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MacFarlane vs. Fenty

The complete Poplar Point story from Friday's Metro section can be found right here.

By Steve Goff  |  October 11, 2007; 11:37 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: It's a Date

Comments

I'll drive DCU all the way to Ocean City if I have too, no matter what I told DCU fans last year at their playoff home game, right before my mayoral election, about the team getting a stadium in the district.

Posted by: Mayor Fenty | October 11, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Another great article from the Post. Keep up the good work Goff and friends.

Posted by: UVA to RFK | October 11, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

"Under his initial proposal, MacFarlane offered to pay for the $150 million stadium if the city contributed $350 million in infrastructure and allowed him to build 8 million square feet of development at Poplar Point."

$350? Is that right? I thought it was $35? Really really bad misprint if thats the case.

Posted by: Check that number | October 12, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Check that number:
$35M was the figure stated in Sandy, UT.

Posted by: fig | October 12, 2007 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Check that Number: It really is $350. But what is misleading is, yes the stadium will cost roughly $150 million, but the rest of the development will push that total to nearly a billion on MacFarlane's tab. So $350 to the city, and nearly a billion to United. The posts metro section yet again has misrepresented the facts.

Also our average is currently right under 21,000. Not 17,000. We haven't had an average that low in nearly 3 seasons. Thats just plain insulting. God I'm fuming right now.

Posted by: Chris | October 12, 2007 3:30 AM | Report abuse

those errors need to be corrected immediately. they are basic and glaring. a novice would have no way of knowing otherwise and most people aren't well-informed on united or the stadium deal.

Posted by: jerad | October 12, 2007 5:16 AM | Report abuse

First Fisher and now Nakamura. The Post even came out against the deal in an editorial earlier this year. Can we at least get the facts right for the citizens of DC regardless of your position?

Posted by: Chico | October 12, 2007 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't the DC share $200M a couple of months ago? Isn't most of that to build roads and utilities that ANY development of that parkland/wasteland would require?

Buildings need public infrastructure, no matter what the buildings are used for.

Posted by: Brendan | October 12, 2007 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Nakamura, please check your facts before you write a column. Truly awful.

Goff, can we please get a correction placed in the Post tomorrow?

Posted by: Hoost | October 12, 2007 7:51 AM | Report abuse

A letter to Deborah Howell the Post's ombudsman should be drafted. If anyone can do that today it would be key. I can't email from work but will do so as soon as I get home this evening if no one has.

Posted by: Chico | October 12, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Time to move on! Get DC United out of DC so it can start making some real money and sign more top flight international talent.

Posted by: NOMOREDC | October 12, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

It took me less than 10 seconds to find United's attendance figures on the MLS web site...that's lazy reporting by Nakamura and his editor(s).

http://web.mlsnet.com/stats/index.jsp?club=mls&year=2007

Posted by: tim | October 12, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Over the course of 12 seasons, United has averaged 17,000. That's probably what he meant.


Posted by: DCU Forever | October 12, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Entering this year, United's all-time regular season average attendance at home was 17,161. This year's 20K figure brings that up slightly.

Big picture, folks

Posted by: Goff | October 12, 2007 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Truly awful, truly sloppy, truly one-sided. Here's a round-up of the false and misleading statements I found in one reading:

The team plays at 46-year-old RFK Stadium, which lacks luxury boxes and other modern touches that could help United turn a profit.

False: The team isn't turning a profit because it has to pay rent at RFK and doesn't receive residual income from concession sales, parking, and non-soccer events help at the stadium, which it would if it owned it's own stadium.

Under his initial proposal, MacFarlane offered to pay for the $150 million stadium if the city contributed $350 million in infrastructure and allowed him to build 8 million square feet of development at Poplar Point.
Misleading: The $350 million is for infrastructure for the entire site, including the development portion. Also, the author fails to note that this money would have to be paid by the city regardless of what development happens at Poplar Point. Right now the site has zero infrastructure.
MacFarlane stressed that he is committed to keeping United, whose average attendance of more than 17,000 has made it one of Major League Soccer's most popular teams, in the Washington region.
False: DC United's average attendance is just under 21,000. You can see a full attendance report for major League Soccer here: http://web.mlsnet.com/stats/index.jsp?club=mls&year=2007

Goffer,
Why the sloppiness? Please address.

Posted by: DJC | October 12, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Hey goff, i made this Tribute to Marco on youtube since his tribute game is coming up. Let me know what you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOEeKlws9z0

*hint**hint*

Maybe you can use it, when making more announcements on it soon? :)

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | October 12, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Wow you guys are venomous this morning...

