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What's the Point?

As promised, here is the latest on the Poplar Point stadium saga from our man David Nakamura.

Read and then discuss. Or not.

For those of you in support of the project -- and I'm sure almost all of you are -- how do you feel about the notorious Marion Barry rushing to DCU's defense?

I'll be back later with on-field news and notes.....


By Steve Goff  |  July 27, 2007; 8:58 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Good News, Bad News for DCU

Comments

Thanks for the update Goff, it looks like we can put a fork in Uniteds hope for a new stadium in 2010, also any chance ADU ends up with PSV now that Benf. deal fell through ??

Posted by: Frankie Bones | July 27, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Mayor for Life!

Posted by: RK | July 27, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Last night I said the words "I love Marion Berry."

Wow, just wow. Although maximizing city revenue on the deal is not always consistent with maximizing positive impact in the ward.

Posted by: Mark M | July 27, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Wait a second, what is the better proposal that the opposition is backing. The AWC project has fewer jobs, less housing earmarked as affordable and is not planned as much along current thinking for walkable urban space. Some environmentalists say they don't want anything at all there, but that doesn't make more affordable housing or higher paying jobs. What is the 'better' plan? Who's got the mayor in their pocket? If there wasn't another developer aiming for the point with a tempting proposal United would win the competitive bidding easily cause we've got a number of people in our pocket. Might still, but the nebulous counter proposal needs to appear soon. It's not here now.

Posted by: bluemeanies | July 27, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

How much cr*ck did DCU offer in return for the steadfast support?

;)

Posted by: The Byotch Set Me Up... | July 27, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey Byotch,

If you have been following the news at all, you know that Barry has (potentially) moved on to regular coke and weed.

Just sayin...be accurate.

Posted by: the cheat | July 27, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Byotch, good one.

I don't mind Barry supporting us. The ward 8 folks elected him. That's who we have to deal with. I'm happy to have his support.

Posted by: Matt | July 27, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Well folks sounds like my "United in Virginia" is moving closer to reality. I know a major local corporate player is interested in talking about stadium naming rights.

P.S. Jamil Walker just announced a new website....http://www.barefootballer.com/

Posted by: DCU 4EVER | July 27, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Who has the mayor in his pocket? How about major league baseball? Do we really think MLB/Nationals want a successful soccer franchise with a great stadium nearby? Doubtful.

Posted by: Hoost | July 27, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

1. It's depressing that the voices of the people in that Ward (Barry and ANC) seem to have been ignored in the process. The Mayor, at minimum, owes them a very involved detailed explanation of his decision to reverse course.

2. If I were a public official in DC, I'd be embarassed. It's not like DC United just started trying to get a stadium. Fenty can say "those were the previous administrations" but here's an organization who has been pushing for a long time trying to get it done (DCU and the plans for a stadium). This long wait sure makes DC government look dysfunctional (imagine that).

3. I think back to the plans that Doug Wilder and JKC cooked up for a Redskins Stadium in Alexandria that was shot down (residents resented not being included and were afraid of development and higher traffic). So now they've got a serious of ugly-ass strip malls that make the traffic in and out of that area unbearable, contribute nothing aestethically or culturally. Related to this story....it makes we wonder what DC is going to end up with in that space 5 years from now.

Posted by: JoeW | July 27, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"Well folks sounds like my "United in Virginia" is moving closer to reality."


What in the blue hell are you talking about? The People's Mayor is going to get this done.

Posted by: Goose | July 27, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

All joking aside, if Barry were against us, our proposal would be dead. 100% dead. With him on our side, we live to fight another day. I still can't believe that Fenty would allow this to slip. Does he really want Barry haunting him about his Ward 8 cred for the rest of his term? In a match for the hearts and minds of Ward 8 residents, I'm definitely taking Barry over Fenty.

Posted by: Arrrlington | July 27, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, although Barry has had his drug problems, the guy has plenty of political support in DC. He is powerful in DC politics. I'm very happy that he is supporting the effort for the stadium in SE. I think that it will happen. Remember when the council tried to screw the Nationals out of a stadium? And the Nationals were asking for DC money too. We're privately funding this thing, and all we ask for are some subsidies. It's the perfect project to economically revitalize the area. The jobs comment is ridiculous though. How do we provide residents high-dollar jobs? There's only so much that someone can demand for unskilled labor.

