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Chatting With Payne

D.C. United President Kevin Payne is conducting a live online chat on washingtonpost.com right now. Click here to engage. Go to the comments section of this thread to discuss his answers and any other stadium or club issues.

By Steve Goff  |  February 18, 2009; 11:38 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

Unfortunately it's kind of a waste of time. He's not really answering any questions. It's all variations of the same sort of bland corporate pr speak.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | February 18, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I feel like an idiot. Five miles from RFK? I can do that. Guess I should have looked at a map :)

Posted by: regularfan | February 18, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

That's five arial miles... not taking into acount the beltway.

Posted by: PWCDCUFAN | February 18, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Payne: We have no intention of changing the most recognized name in American soccer. We have always thought of ourselves as a regional team -- the fact we have season ticket holders from so many states proves that point!

We will be very much a part of the community in Prince George's County, but we will be D.C. United.
==============
That's that. If anyone brings up this topic again, I will post the lyrics of every Molly Hatchet song (yes, there were more than 3) every day until the stadium is built.

Posted by: joedoc1 | February 18, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"....I will post the lyrics of every Molly Hatchet song (yes, there were more than 3) every day until the stadium is built."

Wow, think of the load that would impose on the Post's blogging infrastructure. Why, you'd be flirting with disaster if you did that...

Posted by: 22206no1 | February 18, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

It is as if traffic doesn't exist any more in DC...

Posted by: Reignking | February 18, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

That's five arial miles... not taking into acount the beltway.


Posted by: PWCDCUFAN | February 18, 2009 12:11 PM

---

Why are so many VA fans dead set on taking the Beltway? Assuming the site is Morgan Blvd, the easiest way would be to go to RFK, take East Capitol street all the way into PG county (it turns into central avenue) and right up to the Stadium. 15 extra minutes, tops.

Posted by: NattyBo1985 | February 18, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"Maryland has a great, professional approach to analyzing stadium opportunities, and the folks in Prince George's County have been wonderful.

The negotiations have not been particularly difficult, everyone has had the attitude of getting something done, so that really helps."

read: we're so happy to be done with those bozos in D.C. i guess the size of our kickback wasn't to their liking.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | February 18, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: kennybenny | February 18, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

15 extra minutes, tops.

Posted by: NattyBo1985 | February 18, 2009 12:22 PM


Dude, I so hope you're right. The drive to west FFX / Loudoun from the old Cap Centre was awful, I'm hoping your route is as you say.

Posted by: JkR- | February 18, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

The best part for me was knowing that this stadium isn't going to look like those cookie cutter venues we see popping up.

Posted by: dpowellutkedu | February 18, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

So who are the couple of young guys we are going to love?

Posted by: regularfan | February 18, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

at this point all i want to know is how far from a metro entrance would the stadium entrance be when walking. I am getting very worried that they are talking a mile minimum and not a mile extreme maximum.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | February 18, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Standing Areas - Ohhhh lookout Kevin - Platini and the Taylor Report are going to have something to say about this.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 18, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I get the feeling that the closer the stadium is to a Metro, the higher the price to build it will be.

Posted by: Juan-John | February 18, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Standing Areas - Ohhhh lookout Kevin - Platini and the Taylor Report are going to have something to say about this.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 18, 2009 12:59 PM

Ha! :-)

Thankfully neither has any jurisdiction over us.

Posted by: Kev29 | February 18, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"Kevin Payne: We are using one of our DP slots now -- on Luciano Emilio"

I thought DC only has 1 slot now after reacquiring Gomez?

Posted by: undrafted | February 18, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Is there any information on whether they intend to design the stadium so that there can be an increase in capacity in the future?

Posted by: Grunt11M | February 18, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@ Juan-John. As I understand it, that's one of the problems with any VA locations. There developers were quick to see the value of land surrounding the stations and, as a result, land is very expensive.

Apparently Maryland locations have just now started to hit that cycle, so the land is cheaper than around Virginia Metro stops.

If true, United is getting on the ground at a good time. Maryland is supporting transit oriented development, which pretty much describes what United is doing.

Posted by: seahawkdad | February 18, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@Kev29

Tell that to ME-chelle. Wait until he finds out that MLS is single entity or that AEG used to own 60% of the league.

He'll oust Blatter and pass a UN style non-binding resolution.

That'll teach us!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 18, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"In the meantime, Namoff, Burch, McTavish and Janicki have all come into camp in great shape and seem intent on ensuring that no one takes their job! "

Looks like we've got our defensive starters!

Posted by: DCUMD | February 18, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"In the meantime, Namoff, Burch, McTavish and Janicki have all come into camp in great shape and seem intent on ensuring that no one takes their job! "

Looks like we've got our defensive starters!

Posted by: DCUMD | February 18, 2009 1:35 PM


Looks like I picked the wrong season to quit drinking.

Posted by: mcontento | February 18, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Seahawkdad, makes sense.

My only remaining quibble is that DCU's proposed stadium will have a seating capacity smaller than the Galaxy's.

Posted by: Juan-John | February 18, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

To whomever, asked about KP's health - nice touch.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 18, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

The LA metro population dwarfs the DC market, so in theory, the Galaxy should play in a bigger stadium. That said, the lesson learned from Home Depot Center is that you don't want to have too many seats. Such a situation softens ticket demand. DCU is doing the right thing to create a demand for seats by limiting the new facility to 24K.


Posted by: Steve Goff | February 18, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

mcontento is correct. Without at least one significant improvement in the back, we'll still give away far too many goals. On the other hand, Payne did indicate that they're still looking at center backs, so it's not yet time to break out the flasks.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | February 18, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

And, in reference to Home Depot Center seating, they had to have the extra seats for all the ladies who came out primarily to watch Becks take his shirt off after games...