Posted by: RK | October 12, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

DJC:

I've already addressed the attendance issue: 17K over the history of the club is close to accurate. Let it go.

Nakamura writes that luxury boxes and other modern touches "could help" United turn a profit. That's not false; it's not the complete picture, but it's not false, as you claim. Those things would certainly help the club's finances.

As for the city's contributions to the Poplar Point project, I am not familiar with the financial details. You would have to check with David.

Posted by: Goff | October 12, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

My main point of contention is the $150 million vs $350 million figure. Anyone reading that would figure the city would be stupid to approve such a venture. Lost in that little ommision is the rest of the plan that doesn't include the soccer stadium. That drives up MacFarlanes share substantially. Included in that plan is low cost housing and tax generating retail space. Not a little ommision IMHO.

Posted by: Chico | October 12, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

This whole story is not being told.

Goff, you present today's blog as:
"The complete Poplar Point story from Friday's Metro section"

then later you go on to post that:

"it's not the complete picture"


This "Complete" story needs to be told. Who will do it?

Posted by: Completeness | October 12, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Excluding Beckham, the average league game attendance this year is around 19000, per figures on mlsnet. Doubtful the Post/DC govt audience cares whether its 17 or 19 or 21. They do care about $350 million in infrastructure, where that would come from, etc. The Mayor wants to play hardball; I'm sure that Mr. MacFarlane and the Staubach company can give him a game. This should be entertaining. Also Hendricks has a stake in DC United I think, and controls Washington Freedom. Is there room for a SSS in Silver Spring ("SSSSS") for both teams?

Posted by: WNT fan | October 12, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Goff,
Thanks for responding. The 17K clarification came while I was posting, so yes, my bad. Still, it would have been helpful to have that number clarified. When we figure the Redskins average attendance do we go back to 1933? Just wondering.

I think my overall frustration is that this is an extremely complicated issue that very few people are familiar with and David's article presents an incomplete picture of the facts. Not explaining the basic financial structure of owning your own stadium versus renting is glaring, as is not fully articulating the infrastructure situation at Poplar Point.

The average reader will come away from this article viewing this situation as similar to the MLB giveaway, which is simply not the case. It would be great to see an article that explains the differences between these two issues and went into the complicated development process at Poplar Point.

This article simply doesn't go deep enough. Particularly for a story on the front page of a major section. I expect better from the Post.

Posted by: DJC | October 12, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

From now on, I believe the Post should average in Redskins attendance totals from their founding season in 1937, through today. Their very first game, in Griffith Stadium, had 24,492 in attendance. : )

Posted by: Hoost | October 12, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I've noticed a negative bias from Nakamura every time he's mentioned Poplar Point. It can't be a coincidence that he's consistently twisted facts and statistics to suit his anti-Poplar Point bias. I've seen more complete, fair, coverage in the National Enquirer.

Posted by: AlecW81 | October 12, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

From an investment perspective (whether the owners' or the city's), it makes total sense to look at averages over time, and to exclude outliers like the Beckham game and the cup games against Mexican teams. You can quibble over what is the right look-back, but come on . . . . .

Posted by: season tix | October 12, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

PS -- Fisher is reading some of these posts and feeling validated . . . . .

Posted by: season tix | October 12, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I've noticed a negative bias from Nakamura every time he's mentioned Poplar Point. It can't be a coincidence that he's consistently twisted facts and statistics to suit his anti-Poplar Point bias. I've seen more complete, fair, coverage in the National Enquirer.

-----

What a ridiculous statement. Negative bias? Anti-Poplar bias? Are you joking? Fisher has strong opinions on the matter; Nakamura does not. If you want to criticize the details of his story, fine. But he has no emotional ties to this issue, whatsoever. Could the story be longer and more thorough? Of course. David had three city-govt stories in the paper today. As much as he would like to devote all of his time and energy to the endless Poplar Point issue, he cannot. The theme of today's story was MacFarlane's disgust with Fenty and the city; I think it came across vividly.

Direct your anger toward Fenty, the city, the process, whatever...not Nakamura.

Posted by: Goff | October 12, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Just get on with it and find a tract of land (or, a HUGE tract of land) outside of DC. There is just no point in continuing to fight this battle. They don't care and we need a stadium.