Posted by: Dave | July 27, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

When the responses to the RFP come back in, I will eat my hat if any realistic proposal doesn't involve a subsidy from the city in the form of infrastructure or tax increment financing.

It's the nature of development in dense urban areas to have collaborative effort between public and private entities. Except with baseball the collaboration was The Nationals holding out their hand and taking a disgusting amount of money without any substantial skin in the game.

Hypocrisy is so lovely.

Posted by: Eric | July 27, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Hey, it is in hizzoner's ward, and he knows that your average virginia developer isn't going to do much to create jobs for his constituents, so might as well have the soccer team, one connected to the community in many ways, there

Posted by: Northzax | July 27, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"Who has the mayor in his pocket? How about major league baseball? Do we really think MLB/Nationals want a successful soccer franchise with a great stadium nearby? Doubtful."

No offense, I'm not sure you understand DC politics and the politics of stadiums the past couple years.

Honestly, I'm not sure MLB gives a crap.

And Fenty and MLB do NOT get along. He isnt immune from outside pressure, like any politician, but I dont think MLB is pressuring Fenty against the stadium.

In many respects, what he has done so far with the PP development is not out of character for him.

Posted by: the cheat | July 27, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I have no idea why Barry is supporting the DCU plan, but happy to have to him on board.

Posted by: jasonInVA | July 27, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Very good for Marion Berry and thanks for the support to DCU, but do not put the name "Marion Berry Stadium" please!!!!!

Posted by: OrlandoGator | July 27, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

These "OneDC" folks are just thick in the head. They'd rather continue to live in a run down, crack infested, higgh poverty, slum SE DC than looking at the alternatives.

Suits me fine when developers eventually get to SE DC and totally gentrify the area and make all these folks move out to Salisbury 'cos they can't afford anything near DC.

Posted by: 761-091 | July 27, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"We're privately funding this thing, and all we ask for are some subsidies."

--But that's not an accurate portrayal of a situation in which we put in $150m and they put in much more, $200m. Maybe the $200m figure is not accurate, but Nakamura seems to know what he's talking about . . . it would be interesting to see exactly how he gets that amount; sometimes opponents come up with nonsense like "income we'd lose building a stadium instead of a Prius plant." And I don't think the city should have shelled out $611m for the Nationals, either; but this $200m looks like corporate welfare to me.

If the $200m is a good investment for the city, United should be able to show that, or else shut up. I'm not proud of a franchise that pulls a Colts, or a Browns. I understand that business is business, but that doesn't mean the DC residents need to subsidize McFarlane.

Posted by: gringo | July 27, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to know the definition of "threatened" as used in the story. I watched Kevin Payne on Washington pPost Live and he could not be more clear in saying he wanted the team to stay in DC. I have no doubt the "threat" of moving is always an option with any sports team but the use in the story and the use in the caption in the print edition without attribution to an unnamed source seems to slant the story to the casual reader.

Maybe my bias is showing, but leaving out the Team's position (when it was made clear on a TV show sponsored by your newspaper) while including the unnamed source comments seems to be showing some favoritism toward one side.

Posted by: Looking Dangerous | July 27, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The funny thing about OneDC (and I really hate to make this political) is that they really don't look for the best interest of DC's citizens.

If you look very carefully at its membership and high-level partners, you'll find that the vast majority of them are contractors and former public officials (and popular figures) that have been spurned by the DC gov't in the past for big money making deals and contracts.

Could OneDC have honestly good intentions? Their low level members probably do. But not their leadership, those of whom is just as crooked (if not more) than DC's leadership over the years.

This whole stadium deal is turning out to be, "Do you want to sell your soul to this devil, or that devil?"

Posted by: burd | July 27, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I have no idea why Barry is supporting the DCU plan, but happy to have to him on board.

Posted by: jasonInVA | July 27, 2007 09:52 AM

Because, Mr. jasonInVA, if that really is your name, it is a fantastic plan to finally bring development to one of the least developed urban locations in the USA. DC United's plan is generous and well thought out taking into account all aspects of the legislation including park land and public space as well as an anchor in the stadium to bring folks into Ward 8 to spend their money. Fenty is a jackass extraordinaire. I want my vote back! I want a recall! He's a braying ass, a fool, a jester. He's also a cheat. Look into his problems with the bar association when he "practiced" law in DC. Barry, for all his faults, loves DC, loves Ward 8. He wants to leave a lasting legacy not some rundown strip mall and apartment complex with a park that no one goes to because it's dangerous at any time. As for those who want no development, the Marc Fisher crowd, why don't you move to DC and Ward 8 first before spouting off at the mouth. Go to PP and have a look. It's a wasteland. It would take millions just to turn it into a park alone.

