Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

Stadium? Oh, That Stadium

Poplar Point update.....

From David Nakamura's story in Wednesday's editions of The Post:

A coalition of D.C. Council members is drafting legislation that would authorize Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to spend $150 million in public money to subsidize construction of a soccer stadium for D.C. United in Southeast Washington, city government sources said. Under the plan being developed by Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), the 27,000-seat stadium would be included in a larger, mixed-use development at Poplar Point, a 110-acre swath of parkland along the Anacostia River. The city would finance construction bonds with excess tax revenue being collected by the District to pay for the baseball stadium. D.C. United would be responsible for paying for any costs above $150 million, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan is still being finalized. The legislation could be introduced at the council's next legislative meeting Tuesday, if all goes smoothly, the sources said.

The complete story is available by clicking here.....

By Steve Goff  |  May 27, 2008; 10:07 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Crew's Statement
Next: Lots of Soccer

Comments

Well, well!

Posted by: Stan | May 27, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Hell YES!

Posted by: BK | May 27, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this actually sounds encouraging!

Posted by: Beaker | May 27, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

zzzzzzzzzz.... wha... wait, WHAT?!

Posted by: d, dc | May 27, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I'll be curious to see if it passes the full Council.

Posted by: Curious | May 27, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

lots of unanswered questions. would we get a sweetheart deal like the Nats? who controls the ancillary revenue streams like parking and concessions? what about other development rights? retail, office, hotel, etc

Posted by: Glenn | May 27, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Nice, but I'd like to see a bigger stadium.... We're going from a large stadium to a low/med sized stadium. Why not just take down RFK and rebuild the stadium there?

Posted by: dogboy | May 27, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Goff, giving us the scoop! Thanks for looking out for us.

It's a start, and I like 27,000 seats (I thought earlier numbers had 23,000, but I may have that wrong.)

Ready to drive in from Gainesville!

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 27, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I believe there have been debates with Nakamura(or somebody else with the Post) on the definition of "subsidies" before. What does it mean in this case? Is the $150 million going towards the stadium and infrastructure, just the stadium, or just the infrastructure?

Posted by: sitruc | May 27, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to see the capacity go up to 30k or 35k, but hey, at this point, I'm not going to quibble too hard, so long as United gets control over parking and concession streams.

When can I order my tickets to Estadio VW?

Posted by: The AMT | May 27, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

It worries me it is leaked a week ahead of time, too much time for the anti-folks to galvanize.
I'll finally believe it when Victor is soiling a golden shovel.

I'll still prefer RFK, but it is good for the team to be able to control its own destiny - along with parking and concessions, well, there won't really be much parking I reckon.

Posted by: Lonnie | May 27, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Sounds encouraging.

Posted by: Dadryan | May 27, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure your scoop is accurate but I'm just not up to the on again off again love affair between United and Fenty.

Posted by: N. Daknow | May 27, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

"Goff, giving us the scoop! Thanks for looking out for us.

Posted by: Joe Doc | May 27, 2008 10:36 PM"

To be fair, Bruce Johnson of Channel 9 had this up on his blog hours before Goff.

Posted by: NattyBo | May 27, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean Goff will no longer be able to use his blog famous trademark?

Posted by: Murr | May 27, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

A HA!

So the city flexes its muscles and make United pay for the stadium (as well as own it) and they'll pick up the infrastructure costs!


Oh, wait, that was United's original idea?

Thank you Mayor Fenty for wasing a year....

Posted by: Kim | May 27, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know DC politics well enough to venture an educated guess whether this would pass?

Posted by: Nic | May 27, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know DC politics well enough to venture an educated guess whether this would pass?

Posted by: Nic | May 27, 2008 11:07 PM
***
Marion Barry might be a punchline in the rest of the country, but here in DC, he still pulls a lot of weight. He represents Ward 8 on the Council, and he's behind the stadium, which would be in Ward 8. I wouldn't give odds, but it certainly has a decent chance of passing with Barry behind it.

Posted by: EdTheRed | May 27, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

waiting and watching here in MD

Posted by: JSF | May 27, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

worry about a bigger stadium after you sell out every game first.

Posted by: satan | May 27, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh my sweet baby Jesus!

Posted by: Ricky Bobby | May 28, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Yippee Kai Yeah Mutha . .

Posted by: build it and they will come | May 28, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Anyone calling for a bigger stadium apparently missed every other thread about this on the insider.

Posted by: Skyler | May 28, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Pigman believes that zack wells and franco niell will somehow cause the stadium to not be built.

Posted by: pigman sweet | May 28, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

I think I'm rooting more for this to go through than for us to win our next few matches.....