Posted by: Hacksaw | October 12, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Nakamura has consistently put the infrastructure money directly against the stadium cost and excluded the other development in reference. Every single article he has written has framed the money issue in such a way that the rest of the 1 billion in development supported by the infrastructure disappears. Whether this is intentional bias, some sort of neglect or standard operating procedure to consider a development projects price tag to only include the marquee element this presentation has always supported an unwarranted comparison of district investment vs private investment to make the private investor look bad. I have never seen a Nakamura article that gave the rest of the development any significant fiscal notice.

Posted by: bluemeanies | October 12, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"Entering this year, United's all-time regular season average attendance at home was 17,161. This year's 20K figure brings that up slightly.

Big picture, folks

Posted by: Goff | October 12, 2007 08:15 AM"

Goff: What other sport looks to the all-time attendance figures? Who even knows what the all time Redkins attendance is? That's a ridiculous point of reference that wouldn't hold water among fans from the other clubs in the city.

I think most people gripe about such slights because for every slam against DCU from the Post (including Tony K. and Fisher)in the "big picture press" (i.e. the part of the Post that non-DCU fans will read thus not including the Insider) there is not an apparent reciprocal effort to promote the efforts and contributions of the club. On the other hand, the average reader gets inundated with every single detail about every other team in Washington - usually in the a very flattering light.

Posted by: Mickey | October 12, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

FREEZE-DRIED ALIEN REMAINS UNCOVERED -- THE LATEST OBSTACLE TO POPLAR POINT STADIUM PLAN!!!

DC United fans outraged!

"Pull 'em up and ship them to Salt Lake, they accept petrified defenders."

Posted by: Weekly World News | October 12, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Elected officials respond to what their constituents want. Be civil and courteous and let the Mayor know you want him to work things out on a stadium for United. As a police officer once said to a friend of mine, if you're not part of the solution you're part of problem.

Here's an online form on the DC government website to do so.

http://app.dc.gov/apps/about.asp?page=atd&type=dsf&referrer=%5B$%5D&agency_id=1075

Posted by: Kire | October 12, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Direct your anger toward Fenty, the city, the process, whatever...not Nakamura

Well said. I support a stadium at Poplar Point (and have written the mayor to tell him so) but I saw no bias whasoever in the story today. I do agree that I would have liked to see either a more complete explanation of the financial picture, or none at all since it might leave the average reader with the impression that the city would be getting the raw end of the deal. But the main point: that McFarlane is a little miffed at the city, and rightfully so, came across clearly to me.

Posted by: In DC | October 12, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Folks, since when have newspaper writers ever been 100% objective? It's an impossible ideal. The article is fine, if a little spotty on the overall plan for Poplar Point. The fact remains that it doesn't matter what is written in this paper, or any other if Fenty and his entourage think so little of the contribution to the acquisition of Poplar Point by United that they would behave in such a manner.

There is a fundamental arrogance within this administration when it comes to real estate development and the disposition of property. Look at the Deputy Mayor's conflicts surrounding the West End Library (Nakamura wrote a good piece about that), and his past experience as a board member for DCSEC. This is your basic "I think I will take the girl next door for granted, because I think I can score the soap opera star I see on TV every day" story.

Lay off Goff and Nakamura.

Posted by: Eric | October 12, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Way to make soccer fans look like fanatics -- just like the posts with Fisher. It is really helpful.

Posted by: RK | October 12, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

goff,

talk to David about that $350 number, my co-workers are laughing that dc would pay that much to build yet another new stadium. That sentence alone just killed tons of public support.

I agree that someone at the post needs to write a full unbiased article on the project comparing the various proposals and the cost/benefit of each one to the city of DC and people in Anacostia.

Posted by: southeasterner | October 12, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Southeasterner, tell your co-workers to stop laughing. United wants to spend $150 million on a stadium and is asking the city for $350 in infrastructure costs (which mysteriously went up about $100 million from about a year ago)

Posted by: Chico | October 12, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

wow, some of you guys need to lay off the coffee. I seem to remember the numbers being that United would pay $150million for the stadium and they were asking the city for $200million in infrastructure. There's a bit of a difference between $350M and $200M.

But if MacFaralane is going to spend $1B overall and is asking the city for $350M that makes some sense. What I think the article should say is that the city will be asked to kick in hundreds of millions $$$ for infrastructure no matter who develops the site, instead of setting it up to sound like DCU is asking the city for all this free money that no one else is going to get.

The attendance thing really is a red-herring and it's not worth so much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth.

Posted by: Glenn | October 12, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Well if it is $350 million then the city shouldn't be involved, but that strikes me as much much higher than what I've heard in the past.