Posted by: So There! | July 27, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"If the $200m is a good investment for the city, United should be able to show that, or else shut up. I'm not proud of a franchise that pulls a Colts, or a Browns. I understand that business is business, but that doesn't mean the DC residents need to subsidize McFarlane."

It's mischaracterization to call the $200m a subsidy. If McFarlane were to pay for the entire cost, he'd be gifting the District a tax revenue source. It isn't unreasonable for him to ask for some investment from DC.

The crucial question is how much infrastructure money will be requested by the competing proposals.

Posted by: MattM | July 27, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

gringo-

We are putting in 150million for the stadium and an estimated 800 million for the entire project minimum (hotel, housing, retail, office space). The 800 million figure was taken from the powerpoint presentation where they mentioned how much of the construction would be going through minority contractors so it might be more. The 200 million subsidy figure includes roads and sewers and powerlines and things almost any developer would ask the city to build for the whole project. A minor tax subsidy might be the only difference between what DC united is asking and what walmart would. DC is not paying more than United is on this project.

Posted by: bluemeanies | July 27, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Anyone not glad to have Barry on board is nuts. If you want something to get done in Ward 8, you're going to need him on your side.

Any development over there is going to require massive infrastructure improvement. $200 million is a lot, but to say they're just handing the money to McFarlane is ridiculous. The roads in Poplar Point are in bad shape. There is no Metro access. Those improvements help the city as much as they help anything built over there. Show me a developer that says they don't need that kind of city funding, and I'll show you a liar.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 27, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

All stadium deals are ugly. All owners are subsidized - it's the cost of having a sports team. Do you want the attention and fanfare that comes with any team (MLB/NFL/NBA/MLS/NHL/NASCAR)? Then you had better open up the wallet. Cities lost this fight a long time ago.

Posted by: UVA-United | July 27, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

You folks know all these 'jokes' could very well end up being read at community meetings? Soccer people are already stereotyped as rich white folks who are out of touch. And besides, they're not very funny.

This strikes me as bargaining in the press. Too much time and effort have gone into the negotiations to quit now. Plus nothing would be worse for development East of the River than going back to square one and delaying everything another year (or more likely 2). Nothing happens fast with the DC government.

Posted by: uniteo | July 27, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

As a DC United fan who is also opposes gentrification (and the garbage that people like '761-091' above spout) I've tried to see both sides of the issue, and I think that the DC United proposal is pretty fair.

The bottom line is, the federal government gave this land to DC in order to improve its tax base, kind of as an acknowledgement on the lost taxes from the vast amounts of federal land in the city already. So it's going to be developed no matter what, despite how much Marc Fisher wishes it remains parkland.

So if it's going to be developed, it's either by DC United or someone who wins a competitive bidding process. Likely whoever comes in with the lowest bid for city subsidies is going to need the highest return on their investment, so less affordable housing and more luxury waterfront condos.

DC United has shown again and again that they are committed to the community. The recent $50,000 donation to the vendors out of work from the fire at Eastern Market is a great example, and that's in Ward 1 so it's not really something that was done to curry favor with Ward 8 - just something they do as a good neighbor.

Posted by: pat | July 27, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

United: $950 million.

DC: $200 million.

...

Someone please explain to me how this is a bad deal?

...

oh yeah and don't forget that MacFarland is also buying the land straight up at market prices on top of all the afformentioned costs... Fenty can blow me.

Posted by: Chris | July 27, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

United: $950 million.

DC: $200 million.

...

Someone please explain to me how this is a bad deal?

...

oh yeah and don't forget that MacFarland is also buying the land straight up at market prices on top of all the afformentioned costs... Fenty can blow me.

Posted by: Chris | July 27, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Anyone not glad to have Barry on board is nuts. If you want something to get done in Ward 8, you're going to need him on your side.

Any development over there is going to require massive infrastructure improvement. $200 million is a lot, but to say they're just handing the money to McFarlane is ridiculous. The roads in Poplar Point are in bad shape. There is no Metro access. .....
Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 27, 2007 10:22 AM

There is a Metro stop at PP. It's the Anacostia stop. It about .30 miles from the stop to where the stadium will be. Almost the exact distance it is from Stadium/Armory to RFK.

