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Stadium? What Stadium?

D.C. United wants to move into a proposed new stadium at Poplar Point in 2009, but amid the drawn-out political manuevering and behind-the-scenes negotiating just to reach a deal to build on that riverside parcel in Anacostia, is it still realistic to think that the club will play its first match there just two years from now?

I asked Kevin Payne about the timeline. His response:

"I don't think we can get in by the beginning of 2009, but we hope to get in sometime in 2009."

He does assure me, though, that RFK will still be standing in 2009. Which is important, because DCU will probably need to use the old place for a little bit longer.

By the way, what's the last letter in the alphabet? Okay, now string a whole bunch of them together. Got it? ;-)

By Steve Goff  |  March 30, 2007; 11:20 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Moreno to Venezuela?



Posted by: ZZZZZZZZ | March 30, 2007 11:54 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: jerad | March 31, 2007 5:16 AM | Report abuse

Looking forward to opening day this year, when, keeping with DCU's tradition, the Mayor promises a stadium. And a rose garden.

Posted by: Nogra Rover | March 31, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

All DC pols how failed to stop the National's ballpark are going to demagogue this thing into never happening.

Money will be spent to "upgrade" RFK.

Which will save Loud Side, since they'll never permit a Loud Side in a new stadium.

Posted by: Never Happening | March 31, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Here is where the new ownership group needs to step up. This is where they will be judged. I'm looking forward to seeing how and if they pull this off. I'm confident that Payne and his people run the soccer operations well and will continue to do so. This is where the real estate and development experience of the new owners should come in, and I'd like to see what the do with it (since the development around the stadiums seems to be the ostensible reason why the purchased the team).

Posted by: tmc | March 31, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

At least United has taken a proactive approach. They've meet with community leaders, held open forums in Southeast, and pledge to continue to support the area with youth soccer programs, use of the facility, etc. Plus, thus far they haven't asked the city for money.

That's in sharp contrast to the MLB monster that squeezed every last penny out of the DC government.

Posted by: delantero | March 31, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

My only request for this stadium . . . ok, ok, first of many requests, . . . is that it is made to feel and look like the stadia of downtown London; particularly with overhanging roof a la: (

Second request is that it receive an honorable name--unlike Pizza Hut Park or Dick's Sporting Goods . . .

Posted by: delan | March 31, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse


That's unfair. You brought up the stadium. Not us.

Now let me get back to sleep.


Posted by: Kim | March 31, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

stadium - think coventry

Posted by: JSF | March 31, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

How about naming the new field:

Smith & Wesson Stadium
Patton, Boggs & Blow Stadium
Halliburton Stadium

or we could generously refuse naming rights to honor DC's most famous leader, Marion S. Barry, Jr. Stadium.

Posted by: Touchliner | March 31, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

So, when do we all start the new chant this season in RFK?

"We want our stadium"

"Poplar Point, don't disappoint!"


"Z - Z - ZZZ / it means a lot to you and me"

Posted by: Shmoo | March 31, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

get the nats out of RFK and it's still the best soccer-specific venue in the country. I'll wait on "the point".

Posted by: soccer nerd | March 31, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

What I can't figure out is why Mr. Goff keeps seeming so happy about the slow pace of development on this issue.

Posted by: Chris | April 1, 2007 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Fine--stay at RFK. It's only the best soccer stadium in the US.

Posted by: Dave Nelson | April 1, 2007 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Happy? How do you figure? I'm not happy, I'm not sad. Sorry, but I just don't get emotional over stadium negotiations.

Posted by: Goff | April 1, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"Happy? How do you figure? I'm not happy, I'm not sad. Sorry, but I just don't get emotional over stadium negotiations.

Posted by: Goff | April 1, 2007 10:22 AM"

hmm, think i see what you did there. because of the particular date upon which this info was posted, we can infer that you actually become emotionally distraught at the merest breath of rumor surrounding the building of the fabled new DCU digs...



Posted by: Bill Urban | April 1, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"He does assure me, though, that RFK will still be standing in 2009."

What a wonderful piece of news - April fool!