And I'm not upset about it, but in their 11th season the 'lifetime average attendance' seems an odd way to go. I can't imagine that for any local team save perhaps the Nationals in their 2nd season is town.

Posted by: Matt | October 12, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

If it's $350 million the city shouldn't be involved? Contrast that against $1 billion in development, low income housing and tax revenues generated. Marion Barry is on board for a reason.

Posted by: Chico | October 12, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

This will be my final post on this subject before I head to DCU practice at the "new" RFK.....

If you have an issue with Nakamura's numbers, e-mail him. Call him. Ask him.

The 12-year attendance figure for DCU is a fair indication of support for the club: It's a small period of time that includes good times and bad times, championships and failures, good weather and bad, doubleheaders and single games, marquee players and busts, everything needed to provide a gauge of where the club stands in the community.

United is a new team; the others in town are not. DCU's attendance started modestly, rose, dropped, leveled out and went up again. If you would like to average out attendance for the Caps, Wizards and Redskins over a modest 12-year period, I think that would be fair too.


Posted by: Goff | October 12, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Wrapping up the winningest franchise in an up-and-coming pro sports league into a permanant home in your city is not a once in a lifetime opportunity?

These guys are a few cards short of a full deck.

Posted by: Matte | October 12, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Chico,

I just spent months harrasing my die hard MLB supporting co-workers about how DC shouldn't be paying for the Nats new stadium, unlike Poplar Point which would be privately financed. So now that they have a reason to lash back they are taking full advantage.

My co-workers and most of the Post readers are going to skim that article and only see that $350 million number. And to be honest with you $350 million for infastructure in a spot that already has a metro station and roads seems a bit much. I would love to see what is included in that number as I'm willing to bet a lot of unrelated public works projects in the area that have been waiting to be done for decades are part of it.

Anyway, regardless of the PP stadium issues I can't wait to see the new grass at the old stadium tomorrow night. Any idea on who will be positioned to cover Blanco?


Posted by: Southeasterner | October 12, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Like I posted ealier in this thread. That's my main point of contention with Nakamura's article. That $350 miilion figure is a shocker. To a citizen of the District who doesn't give a damn about soccer it's a red flag for immediate shut down. MacFarlanes investment into the area has to be reported to give the voting public some perspective on this whole situtaion. I guess if the Washington Post isn't going to do that then it's up to those interested in seeing this play out fairly to set the record straight. Regardless of who develops the site the city is going to have to pony up big bucks for infrastructure. MacFarlanes plan not only generates revenue but it looks out for the citizens of Ward 8. Something Fenty is failing to do.

Posted by: Chico | October 12, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

...DCU practice at the "new" RFK...

The 12-year attendance figure for DCU is a fair indication of support for the club...to provide a gauge of where the club stands in the community...

Posted by: Goff | October 12, 2007 10:02 AM

would that be "nuevo estadio RFK?"

I think that, on balance, one could say that reporting any team's franchise multi-year attendance as the "average" is a bit odd. After your explanation and upon re-reading the article, I can now see it that way, but it would have benefited from a word or two of clarification.

Anyway, I suppose this is really a nit-picky editing rather than factual item now (and I've just added to it, so sorry for that) but I don't think it's odd that folks were thrown off by that line.

Posted by: Rob | October 12, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Having been a follower and participant in the RSL fight to get a stadium, and having watched how a hostile press can help turn a populace against spending on a stadium, I understand the concern about the impact of the $350B figure and support putting it into some sort of prospective.

Having seen what a hostile press looks like, The Post in no way fits that definition. Not yet. Don't create it.

Query Nakamura. Ask for some further reporting on the details of the $350B and what development and investment it supports. But do so respectfully.

Express your concerns about the effect that an unexplained infrastructure figure may have on the reader's ability to see the full story. Explain that you too would like to know what's covered by that $350B.

Please don't convey an impression that you see The Post is the enemy. You have no idea how damaging it would be were that to become the case.

Of course, Fenty would love it.

Posted by: seahawkdad | October 12, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

seahawkdad, get rid of that B after the 350. That'll only freak out people even more. :D

Posted by: Chico | October 12, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Article was not slanted at all, you blowhards make us DCU fans seem so whiny. And whats not fair about the city opening up its property to a fair bidding process? I think the city should be able to choose what it wants to do with its own land.