Posted by: There is a Metro at PP | July 27, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Anyone not glad to have Barry on board is nuts. If you want something to get done in Ward 8, you're going to need him on your side.

Any development over there is going to require massive infrastructure improvement. $200 million is a lot, but to say they're just handing the money to McFarlane is ridiculous. The roads in Poplar Point are in bad shape. There is no Metro access. .....
Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 27, 2007 10:22 AM

There is a Metro stop at PP. It's the Anacostia stop. It about .30 miles from the stop to where the stadium will be. Almost the exact distance it is from Stadium/Armory to RFK.

Posted by: There is a Metro at PP | July 27, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Dave Nakamura's article says that the $200M that DCU is seeking is in infrastructure improvements, tax subsidies, and development rights. Does that $200M figure indeed include development rights? If so, that's not money coming from the city, but rather money not collected by the city in the sale of development rights. That's completely different than asking the city to dish out money to help stadium development.

What doesn't make sense is that, if Mayor Fenty is concerned that the DCU proposal doesn't include enough affordable housing or high-paying jobs...why not negotiate the makeup of the DCU proposal to increase those numbers? It almost sounds as if he took a look at the proposal and, because he didn't like it, decided to open competition.

Posted by: DE | July 27, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

As bad as a mayor as Barry has looked as in the past, i always respected the guy for the love poeple in DC has had for him over the years. To get caught messed up as he has and still be respected?? It tells you something, he cares about DC and DC cares about him. If he'd fight for United then i gotta love the guy. He knows whats really good.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | July 27, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I agree with all of you saying that this is newspaper negotiating. The deal is solid, but Fenty is just being consistent in his desire to bring some fiscal control to D.C. He didn't want baseball but couldn't do anything about it. He doesn't want soccer, but he CAN do something about it.

Disclosure statement:
I would be lying if I didn't admit that I hope the whole thing falls though and they build a stadium out in Loudoun County. 15 minutes each way

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | July 27, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"Anyone not glad to have Barry on board is nuts. If you want something to get done in Ward 8, you're going to need him on your side."

If and when they do build the stadium, DCU will be able to say:

Wait for it...

"DC been Barry Barry good to me."

Posted by: Juan-John | July 27, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

What is disturbing is that United has essentially put all of its eggs into the Poplar Point basket for some years now; so far as I can tell, there has been no serious work on any sort of Plan B, in case PP fell through, or at least it's not been reported. If Fenty can solicit competing proposals, so can United. The process of seeking out backup sites in Crystal City, College Park, etc. should be going full speed ahead.

Posted by: Go Penn State! | July 27, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I want a stadium, but that's because I'm a DCU fan; doing what's best for the city needs to be the priority. That may be a stadium, or it may not. Unfortunately, there's a tendency among community groups to always push for affordable housing, when what neglected parts of the city actually need is a mix of housing and business investment. The DCU plan might be the mix that brings the most benefits to Ward 8. That's for the economists to try to project.

In my opinion, a park (the kind with swingsets, not a stadium) should be way down the priorities list of what Ward 8 needs. This is prime real estate; bring in some jobs. I will be very upset if the stadium plan loses to any plan that has a park as its main component.

Posted by: Jeff M | July 27, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Whatever gets built at PP will require infrastucture improvements. Just for starters, they have to build new access to the Point across or under the highway (295, I think.) Whether it is $200 million or some lesser amount is negotiable. But don't forget Fenty was against the Nationals giveaway, so maybe he is just trying to be fiscally cautious now that he is in charge.

Posted by: tcal | July 27, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Completely off topic but according to the Daily Mail in England, it is a DONE deal.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/football.html?in_article_id=469892&in_page_id=1779

Posted by: VERON?!? | July 27, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"What is disturbing is that United has essentially put all of its eggs into the Poplar Point basket for some years now"

I wouldn't say it's disturbing for United to make a commitment to DC. Their numerous acts of charity toward DC underscore their interest in the city. In the past, they've considered other sites in the District, but settled on PP as the best candidate. I live in MD, but I'd much rather see the team located in the District because it is better for attendance than anywhere else.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 27, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Goff any truth to Blackburn making a bid for Eddie Johnson?

http://www.fansfc.com/frontpage/frontpagenews.asp?newsid=170670

Posted by: John | July 27, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Completely off topic but according to the Daily Mail in England, it is a DONE deal.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/football.html?in_article_id=469892&in_page_id=1779

Posted by: VERON?!? | July 27, 2007 11:28 AM

Holy Crap Goff where are you?

