 12, 2009 10:32 PM

Apparently baseball players require quite a bit of costly “supplements” in order to compete at the highest level. To subsidize the purchase of these supplements and the PR related to their use I would guess MLB needs all the extra cash it can get.

Posted by: Southeasterner | February 13, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Bravo DC United!

Fenty you can go to h e double hockey sticks. It is so satisfying to see someone (Fenty) that was guilty of stabbing another (DC United) in the back getting the same back.
I am thrilled for DC United. They have been a model franchise to the community and deserved better treatment than Fenty gave them.

Posted by: croftonpost | February 13, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Impeach Obama,

Your racist rant is repulsive and I intend to report you. Have a nice day!

Posted by: croftonpost | February 13, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I live in Bristow, VA, and have been a season ticket holder for years. Despite the fact that we have the longest average commute times in the country out here, I will continue to support the team in MD. I think it stinks that the team won't be in DC, but it is not the team's fault.

I too will not be spending another dime in DC. I will still go into the city to play pick-up soccer and visit the FREE museums, but I will pack all of my food and drinks in with me. I used to spend a lot of money in DC on game day. Now they will never get another penny of tax revenue form me.

Posted by: DCU4LIFE | February 13, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse

Yep, I'll still go to games. Another 10 minutes, and having to wait for the Blue line instead of Blue or Orange is certainly a drag, but not a deal breaker.

Can the Post write a follow up article breaking down the financials of each deal? The money going back to PG from tax revenue at games/events makes it sound like a much better deal that what DC was offered. But, I don't know if that $150 - $225M was just to cover the infrastructure bits, or United would be paying that back with tax money, too.

At the end of the day, if making this move gives the team financial stability and they stay in the area, I'm down. Not excited, but down.

Posted by: eadc | February 13, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Can the Post write a follow up article breaking down the financials of each deal? The money going back to PG from tax revenue at games/events makes it sound like a much better deal that what DC was offered. But, I don't know if that $150 - $225M was just to cover the infrastructure bits, or United would be paying that back with tax money, too.

At the end of the day, if making this move gives the team financial stability and they stay in the area, I'm down. Not excited, but down.

Posted by: eadc | February 13, 2009 2:09 AM

Over the past few years I have written to Nakamura regarding the detailed financing of the project and Fisher regarding contact information for all the environmental groups that he said were against the project.

Nakamura was unable to provide any detailed numbers and said they were from second hand sources. But he did admit the amount that he routinely quotes as the public financing of the stadium includes all of the site cleanup and infrastructure development, so in truth the actual amount going into just the stadium could be $0 for all we (and he) knows.

As far as Fisher his overwhelming opposition to the stadium project (but not the condos that are being built instead) by environmental groups was pretty much a straight up lie. He couldn’t provide any actual names of people or groups except for one that turned out to be two guys who worked for a developer who was competing against the MacFarlane proposal.

Goff refuses to get involved so really nobody at the Post is giving us the facts regarding the Poplar Point stadium development which is pretty sad.

Posted by: Southeasterner | February 13, 2009 5:18 AM | Report abuse

PG County? No thanks. I don't recall reading an article in the WaPo about PG County that was in any way favorable. Corrupt cops, corrupt politicians, high crime rate. Not sure I'm going to be renewing my season tickets unless I can be convinced otherwise.

Posted by: roadkit | February 13, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

PG County? No thanks. I don't recall reading an article in the WaPo about PG County that was in any way favorable. Corrupt cops, corrupt politicians, high crime rate. Not sure I'm going to be renewing my season tickets unless I can be convinced otherwise.

Posted by: roadkit | February 13, 2009 7:22 AM

----

So you would have been okay at Poplar Point, in the heart of Anacostia? Or for that matter, RFK, which, by your logic, isn't in the best neighborhood.

So much subtle (and not so subtle) racism going on here.