Posted by: Bob | October 12, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

All the venom directed at Nakamura is retarded. Same goes for bashing Marc Fisher. I'm a die-hard United fan, like most of you out there, but lashing out at every single person who doesn't think United is the greatest thing since Scarlett Johansen with short hair is ridiculous.

http://www.scarlett-johansson-pictures.com/with-short-hair-and-mini-skirt/?Qwd=./scarlett-johansson-060821&Qif=scarlett-johansson-060821-1.jpg&Qiv=thumbs&Qis=M&Qtmp=FS#qdig

When is everybody going to understand that MOST AMERICANS DON'T CARE ABOUT SOCCER!? They don't. They just...don't. That goes for your average DC resident as well. It's time to accept it and move on.

We've got a great thing with United, but you can't expect the city to give us everything we want, because most people don't care. There is NOT an overwhelming public sentiment in our favor, so the city can, and is, going to do whatever is financially best for them. We need to do the same. Businessmen run this team and league, and its a good thing, because if soccer fans ran it, it would be dead already. Our ownership needs to do what is best to keep the team financially afloat, and if that means moving to Fairfax, PG County, Baltimore or f'ing Dale City, they need to do it. Or else this team, and league, will fail.

I'm sorry, was I too harsh? Here, I'll make it up to you.

http://bp2.blogger.com/_xWe6Mfhdshk/RuplKVYxJMI/AAAAAAAACeU/sL-V8mPVGkU/s1600-h/Scarlett_Johansson_07020053.jpg

Posted by: Grotus | October 12, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The Post wrote an article about how Fenty did not show good faith in his dealings with McFarlane, supported by quotes from Mayor-for-life, and peopple are quibbling about the average attendance and sending letters to the ombudsman.

Man! This is the type of behavior that confirms Fisher's stereotype of us. Arguing about average attendance will get you nowhere.


Grotus: Scarlett Johansson isn't my type. Do you have anything in a Kate Beckinsale?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 12, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

My email to Nakamura:


I have a question regarding the numbers in your article "United's Owner Looks Elsewhere" in today's (10.12.07) Post.

The article states "Under his initial proposal, MacFarlane offered to pay for the $150 million stadium if the city contributed $350 million in infrastructure and allowed him to build 8 million square feet of development at Poplar Point." What exactly goes into $350 million is infrastructure? Can anything be done on the Poplar Point site without a DC investment in infrastructure?

Is MacFarlane investing any other money in the development? I was under the impression that his total cost was close to $1 billion and the stadium was a just a component. I was also under the impression that MacFarlane and DC United spent millions of dollars lobbying to help city transfer the land to the city from Federal control. Am I misinformed?

Posted by: 310 | October 12, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

---------
When is everybody going to understand that MOST AMERICANS DON'T CARE ABOUT SOCCER!? They don't. They just...don't.
---------

In DC and the metro area, I think there is a significant group of folks who think that the DC area cares (or should care) more about MLS/United than it does (or is being lead to believe that it does) care about MLB/the Nationals or the NBA/the Wizards or the NHL/the Caps.

I'm confident that a stadium deal (for United in DC) can be worked out. It's a shame that the Poplar Point project has gotten (or not gotten) to this current stage.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of the Poplar Point land/development if it does not include a new stadium.

I'm not at all certain what others are including in their RFEI submissions, but it's tough for me to see where DC might be please with not moving ahead with a plan for a United stadium at Poplar Point.

Posted by: Cares for MLB and MLS | October 12, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Goffer seems mad/exasperated by this conversation, and he's clearly tight with Nakamura, but he should be heartened by the amount of mostly healthy discussion and debate his blog generates on a daily basis. This is just another example of it.

Don't worry Goff (and the Post) we ain't mad atcha!

Posted by: DJC | October 12, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

When's the deadline for the open proposal period for the Poplar Point Parcel?

The comments on hear make it seem as if Nakamura was the anti-Christ . . .

Perhaps we should use our limited energy on Fenty and the members of the Council . .

Posted by: delantero | October 12, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Query Nakamura. Ask for some further reporting on the details of the $350B and what development and investment it supports. But do so respectfully.

Express your concerns about the effect that an unexplained infrastructure figure may have on the reader's ability to see the full story. Explain that you too would like to know what's covered by that $350B.

Please don't convey an impression that you see The Post is the enemy. You have no idea how damaging it would be were that to become the case.

Of course, Fenty would love it.

Posted by: seahawkdad | October 12, 2007 10:53 AM

I did just that and he actually responded very quickly! good guy.

Anyway, he has done his research and the city would only have to pay a part of the $350 million for infrastructure in other proposals. If this is true I have to say my mind is quickly changing on Poplar Point. As a DC tax payer I don't know if I really support $350 million of funding when another developer would only need $20-30 million.