Posted by: Andy | May 28, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Pigman how the heck are our most expendable players gonna cause the stadium not to be built?
Ridiculous.

Posted by: Dadryan | May 28, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow... Marion Berry. That's awesome! I haven't heard that name in a while. At least not since I heard old whats-his-name, the little mayor with the bow tie in the mid-late 1990s who was supposed to fix DC back when I lived there.

Posted by: Modibo | May 28, 2008 1:56 AM | Report abuse

SWEET

BABY

JONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | May 28, 2008 3:10 AM | Report abuse

nice

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 5:15 AM | Report abuse

The At-Large members usually follow the lead of the member whose district an action is taking place. But in this case, I can see Catania, Mendelson and Schwartz opposing this deal.

That Evans, Barry and Gray seem to be on board is great, and with Brown, there are four. I would guess Cheh will be on board as well.

The fact that the monies used are essentially overflow cash from the Nationals stadium means that rather than retiring that debt early, they would be using those monies for this development.

Given the broader economic situation, it seems that the short term boost for construction jobs and the longer term boost for service and office jobs could be a compelling sell.

Of course, opposition will say that those monies should go into the general fund to support education, emergency services etc.

Personally, I think that using the "excess" monies from Nationals Park for this will be good for the District, and once complete, the city will have a broader tax base from which to support the general fund.

In other words, it was not money that they were counting on and in the long run will be entirely more beneficial for the city and region.

Posted by: Lukas | May 28, 2008 5:54 AM | Report abuse

It was wrong when the city voted for taxpayer money to build the Nats stadium and it's wrong for them to do the same for DCU's stadium. Let United pay for it themselves.

Posted by: Colin | May 28, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

What kind of stadium $150 mil can build? A crapy one given the limited amount unless United throws in some big chunk? We got to have a state of the art type. And how pathetic is this when DC Gov't gave away $600 mill to boring team and just a single fraction to United.

Posted by: td | May 28, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Colin,

Unless you go to the Nats stadium or own a huge business in DC, you are not paying for the stadium. The only taxes going into the stadium are the ones it generates itself.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

td - the city did not "give away $600 mill" to the Nationals. Sure, they financed the construction of a stadium (that the city owns) with the sole purpose of housing the Nationals. But the team pays rent, the city runs the concessions, and of course keeps the tax revenues (on concessions, merch, and tickets) and can rent out the stadium for other things such as your occasional papal visit or high school baseball tournament.

Likewise, United would not be given a stadium and as I thought I understood it, did not want to be given a stadium. The MLS SSS model envisions the team operators owning the stadium, thereby collecting virtually all revenue generated by said stadium. As someone noted earlier in this thread, there are some ambiguities associated with Nakamura's reporting as to whether the money is intended for construction of the stadium (hopefully, unlikely) or for infrastructure costs associated with ultimately putting the SSS in Poplar Point.

If it is the latter...which I hope it is...then the DC Council, etc., are merely doing what United wanted them to do in the first place...take care of its municipal duties of ensuring that the necessary city services will be available for the stadium.

Posted by: DE | May 28, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I am reserving all signs of giddiness until Wednesday.
As long as BB/SE/LN are there, it doesnt matter what kinda of stadium it is, it will be rocking!
IMHO I can't see McFarland/Chang/Payne building anything but a world class facility.

Posted by: boda united | May 28, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"excess tax revenue" HA, typical Newspeak.

The Nats stadium is financed by taxes on DC businesses earning over $3 mil/year. The government imposed more taxes than needed to finance the bonds. I would assume that there will be considerable pressure from those who actually pay the tax to retire the stadium debt early and eliminate the tax, rather than treat the over-tax as "found money" that the Council can do with as they see fit.

Posted by: Old WNT fan | May 28, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"Why not just take down RFK and rebuild the stadium there?"

-------------------
Um, where would the team play for two seasons, HD Woodson High?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Nice, but I'd like to see a bigger stadium.... We're going from a large stadium to a low/med sized stadium. Why not just take down RFK and rebuild the stadium there?

Posted by: dogboy | May 27, 2008 10:35 PM
=========================================

This has been discussed at length in this forum in the past. In fact, RFK will almost surely be demolished as soon as United moves out. However, if another stadium is built there, it will be one of FedEx proportions, with the intent of luring the Deadskins back to the District.

Further, a scenario in which United moves back to RFK after a new stadium is built would require that they find a temporary home for two years or so. There simply aren't any good candidates. Would anyone want DCU to be playing in a makeshift facility like that minor league baseball park outside KC?