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | April 1, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

At this rate, the expansion teams in Fargo, Ocala, and Duluth will have stadiums before United.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 1, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

If and when we ever get a new stadium, let's hope MLS doesn't pull the same crap they did with Chicago and LA, making the team play X amount of games on the road before the stadium was ready.

I'd be perfectly happy splitting time between RFK and whereever the new stadium might be in the same season.



Posted by: JayRockers! | April 1, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff -- you may not have an emotional interest in whether or not United gets a new stadium; but a large number of your readers do. I'm not suggesting you should report things from a fan-ish perspective, not at all. But the repeated "ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz" stuff you do online whenever the topic comes up comes across like Nelson in the Simpsons going "HA-ha" whenever something goes poorly for another person. It's like rubbing it in. Perhaps describing you as happy that things aren't proceding very quickly isn't fair; but you give the impression that you take some pleasure of the situation, to be sure. After all, why do the "zzzzzzz" and "Huh? What stadium?" and so on bits if you don't enjoy it doing them?

Posted by: Chris | April 1, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

When there is news about the proposed stadium, we'll report it. (Such as Payne's recent comment.)

Otherwise, I will concentrate on things that really matter. I suggest everyone else do the same. Even if a deal were announced tomorrow -- and that ain't happening -- it would be a very long time before anyone steps foot inside it. Move on, lads...

Posted by: Goff | April 1, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

build it and they will come . .

Posted by: delant | April 1, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse


What prompted the comment from KP? Was it from a question that you asked? Do you ask on a regular basis for stadium updates? The difference between the start of 09 and mid 09 might be 3-4 months, so is there anything else that you are picking up on to make putting KP's comments out there for folks to mull over? RFK is a great venue, without a doubt, but it can fairly be said that DC has the best fans in the league and that those fans and the team deserve a new stadium. I would think that the press would have a bit of interst in a sweet new fully catered press box. am I right? am I right? ;)

Posted by: Dan | April 1, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I ask Payne every week or two for a stadium update. That was the latest news. He had nothing else to share.

Someday, there will be a new stadium, but as I said when this process began years and years ago, don't hold your breath cuz it's going to be a while. Well, it's been a while, and it's going to be a while longer.

For now, enjoy RFK.

Posted by: Goff | April 1, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Chris: The Zzzzzzzzzzz stuff has been going on for years starting in the on-line chats. Steve would get numerous questions about the stadium and he would never have anything new to report, because nothing new ever happened. We, who have followed this topic for years, know where he's coming from and are in on the inside joke.

Posted by: I-270 Exit 1 | April 2, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: sitruc | April 2, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I-270 is right. As long as Steve's been doing the chats before the blog existed, it was always the same thing. ZZZZZZZZ

Those of you so fond of RFK need to think about it from a more business-like standpoint. OLD half-empty stadiums don't put forth your product in the same light. In the end lack of a soccer stadium has caused MLS to move from great soccer cities. I enjoy the games at RFK, but I learned the sport and first watched it played growing up in San Jose, CA at Spartan Stadium. In the end, the lack of a dedicated soccer-specific stadium is a large part of why a region that supported a basically uninterupted professional soccer presence from the days of the NASL Earthquakes, through the Blackhawks, and finally through to the Clash lost an MLS team. The Bay area was a generation ahead of D.C. in soccer acceptance in terms of both youth envolvement and professional patronage, yet it still is waiting on an Wolff/Fisher group (owners of the Oakland A's) to build a stadium and bring a team to it. That said, DC United can only wait for so long before the Poplar Point deal either moves forward, or another option is put on the table. RFK in it's current state clearly isn't the answer.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | April 2, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

When the Nats leave we can get the full lower-bowl back (assembly required). So we've got that going for us, which is nice.

Posted by: Eric Mondero | April 2, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga

So we've got that going for us, which is nice.

Posted by: Eric Mondero | April 2, 2007 06:36 PM

Posted by: del | April 2, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Ha Ha! Yeah, we've got THAT going for us!

Posted by: Galunga Din | April 5, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Which is uh, nice

Posted by: g.d. | April 5, 2007 11:54 PM | Report abuse

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