I think the question goes back to MacFarlane and why his proposal needs $350 million in city assistance vs. a lot less for other proposals.

Posted by: Southeasterner | October 12, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Good luck getting this city to pay 350 mil for another stadium project. This is as good as gone!

Posted by: Bob | October 12, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Could the article have been better if written by a A-Soccer-Fan-#1? Yes. But, no press is bad press.

Quit your whining people, you are making all soccer fans in the DC area look bad.

Posted by: Dave | October 12, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I too remember hearing $200 million for infrastructure improvements when DCU's poplar point bid first came around. My thought is that part of the increase in cost comes from the price of construction materials shooting up in the mortgage crisis-stricken market.

Trust me, there's not an agenda, and if Nakamura wanted to keep his job, he'd be sure to get facts like that right. As a member of the press, I know of journalists that have been fired for far less.

Posted by: d, dc | October 12, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

This takes all the wind out of the DCU fans argument that this new stadium will be paid for by the owners. NO WAY will this city spend 350 mil on this stadium project when they can pay a fraction of that for a separate project that is possibly and even greater revenue source. Sorry DCU fans, its just not gonna happen.

Good post Southeasterner

Posted by: DC | October 12, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

-------
Anyway, he has done his research and the city would only have to pay a part of the $350 million for infrastructure in other proposals.
-------

If that's true, good for the city. They need to make the correct decision as to what to do with the Poplar Point land.

If the economics of the proposals mean that DC United does not get a stadium at Poplar Point, then clearly they should go in another direction that works for them. (There certainly didn't seem to be much of this level of concern when MLB was working it's magic on the previous administration and getting the National's new stadium off the ground).

I'm not sure if this process will lead United's owners to want to really pursue another site in DC (back on the RFK gounds perhaps) or if they have options in the (preferably metro-accessibly inner-)suburbs.

If Poplar Point doesn't work for MacFarlane, will he and Fenty be able to work on another stadium site in DC for United?

Posted by: Infrastructure | October 12, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I-270, you know I can't say no to you!

http://www.geocities.com/katebeckinsale2/pictures3.html

Posted by: Grotus | October 12, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I haven't said it in a few weeks...

Fenty is an @$$hole!

Posted by: Soy United! | October 12, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Interesting response from Nakamura... Why didn't he put that in his article? It could have saved us all a lot of time and effort this morning (an now afternoon). If that's true than I would say McFarlane does have to take a second look at his numbers.

I would be interested to know if there is a difference in the size and scope of the other projects Nakamura is citing to McFarlane's proposal. That could well be the difference in the city's upfront costs.

I predict DC United will end up building in the RFK parking lot.

Posted by: DJC | October 12, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

A majority of the sewage from DC and suburban MD flows under and near the Poplar Point site on the way to Blue Plains WWTP. $350 M includes major sanitary sewer improvements needed in the area, including upgrades/moving/fixing the sewage pumping station in the median of Suitland Parkway right at the intersection/merge with South Capital Street (the boxy white building). The immediate area of the stadium has much less of a problem, if those "13 acres" were separated from the total 110 acres of Poplar Point. I think it is fair for the developer of the overall site to request financial assistance in improving what is really a city/regional problem.

Posted by: Jester64 | October 12, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

as most people have started to come around on, i think people are missing the major points of the article.

i was most comforted to hear that KP and VM are committed to DC, and not moving the team elsewhere, and not out of the city if they can help it.

also was good to hear MacFarlane say that he's not going to sell the team if Poplar Point doesn't work out. Sounds like he's in it for the long haul regardless.

now i hope they can find a good alternate spot for it. i would think parking lot 3 would be plenty of space for a stadium, and still have plenty of room left on the site if the Redskins want to tear down RFK and build a bigger stadium there.

Posted by: pat | October 12, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Outsider looking in, but I read that Fenty promised a stadium at a playoff game last year, anyone have that on video? Sounds like most of his statements are via reporters, but if someone could compile a youtube video depicting all of his promises and contradictions and then fwd like it's hot that could get to him, not a public smear campaign, just merely the truth

Posted by: Huey | October 12, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

And DC is in DESPERATE need of overhauling its sewage system...

Posted by: RK | October 12, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Yes, for comparison, the capital budget for sewage improvements needed (i.e. required by federal EPA consent decree) is approaching $2 BILLION. Nobody has figured out how to pay for most of this yet either.