Posted by: Southeasterner | July 27, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

...so you're telling me there's a chance.

Posted by: So Md | July 27, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

'Goff set me up!
-M. Barry

Posted by: Blackaces | July 27, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"Dave Nakamura's article says that the $200M that DCU is seeking is in infrastructure improvements, tax subsidies, and development rights. Does that $200M figure indeed include development rights?"
-Great question.

"We are putting in 150 million for the stadium and an estimated 800 million for the entire project minimum (hotel, housing, retail, office space)."

-A United powerpoint said that they were putting in $800m total? If that's accurate, that changes the picture, obviously . . . we could probably lobby the Post to do a live discussion deal with Nakamura on this.

I'd rather call it Barry Memorial Stadium than something like HerbaLife Park.

Posted by: gringo | July 27, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/football.html?in_article_id=469892&in_page_id=1779

from CNNSI. Truth and rumors

we will see if it happens? Goff any updates

Posted by: Adam (bmore) | July 27, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/football.html?in_article_id=469892&in_page_id=1779

from CNNSI. Truth and rumors

we will see if it happens? Goff any updates

Posted by: Adam (bmore) | July 27, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/football.html?in_article_id=469892&in_page_id=1779

from CNNSI. Truth and rumors

we will see if it happens? Goff any updates

Posted by: Adam (bmore) | July 27, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/football.html?in_article_id=469892&in_page_id=1779

from CNNSI. Truth and rumors

we will see if it happens? Goff any updates

Posted by: Adam (bmore) | July 27, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

If the Veron story was true Goff would already have it. Bet on it.

Posted by: Krie | July 27, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"I wouldn't say it's disturbing for United to make a commitment to DC. Their numerous acts of charity toward DC underscore their interest in the city. In the past, they've considered other sites in the District, but settled on PP as the best candidate. I live in MD, but I'd much rather see the team located in the District because it is better for attendance than anywhere else."

This is a worthy viewpoint. That is why I referred to putting all their eggs in the Poplar Point basket, not the District basket. Even if they want to remain in the District, they should be looking for other sites. And no matter how strong their preference for remaining in the District may be, there is no guarantee that such a suitable alternative site will materialize, which is why they also have to pursue Plan C (looking outside the District).

Posted by: Go Penn State! | July 27, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Goal.com is reporting that Veron has turned down DCU for now, but that something might be worked out later.
http://goal.com/en-us/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=362353
I found the story via Google News. Interestingly, the headline on Google News that linked to the article read: "Champions League Veron Likely To Join DC United" but when I clicked through the headline read "Veron Rejects D.C. United...For Now" suggesting that were initially reporting that a deal had been struck but had to correct it.

Posted by: KR in DC | July 27, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Goff any truth to Blackburn making a bid for Eddie Johnson?"

this showed up on the BRFC boards yesterday. Given that they may be signing Santz Cruz from Paraguay this afternoon (he's in Blackburn for a medical this AM), I'm skeptical that EJ would be seriously considered at this time.

However, the boards did also say a yank was training with the reserves on trial. All we know is that he's 18. Anyone seen Arguez lately?

Posted by: Zero | July 27, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Fenty's vote against the $611 for the baseball stadium didn't stop him from showing up at yesterdays's steel-girder signing to extol the great benefits of that development. Clearly the Lerner family does not want to compete with a dynamic and well-supported socceer franchise that plays in a rocking stadium with fanatical fans. In comparison, the new Nats stadium will undoudtedly resemble a mausoleoum after the initial cuiosity wears off in a year or two after it opens. (Been to Camdan Yards lately?) The Lerners are business people, and a new DC United stadium will compete directly with them. Fenty knows who is going to pay for his re-election.

Posted by: DCpsycho | July 27, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

If the Veron story was true Goff would already have it. Bet on it.

Posted by: Krie | July 27, 2007 11:58 AM

Heh, first you imagine Goff is Superman. Second, you think DC United may like Goff and or the Washington Post. Considering the submarine job of a certain Metro reporter on July 21 and a fool of a columnist in Marc Fisher, maybe DC United is practicing "radio silence" with La Post.