Posted by: tri-village | May 28, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Um, where would the team play for two seasons, HD Woodson High?

>>>>>>>>>

fedex.

Posted by: mizage | May 28, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I think the Little Redskin Dictator is looking at RFK's site to build his own playground sometime in the future.

Fed Ex Field blows.

Posted by: Max | May 28, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Would Danny let them play there. Be interesting to see how much would he gouge, err charge United?

DCU would lose a lot attendance wise if they played at Dannyworld for a couple years as it is not Metro accessable at all and I can't see Metro setting up busses from New Carrolton. I can't think of any other place they would play.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

---
I would assume that there will be considerable pressure from those who actually pay the tax to retire the stadium debt early and eliminate the tax, rather than treat the over-tax as "found money" that the Council can do with as they see fit.
---

But will that pressure cause the Council not to support the soccer stadium plan at Poplar Point?

There's a lot of other "pressure" that wants this stadium done. One would assume that with a soccer stadium on that site, the entire development in Ward 8 would be accelerated and improved.

Posted by: I'll miss RFK | May 28, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"Under the plan being developed by Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Marion Barry (D-Ward 8),"

OK. Which one of you broke into Gray's house to strongarm him into doing this. Did you do the same for Evans?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | May 28, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Someone needs to post that Fenty quote, the one that used to be repeated in anger.

Posted by: Full circle? | May 28, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Seeing as both Nats Park and the supposed new DCU stadium are on the Green Line, I can't even BEGIN to imagine what kinda nightmare it would be on the Metro on days when both teams were playing.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 28, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

That said, let's hope the city council gets its act together quickly and approves this deal! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | May 28, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

That being said, what would they do with RFK if a new stadium is built? Tear it down?

Posted by: KC | May 28, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

That being said, what would they do with RFK if a new stadium is built? Tear it down?

Posted by: KC | May 28, 2008 10:53 AM
=========================================

Yes. That question has been answered more than once in the past two hours.

To my knowledge, FedEx has never been made available for soccer after Labor Day, for obvious reasons, and I can see no reason why Snyder and Co. would consider it now.

Posted by: tri-village | May 28, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the rotting, festering hulk that is RFK would surely be torn down before nature can fully claim it for its own.

As for building a new stadio there -- there's a reason why the 'Skins never got it down. It's an environmental mess. Building a new facility will require a remediation plan which means years of litigation. Even if there were a good temporary facility for United, it would take far too long to get a new facility at RFK. Is it a better location? Yes. It's also not a real option.

Maybe, when the 'Skins get a new stadium built there, sometime between 2015 and 2020, some consideration might be given to designing it to host big soccer matches. MLS Cup final? Or, the big one -- the Guardian is reporting that the USSF is planning a big effort to challenge England for the 2018 Cup.

I do however, think that United should set its sights higher -- Average attendance the last three years is above 19,000. If we can do that at RFK, surely we could get it to 50% more at a nice park -- especially with bigger budgets and better-known players in the MLS -- which gets us to the 27,000. Some games smaller, to be sure, but for some games they could do better than that. What about leaving room to grow? I think they should consider a design that expands to at least 30,000.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | May 28, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

nice park, bigger budgets, etc., will likely mean higher prices too, and Econ 101 suggests that higher prices will affect ticket demand

Posted by: Mysterian | May 28, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Mysterian,

Indeed. But, if DCU is capturing all the marginal revenue from each additional fan (as they are not right now, because they don't get much from parking or concessions or luxury suites, etc), then econ 101 dictates it's worth more to bring the extra fans in.

Which means more money, but for a better product.

Posted by: S | May 28, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

S, I'm down with that. My demand for tix is pretty inelastic, so I'll be there unless they go all Danny Snyder or something.

Posted by: Mysterian | May 28, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Only fifty-somethin comments on a stadium thread so far?!?!?

Look for this 27,000 seat stadium to be expandable if need be.

Posted by: glaucon | May 28, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Once the United stadium gets built and the gentrification continues it's drive eastward the reality of the Redskins coming back to where RFK stands now will make a ton of sense.
No one could understand how positive the change would be in Seatlle when they imploded the King Dome and then went on to build Safeco and then Qwest in it's place. World Class facilities that tons of "liberals" didn't like on paper. Bet a lot of those liberals are some of those 16,000 "season ticket holders" that the Sounders already have.
We are looking at a Win Win Situation here same as the Baseball stadium. It will take a hot minute before all this settles in and everyone realizes the real value.
These neighborhoods will never be the same, but we will be saying this in a positive context.
Build it they will come.

Posted by: Dadryan | May 29, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company