Posted by: Jester64 | October 12, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

now i hope they can find a good alternate spot for it. i would think parking lot 3 would be plenty of space for a stadium, and still have plenty of room left on the site if the Redskins want to tear down RFK and build a bigger stadium there.

Posted by: pat | October 12, 2007 11:58 AM
__________________________________________

That means fewer parking spaces for a larger stadium. Perhaps it would work if they built a few parking garages on the site. (Such garages could be used by commuters during the week, I suppose.) In effect, someone will have to design a hypothetical larger stadium project before building a smaller stadium for DCU, because they don't want to do anything that might later prove to get in the way of building the larger stadium that is envisioned.

Also, if the two stadiums share the same parking facilities, it means that conflicts between home dates would have to be resolved, in favor of the Deadskins, of course, but that should not be too big a deal.

Posted by: Section 410 | October 12, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

thank you grotus

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't go into my main arguments against the way the story was written earlier this morning, because I was on the way to class.

My main point of contention, is the glaring absence of any mention of the long, expensive, process UNITED started, and saw through, to have the land transfered to DC from the Feds. THIS is where I cry "foul". THIS is where the real story is.

As others have pointed out, the "statistics" used in the article, paint United and Victor in a lecherous light. Making it appear that this is a struggling franchise, asking for $350million dollars from the city, while only contributing $150million. Let's just completely ignore the $1billion investment MacFarlane would be making if his plan had been approved. Why let factual accuracy get in the way of "a good story"?

Perhaps the negative bias that I sense in Nakamura's writing towards Poplar Point is unintentional on his part, but it comes through none-the-less.

I sincerely hope United find a way to build a stadium within the District, be it Poplar Point or elsewhere. A move to the 'burbs would be extremely detrimental to the identity this team has built over the last 12 years, and frankly I don't want to be part of another suburban soccer mom experience. I.E. no colorful songs and chants, no beer-showers, no smoke, no flags, no bouncing barra brava, in short, no atmosphere.

Posted by: AlecW81 | October 12, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

with all the money talks, i just wish DC United would stop raising ticket prices every year!! MLS teams are outpricing the very fans they say they want to attract.

Posted by: $$ | October 12, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

How else are you supposed to pay for high priced talent like Veron or Palermo? They way the DCSEC has been raping United for the last dozen years shows the level of commitment of AEG and now MacFarlane.

Posted by: Chico | October 12, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

unrelated to the stadium talks, but

Red Bulls have annouced that their first round home match will be Saturday, October 27th at 7:30 p.m

and

New England has announced that Game Two of its Eastern Conference Semifinal Series will be on Saturday, Nov. 3

Any word re when DC's home playoff game will be ?

Posted by: emanon | October 12, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm anxious to see what other proposals are generated for Poplar Point now. When the Mayor's office talks about this being a once-in-a-lifetime chance, they are absolutely right. Anacostia is potentially the most neglected part of any major city on the east coast. But this is EXACTLY why the city needs the SSS in Poplar Point! A stadium is one of the few public centers that people will go out of their way to visit. If Poplar Point becomes nothing more than a park or a mall, why on earth would anyone (not from Ward 8) visit that park/mall over any other one in the city?

Barry hit the nail on the head when he wrote "Can you imagine the national soccer championship game in Anacostia and 20,000 people coming over here and seeing it's not hell over here?" Barry asks. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." Poplar Point without a stadium (or some other amazing draw that I'm missing) won't be succesful.

Posted by: JRF | October 12, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

higher attendace by making it affordable for all people in the area to go to games

Posted by: $$ | October 12, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Worse than "misleading" is appears to be completely made up. Nakamura quoted $200 Million three times from April through July:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/07/AR2007040701317_pf.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/20/AR2007072002470.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/27/AR2007072700163.html?nav=rss_sports/dcunited

He didn't explain where "the source" got that figure from, and very little about what it was to go for other than that it supposedly included tax subsidies, but also normal government services (like roads). What the "real" subsidy is no one seems to know.

Posted by: S | October 12, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Made up? haha. Yes, because Nakamura has a history of this...

Do you guys want to scare off the post from writing another postive-skewed piece?

Posted by: Dave | October 12, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

emanon:

I just got the DCU season-ticket-holder email...

Playoff Game #1 is Thursday, Nov 1st, 7:30pm.

Opponent TBD.

Posted by: Erick | October 12, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it then cost $350 million for any type of development/upgrade in that area?