Posted by: NattyBo1985 | February 13, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Assuming all this goes through:
Logistically, this will be a slightly bigger pain for me to get to a game - a couple extra metro stops, gotta switch lines. I can deal with that. The part that really irks me is the fact that DC United will no longer be in DC. It just doesn't make sense. They're a big part of this city, and it makes me incredibly sad and beyond disappointed that those with decision-making power here couldn't see that and failed to keep them in DC.
Still, an optimist at heart, I am thrilled at the prospect that United will actually get a home of their own - and won't that be sweet - no matter where it is.

Posted by: JB252 | February 13, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

To all the people saying these sites are too far, do you realize that Morgan Blvd is 12 minutes farther on Metro than Stadium Armory? If the stadium site is adjacent to the metro you could get a significant chunk of that time back in saved walking. Also the metro station is a 14 minute drive from RFK (which you almost certainly would not drive to first). In the end we're talking about an extra 10 minutes travel time, if you can't stomach that you have no business calling yourself a fan.

Posted by: mfrahm | February 13, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"He feels the mishandling of Poplar Point by the Fenty administration was a tremendous discourse for D.C. United."

Let's look up the word "discourse"...

Ah yes, that would be a tremendous verbal expression in speech or writing.

That's a bad thing?

I think you mean "a tremendous disservice", Mr. Johnson and I think the Post missed a "[sic]"

Posted by: bergamot | February 13, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I agree with chico13 that we, the Barra, will follow but we ain't gonna be happy about it. Again, the Fenty administration has failed to grasp the big picture. Economic development in the Ward 8 area is going forward but stadium would have brought a new dimension to just condos and offices. The council has seen the light and we thank Chairman Gray and CM Brown, Barry others for their support. As far as the administration, walk towards the light Mr. Mayor. Walk towards the light

Posted by: jmanthom | February 13, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

A soccer team leaving a city would be like a tree falling in a forest with no one that to hear it. I would wish the irrelevent sports team bon voyage except I live just on the Maryland side of the line and I sure don't want my tax dollars wasted on professional grass diving. I'll start writing my state legislators right now. Thanks for the tip.

Posted by: LittleSal | February 13, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm in NOVA and I think the perception is overwhelming the reality for those who claim they're set to give up on the team over distance concerns.

For every one in NOVA, the sites are just four Metro stops beyond the Stadium-Armory stop (or a whopping five stops if they put it at the Largo stop). I'm sorry, but if you're already into the team and pro soccer, another ten minutes sitting on the train shouldn't mean death to your fandom.

Plus, the sites are right on the Beltway as well. I don't recall the Cap Centre -- which was located near where the potential sites are -- being empty and lacking support from NOVA, and we all know about nearby FedEx. For all the people who talk about never going there, the place still seems to draw a crowd.

Besides, most games are on the weekends, and there should be no issue either taking Metro or driving from NOVA to the stadium on a Saturday or Sunday evening. I can't see parents telling some soccer-crazed kids in NOVA "Forget it" just because of a few Metro stops or a marginally longer drive.

Posted by: one2 | February 13, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"I'm down. Not excited, but down."

They're on the verge of getting a new stadium; isn't that a godo thing for DC United fans? They're not going to Philly, they're not folding!

Posted by: one2 | February 13, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

It's no Silver Spring or Arlington, but it's a okay spot. Might be able to attract fans from Annapolis and Southern Maryland, two big soccer regions, while retaining the majority of the DC area by staying on a Metro subway line.

Posted by: cprferry | February 13, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Interesting story, but very few people go to those games! Do they ever get more than 5-10k at the games? I live near the stadium, and on the metro and outside the stadium, the crowd is at least 90% Latino. They should play in a Latino neighborhood like Columbia Heights. I don't think DC will be losing very much tax income if they move.

Posted by: taloisi | February 13, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you ever go to the game. It's a mixed fanbase. It's not 90% anything. It's everyone from all over the region.

Average attendence for DC United last season was close to 20,000.

Posted by: Cavan9 | February 13, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Talioisi has never been in Columbia Heights either. Columbia Heights isn't a Latino neighborhood.

Posted by: song219 | February 16, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

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