Posted by: Radio Silence | July 27, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Fenty is just an idiot. He doesn't know what he has gotten himself into. VIVA LA DC UNITED REVOLUCION!

Posted by: Dave | July 27, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

We are privately funding this stadium and they are providing subsidies so the DC government can revitalize the infrastructure around it that they have neglected for years. What the hell is wrong with the Fenty? That the people that can't put the most money in your pocket in tax money are going to be getting more than the wealthy?

Posted by: Dave | July 27, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Radio Silence,
All I know he was able to call Dave Kasper out of the blue in Argentina within a couple of hours of the Veron rumor popping up (i believe from one of our fellow posters who saw in the Arg. press).

Posted by: Kire | July 27, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Pat. I too very much want to see United remain in the city but the PP decision should be based on what's best for the city. If you look at United's proposal and don't just make a default decision that it's good because you're a United fan, I think it's fair to say the proposal is a good one. We can make fun of Marion Barry but that's why he's supporting it. Is it conceivable there are better uses? Possibly. I'm not an expert on urban development nor have I ever been to the location. Believe me, I very much want the team to remain in the city. My hope would be that McFarlane's experience with urban development projects would help win the day.

The part that concerns is what DE said-

"What doesn't make sense is that, if Mayor Fenty is concerned that the DCU proposal doesn't include enough affordable housing or high-paying jobs...why not negotiate the makeup of the DCU proposal to increase those numbers? It almost sounds as if he took a look at the proposal and, because he didn't like it, decided to open competition."

That last line rings true to my ears.

I'm also in agreement with Pat that '761-091' is an idiot. The mentality that causes one to howl, at the very mention of DC, about how excruciatingly bad the DC government is and how every quadrant but NW is drug ridden, etc. is the same mentality that causes some people to say how slow, boring, etc. ,etc. soccer is at the mere mention of the sport. But alas, closed minds don't come with closed mouths.

Posted by: Kire | July 27, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"how do you feel about the notorious Marion Barry rushing to DCU's defense?"

Rushing to the defense? So our new lineup in the back will be Namoff - Marion Barry - Boswell - McTavish

Posted by: Shatz | July 27, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

As both a long-time season ticket holder (since we put down that deposit back at the 1994 World Cup), and a long-time DC resident (I supported Marion Barry the first time he ran for Mayor, but what a disaster that turned into), not to speak of a supporter of Fenty's candidacy, in part because of his strong stance on the baseball stadium giveaway, I have such mixed feelings here.

DC needs to do what's best for DC. That includes supporting "bread and circuses" for residents like me, but there are other considerations. I have no strong feelings about whether the DEVELOPMENT part of the DC United proposal is the best deal that DC can get for that location. DC should negotiate hard to get the best possible deal that includes a soccer stadium financed by the team.

I resent like hell DCU's threat to move the team, although rationally I understand it as a negotiating tactic. FWIW, I rather doubt that a stadium in Baltimore, or out in Loudoun County, would be convenient enough for me to continue as a season ticket holder (especially given the increasing number of midweek games requiring travel during rush hour). So, if Fenty "loses DC United" I shall never forgive him.

Speaking of "financed by the team", has anybody done a breakdown of how much of the $200 million figure is represented by the "development rights" (for which it seems to me the building of a stadium may be a fair tradeoff) and how much are the roads and improvements that DC would have to finance out-of-pocket?

Posted by: Paul | July 27, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for the Barry for Vanney trade! Vanney for Ward 8 Council!

Seriously though, I think the proposal has been hurt by the focus on the stadium. Activists are geared up to attack stadiums in this city, and they can't see past it to assessing the deal relative to what else will end up on the site. Fans, are stuck on defending the development because it includes the stadium, not on its merits. I hope we get past this and figure out if we can get development on poplar point that benefits the community and mitigates the impact on the Anacostia. And I pray it includes a stadium for United!

Posted by: DCU | July 27, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

It's so incredibily important that DC United stay in DC. I think that the MD fanbase will be put in a bad position if the team is moved from the city to Loudoun County. Loudoun is pretty far out there. Being located in NE or SE is a good intermediate for VA and MD fans. Living in MD, imagine commuting to a stadium in Loudoun for a 7 o'clock week night game. That would suck. This PP thing has to work.