Posted by: Hoost | October 12, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Positive skewed? haha

Posted by: DirtyHarry | October 12, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Outsider looking in, but I read that Fenty promised a stadium at a playoff game last year, anyone have that on video? Sounds like most of his statements are via reporters, but if someone could compile a youtube video depicting all of his promises and contradictions and then fwd like it's hot that could get to him, not a public smear campaign, just merely the truth

Posted by: Huey | October 12, 2007 12:05 PM


Here you go Huey. This is the quote along with a link to the whole article. Everyone can enjoy this!!!

"Thank you Kevin for this D.C. United jersey and congratulations on your terrific season," Fenty said. "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 31 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: Chief Clancy Wiggum | October 12, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm selling out but I'll give Nakamura the benefit of the doubt until I see a better source. I'm guessing he knows a lot more about the details of this deal then any of us.

But the reality in DC is that we will probably never see or know the details, just the results.

I do feel that Fenty should at least have a conversation with MacFarlane about his other options if Poplar Point goes to someone else.

The RFK site is going to be a battle Royale that is going to involve all the major developers as well as environmentalists and community activists. If people think United will get a shot at that site they are really living in a dream world...however the good thing is United probably has lots of time at RFK before anyone agrees on what is going to happen to it.

I see an expanded Soccerplex in our distant future.

Posted by: Southeasterner | October 12, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The source of the $350M (I got it right this time, Chico) is MacFarlane, according to a BigSoccer post by JoseP this morning:

"FYI, I emailed Nakamura to ask which requested figure was correct, $200 million or $350 million, and his response:
'Fenty people had told me 200 but macf himself more recently said the higher figure.' "

Posted by: seahawkdad | October 12, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, are you all noticing how responsive Nakamura is to questions?

Nice, isn't it?

Posted by: seahawkdad | October 12, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Sad that folks want to quibble over details in Nakamura's article(s). He's gotten newer information (from the team) regarding the infrastructure that he's incorporated into this latest one.

There's two issues here.
1. Fenty's the bad guy in this. Don't lose focus on that.

2. This is now two fairly high profile deals with the city (the Nats being the other) where the City has mislead the other parties in negotiation. They're setting a precedent that you can't trust them in any way to pull off any kind of deal. This is going to hurt the District in the long run when business consider dealing with governments in the DC Region.

Posted by: Kim | October 12, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Assuming Nakamura, in his article and response e-mail above, is factual, this article may be pro-D.C. Imagine how much you'd hate Nakamura if he mentioned that other proposals asked the district for far less money.

Posted by: UVA to RFK | October 12, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

How can Nakamura or anyone else know much for sure about other proposals? In all likelihood, few if any have yet been finalized and formally submitted. When I worked for a professional services firm, we rarely submitted proposals far in advance of the deadline. Even if we had finished drafting what we considered an acceptable package days in advance, we'd hold on to it, just in case someone came up with an idea to tweak our proposal and make it just a bit more attractive. As a chess champion once said, when you see a good move, stop and look again; you'll probably see a better move.

Posted by: Section 410 | October 12, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"How can Nakamura or anyone else know much for sure about other proposals? In all likelihood, few if any have yet been finalized and formally submitted."
---------------------------------
Because Neil Albert is telling him. I think Nakamura should be asking the questions to get to the bottom of this, but it also falls to United to better manage the flow of information on their end. They have been quiet about the financial end of their proposal.

Has anyone asked Albert to explain why the process was written in a way to exclude United Holdings?

Posted by: b1968k | October 12, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

How would Neil Albert know, given that he has probably received few if any firm proposals, for the reasons given in my earlier post? And even if he had, would he disclose information about the proposals that he had received to date to the media, knowing that there are other potential bidders who have not yet submitted their proposals, and who could use such information to their own advantage? That could be considered highly irregular, to put it mildly.

Posted by: Section 410 | October 12, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I am just sick at this development. I was an early Fenty supporter, pushed my union to endorse him early, wrote the biggest check I have ever written for local politics for Fenty, talked to my friends and neighbors and co-workers for him And he PROMISED us that we would have a stadium, soaked up the applause for that before he got elected. If Fenty loses DC United to the suburbs, I will do whatever it takes to get a new mayor in 2010.

Now I don't say that the real estate developers who bought DC United should be able to use the team to get leverage to shake down the city for development rights as a condition of building a stadium. But a soccer stadium owned by United should be a required part of any successful bid for Poplar Point, whatever else gets done there and whoever it is that gets the overall development rights.

Posted by: Mad as hell, not going to take it any more | October 12, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

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