D.C. United to Baltimore = revenue
Relocating the D.C. United soccer team to the Baltimore area would create between 780 and 940 jobs and up to $6.4 million in annual state and local tax revenues, according to a study issued Dec. 22 by the Maryland Stadium Authority and a Florida consulting firm.
D.C. United, which currently plays its home games at RFK Stadium, has been looking for a new building to call home for years. After the team failed to secure stadium agreements with officials in D.C. and Prince George's County, Baltimore officials last year asked for a study of the potential economic impact that building a new stadium for the team would have on the area.
Researchers from Crossroads Consulting Services of Tampa considered the possibility of building a 25,000-seat stadium for D.C. United as part of a $1.1 billion mixed-use waterfront development planned for Westport, south of Baltimore. They said a stadium on that site would create up to $30.3 million in direct spending and $78.5 million in indirect spending annually, leading to jobs and tax revenue for the area.
Those projections, however, would require a bump in attendance for the team over its 2010 season. Although D.C. United is considered one of the most successful teams in Major League Soccer, it had a losing 2010 season and averaged just 14,532 fans, 13 percent less than the league average, according to the report.
In a new Westport stadium, however, the researchers estimated that the team would draw between 18,500 and 20,000 fans each game and that the stadium would host between 49 to 54 events per year, 17 of which would be D.C. United regular season games. Researchers also considered the impact of building a smaller stadium for the minor league soccer team Crystal Palace Baltimore. Crystal Palace Baltimore, which is in financial distress, will not field a team in 2011 and is hoping to reorganize for 2012
Kevin Payne, the team's president and chief executive, issued a statement saying the team appreciated the interest from Baltimore and would "continue our conversations as we work toward the best possible long-term home for D.C. United."
The study can be found here.
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