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Fenty on a Soccer Stadium

(By Lateef Mangum -- Courtesy D.C. Mayor's Office)

The pre-game parking lot at FedEx Field is perhaps not best suited to political discussions regarding land planning, so forgive me the tameness and generality of this brief conversation with D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty about the future of a soccer-specific stadium in the District.

"D.C. United's going to stay," Fenty told me. "Everything's going to be all right. I think one thing that's very clear, D.C. United's just a great franchise, and they've been great for the city. I think we've got a process for Poplar Point, and that may or may not include a soccer stadium, but whatever it is we're completely committed to D.C. United. We're going to work very closely with their ownership, and do everything we can to build them a new stadium, because we know that's a high priority."

I asked where such a stadium would be if not Poplar Point.

"You know, I don't know," he said. "I think when you've got the whole long as you're willing to keep all the options out there, keep everything on the table, explore all options--and we're willing to do that--then I think we'll get it done. And we, of course, at Poplar Point didn't rule out a soccer stadium. I'm sure a bunch of the proposals will have a soccer stadium."

I asked whether he's heard from United supporters about the stadium's prospects.

"Oh yeah," he said. "They just really want to make sure the city is committed to the team, and we are. When you've got the commitment, when there's a will, you'll find a way. Again, we left the Poplar Point development open, and like I said, I fully expect a number of the proposals will have a soccer stadium there. And as long as those are the best proposals for the city, that'd be great."

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 24, 2007; 11:34 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Daniel Snyder's Media Criticism


Damn right he's hearing from us. ;-)

Posted by: Riz | September 24, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Dan, one of your endearing qualities as a journalist is that you're willing to ask the right questions at the right time...even if the questioned would rather not have been asked.

Now I'm not saying that to suggest that Fenty was uncomfortable about it. I'm just saying that you are will and able to go after the story no matter what.

Well done.

Posted by: seahawkdad | September 24, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

...and I am clearly in need of an editor. That should have been 'willing and able'...

Posted by: seahawkdad | September 24, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"As long as you're willing to keep all options open".

so, parsing the mayoral bs. there will be no stadium at poplar point and fenty is gonna suggest a stadium near the water treatment plant.

thanks for asking the questions (and continuing to point out the obvious that RFK is not empty).

Posted by: FreeDC | September 24, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

From one Dan to another, thanks. It's hard to understand how the mayor could not "get it" as far as United is concerned. This is the most hopeful statement on the issue that I've heard in a while. However, there is the implied trap door of "as long as its somewhere in DC" which seems that it would considerably change the calculus for United's current ownership group.

And good on you to elicit an "oh yeah" on the issue of hearing from the supporters.

Great Bog entry!

Posted by: AlexandriaDan | September 24, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Fenty can lick my taint.

Posted by: Booger Jones | September 24, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Great pic! Next time you see the good Mayor stepping off of a Metrobus, could you ask him what his balance is on his Smartrip card?

Posted by: Rob Iola | September 24, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the effort, Steinbog. Hopefully, he will actually say something soon.

Posted by: sitruc | September 24, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

At least Mayor Fenty didn't throw declining newspaper sales in your face as an answer.

Though he did use a whole bunch of words to say very little.

Posted by: Kim | September 24, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe he is actually expecting anyone other than MacFarlane to have a soccer stadium in their proposal. NEWSFLASH Fenty: United isn't going to lease a stadium from anyone. They will own it. It's just a question of whether it will be in DC or somewhere else.

Posted by: Eric | September 24, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse


That's what I was thinking too. From DC's perspective, I could see them doing that, since it would be much harder to convince anyone to develop that plot of land without DC's help.

I'd much rather have a stadium that's Metro accessible, has all the bells and whistles and nice development around it (MacF's a little likelier to go no-frills on a stadium at McMillan), but if the alternative was Leesburg, I'd take McMillan.

Posted by: Stan | September 25, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Poplar Point has 10-15 years of environmental remediation ahead of it before there is anything there. So, don't hold your breath on a United Stadium there anytime soon (or ever really, because MacFarlane isn't likely to get that development).

Posted by: Dan-tastic | September 25, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

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