Posted by: Dave | July 27, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

People keep saying in the comments that DC United "threatened to move the team" - but they have done no such thing, in fact Kevin Payne admitted to being a bad negotiator, saying that they wanted to stay in DC no matter what. I believe they could have built a stadium in the 'burbs already if that had been their desire.
Fenty knows he has them by the short&curlies precisely because they will not threaten to move until the negotiation really have broken down.

On the other hand, as soon as I saw the final proposal with all those ugly tall building, I knew it was in trouble from "the community" - even though it is mostly the "I do not live in Ward 8 myself, but..." community at this time who are raising a stink.

I have been down on PP picking up trash along the Anacostia, I do not recall seeing anyone in a OneDC t-shirt down there helping.

Posted by: Lonnie | July 27, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"Living in MD, imagine commuting to a stadium in Loudoun for a 7 o'clock week night game. That would suck."

Try commuting to RFK from Virginia for a weeknight game. For everyone who gives up their season tickets, there will be someone who doesn't go to games now who will at a new location.

Posted by: ff | July 27, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree the Post is not telling us all the facts with their unnamed sources and general description of the $200M subsidy. They owe it to the citizens to be clear about what these are. The only proposal for Poplar Point that comes in without subsidies will be one that keeps the infrastructure exactly as it is. D

o you know of any retailer or business owner that is willing to take a risk in that sort of environment? If I go build a world class restaurant on Howard Road today, how successful will it be? Any business needs a significant base of support around it and Poplar Point, as it stands today, cannot offer that. If McFarland is going to spend $900M at Poplar Point and the City spends $200M, but the overall project yields some profit for McFarland and over $200M in tax revenue for the city isn't this a good deal?

If I'm a business owner in Ward 8 or even in downtown Anacostia I have to be excited about the prospect of 17,000-20,000 people coming near my business every Saturday night in the summer.

Posted by: DuPont Mike | July 27, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey ff...

ever heard of this little thing called Metro?

Posted by: Northzax | July 27, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey ff...

ever heard of this little thing called Metro?

Posted by: Northzax | July 27, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Call the mayor and be polite and ask him to support the United plan. Government doesn't do anything until we give them a reason to do something.

So call now.

Posted by: Call the Mayor | July 27, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Try commuting to RFK from Virginia for a weeknight game. For everyone who gives up their season tickets, there will be someone who doesn't go to games now who will at a new location.

Posted by: ff | July 27, 2007 02:56 PM

Exactly brother! There is a huge fan base still untapped in Northern VA. Remember all those fans coming from Maryland will be going opposite the commuting flow of traffic.

If PP does not workout (and that is still my first choice), where is the alternative in DC?? MLS and McF Partners are not going to let DCU remain in RFK indefinitely. Plan B has to be in the works and I can guarantee that B equals the Burbs.

"United in Virginia"

Posted by: DCU 4EVER | July 27, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Could it be that Fenty is just posturing?

Just speculating here - but Fenty cannot just come out in support of the stadium, especially after opposing the baseball stadium - even if the deals are completely different. Its just bad optics and people like Marc Fisher and others who opposed the baseball deal would slam him.

So at the very least - even if Fenty thinks the DC United proposal is a good one - has to make it look like he has looked at every possible proposal and then chosen the best one. He also has to make it look like he is playing hardball with DC United.

So perhaps after the bids are in, Fenty decides the United proposal - albeit with some tinkering - is best.

This is no doubt an optimistic analysis...

Posted by: greene | July 27, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Quote: Plan B has to be in the works and I can guarantee that B equals the Burbs.

---------------------

What about constructing a new stadium on or near the current RFK site?

Posted by: RFK part deux? | July 27, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

does anyone really think that the "best fans in MLS" will really make the transition out to Loudoun County. DC United as a quintessential urban soccer experience is perhaps the primary factor driving its success

Posted by: diego r. | July 27, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

DC United is urban soccer. It is a huge decision for me when I get season tickets that it is "urban" soccer and not "suburban/soccer mom" soccer. I like the environment. It reminds me of Boca.

Posted by: Dave | July 27, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I would really really like DC United to stay in DC. How about all the Virginians and Marylanders who love DC United move into all the new housing that the Poplar Point location is supposed to build?

If a new stadium is built out in the burbs and it's anything like the craptacular Fed-Ex Field I will be very sad.

Posted by: Chris K | July 27, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Here's an article from Thursday's Post on area demographic trends that may be relevant: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/25/AR2007072502384.html.

Posted by: Go Penn State! | July 27, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

"What about constructing a new stadium on or near the current RFK site?"

1. It has to be near, not on, because it is highly unlikely that a stadium could be built in a single off-season. RFK must remain standing until its successor is ready. (I don't even want to think about the hassles that would be involved in trying to find a temporary home for United.)

2. If, as is widely believed, District officials want to keep open the option of building a FedEx-sized facility on the current RFK site, not even the "near" option would be viable.

3. With regard to the RFK site, United management would have to deal with largely the same District and U.S. Park Service bureaucrats who are giving them such a runaround vis-a-vis Poplar Point.

Posted by: Go Penn State! | July 27, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

RFK part deux,
I don't have a good read on the situation but there have been reports/rumors since the beginning of the year that the city wants to get the Skins back into DC- in a new stadium where RFK now stands. There's been some mention of possibly building a soccer stadium *next to* RFK but none I've ever heard mentioned the prime plot itself. Perhaps moving the Skins back there is the reason, perhaps not. I don't know. I'd love to have someone explain things the 'finer points' of the situation to me- or at least round it out a bit better.

SI perhaps?

Posted by: Kire | July 27, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"3. With regard to the RFK site, United management would have to deal with largely the same District and U.S. Park Service bureaucrats who are giving them such a runaround vis-a-vis Poplar Point."

Right. If a stadium is built in an RFK parking lot, it may still be under control of the DC Sports commission, i.e. the folks who are responsible for long lines at concessions, closed gates for anticipated large crowds, and hail the size of concrete chunks - wait a minute, those ARE concrete chunks!.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 27, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"I don't have a good read on the situation but there have been reports/rumors since the beginning of the year that the city wants to get the Skins back into DC- in a new stadium where RFK now stands. There's been some mention of possibly building a soccer stadium *next to* RFK but none I've ever heard mentioned the prime plot itself."

Any such stadium would be at least as large as FedEx Field (i.e., nearly double the size of RFK), and would require thousands of additional parking spaces. Would the site of the defunct D.C. General Hospital, not exactly next to RFK but not too far away either, be a possibility?

Posted by: Go Penn State! | July 27, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"How about all the Virginians and Marylanders who love DC United move into all the new housing that the Poplar Point location is supposed to build?"

Sure thing when you can give me 5000 sq.ft of living space (not including the finished basement) and at least a third of an acre for the dogs to run. In the meantime, I'll continue driving over an hour each way to RFK.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | July 27, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I live in Vienna, VA. and have no desire to go to Loudoun Cty. for a match.

While I'm sure everyone would like their commute/metro ride to be shorter, DCU can't please everyone.

As a suburban soccer dad (who has played and followed the sport for 20+ years), I get tired of the bashing of soccer moms and dads and other folks from the burbs. If you break it down, I'll bet there are more subarban ticket holders from MD and VA than there are in DC.

That being said, I think the team should always be in DC. If that can't happen, wherever they end up, the stadium has to be near a metro. Anything inside the beltway (or just outside of it) in MD or VA would suffice.

The plain fact is DCU needs a stadium for many reasons (as all MLS teams do). The whole VA/DC/MD bickeing amongst us fans needs to stop. We need to truly be United and just be happy when we get the stadium, whereever it may be.

DCU wants the best deal, and the district wants the best deal. It will be no different in the burbs of MD or VA.

No disrespect to folks in MD, but Baltimore should be out of the question. Baltimore-Wahington United? Please!! Those two cities on the whole can't stand each other.

I'm still (barely) holding out hope that PP will happen. If not, I don't care where it gets built, as long as it is near a metro, that way I can still drive if I want, or take the train if I want.

Posted by: Steve | July 27, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Marion Barry initially was not a supporter of the plan. He, and his constituents, did not think that soccer was a Ward 8 game (and he was not wrong in that belief). However, he did not shut his mind to the idea and was interested in providing support if it was in the best interest of his constituents. Many people who support United feared that this was going to be a bad thing for D.C. United. DCU worked with the District to establish a plan that could benefit both sides. Kevin Payne and DCU are honorable and straight forward with their approach. This is different from the baseball team which threatens the city with legal action even while not having to put anything into the building of their stadium.

I also want United to stay in Washington, D.C.

Posted by: InWoodbridge | August 1, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

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