Posted by: seahawkdad | February 18, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

With our awesome backline this year, we should pack RFK to the rafters.

Posted by: Hoost | February 18, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Softens ticket demand? You can build a 24,000-seat stadium and sell 24,000 seats consistently, but with a 30,000-seat stadium in the same area, you'll sell only 20,000? If true, a good economics thesis topic. Or maybe everyone else understands this already -- I haven't read Freakonomics. I'm not being snarky, I'm just curious . . . I understand that with some luxury goods, limiting the number produced will bid up the price, but not sure if DCU tickets will work the same way.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | February 18, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

15 extra minutes, tops.

Posted by: NattyBo1985 | February 18, 2009 12:22 PM


you been drinking too much of your namesake - no chance "15 minutes tops." just during a regular non-game day the single lane exit to the Penn Ave bridge takes 15 minutes. and without delays its 15 minutes min just to get from RFK to New Jack City. Most VA folks will not want to trek across the city to get to RFK to then get to Piggy County - so add an extra 30 miles each way using the Wilson Bridge.

Posted by: Section107 | February 18, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Nattyboh 1985 is correct. I have lived in both Virginia and Maryland so I am very familiar with getting around town. The Beltway is way out of the way for some areas of NOVA; particularly Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church.

Posted by: croftonpost | February 18, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Don't take the Penn exit. Veer to the right at the Penn exit onto 295, exit at Howard, take a left on Howard, and then take the first left back onto 295. Saves a lot of time.

Posted by: croftonpost | February 18, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

they are going to have to create demand if they play like they did last season.....peewwww...it was UGLY

Posted by: bobfairchild1 | February 18, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

fallschurch1: The behavioral economics was explained to me a few years ago when Columbus built their stadium. You have to remember that attendance is counted as "tickets sold," rather than as "fans in seats." With over-capacity seating like RFK, people will wait, check the weather, look at whether [insert superstar name] is playing for the visitors or not, and then buy a walk-up ticket. With limited seating, people will buy tickets in advance, fearing a sell-out. So even if the superstar's team visits on a rainy day and he is on the injured list, the seats will count as sold. It's weird, but it does apply.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 18, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

All right, A on the thesis paper. Would have been an A+ but it wasn't in a plastic cover.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | February 18, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I-270: it also increases demands for season tickets, at least partial season plans. We saw this when combined with the demand for Galaxy tickets in 07, you couldn't buy just one ticket for a long time, you had to buy packages of several games. So instead of buying just one game, people buy three or four.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | February 18, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Right. My grade is slipping...

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 18, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I can understand the appeal for a 24,000 seat stadium instead of a larger one at this point, but who's to say we don't see TFC-like demand in the coming years?

Has there been any indication that this stadium will be designed such that easy future expansion is feasible?

Posted by: afadgsafhgd | February 18, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

DCU avg home attendance

1996: 15,262
1997: 16,698
1998: 16,008
1999: 17,419
2000: 18,580
2001: 21,518
2002: 16,519
2003: 15,565
2004: 17,232
2005: 16,664
2006: 18,215
2007: 20,967
2008: 19,835

To me, 24,000 seems to be the right balance of creating demand, providing an intimate atmosphere and meeting common attendance expectations.

Posted by: Steve Goff | February 18, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

So, Mr. Payne declined to answer any questions about the failings of the technical and front office staff over the last few years regarding roster additions/subtractions, the draft and the poor performance on the two stages it really matters, MLS Cup and International Play.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | February 18, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

My questions weren't answered.

Posted by: B_A_ | February 18, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Neither was mine.

He glossed over it in response to other questions, but failed to provide specifics about where else United looked in the District.

Posted by: delantero | February 18, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

To me, 24,000 seems to be the right balance of creating demand, providing an intimate atmosphere and meeting common attendance expectations.

Posted by: Steve Goff | February 18, 2009 4:15 PM

Yes, but you didn't answer my question. Is there any indication that the design will consider future expansion?

Posted by: afadgsafhgd | February 18, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a definitive answer on the DCU stadium, but how many facilities these days (in any sport) are designed to accommodate future expansion? Not many.

Posted by: Steve Goff | February 18, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

delantero,

Really? Are you serious? They have finally made progress on a stadium deal and you want him to comment on the record as to where in DC they shopped. Why? What purpose does it serve? Are you insinuating they didn't and instead sat around losing millions getting a good laugh? He'll never officially comment on that.

Posted by: croftonpost | February 18, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I live in No. Virginia. In my heart of hearts, I wish they'd build the stadium 10 minutes from my house outside the Beltway. But the reality is this: they need a SSS, PG County is fine, if they get it near a Metro stop, even better. I drive from Braddock Road (outside the Beltway), on the Beltway, through PG Country and to Solomons (Calvert and St. Mary's Counties) in one hour. 60 minutes. So stop the freaking complaining. If we get a well-designed stadium with seats that rock, a design that holds in the sound, space for pickup games and tailgates within 2 years than I'm going to be a very happy man and anyone else who isn't a Red Bulls fan.

I thought it interesting that Payne said the team was looking at a young centerback but there were complications. I'd prefer a good organizer though.

Posted by: JoeW1 | February 18, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

He'll never officially comment on that.

I'm not insinuating anything. I'd simply like to know where they considered sites within the District. That's a pretty simple question, really.

What harm is there in saying we looked here in DC but didn't like it because A, B or C? Zilch.

And why do you seem pissed?

Posted by: delantero | February 18, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

There are about 20 people on here and on Big Soccer that think this is the greatest move ever. When you ask questions or challenge what you hear from United's front office (or don't hear from them), these 20 people or so go batsh*t. Talk about drinking the kool-aid.

24K will be too big. I think the right number should be about 20K. Not one new stadium (outside of LA, and that's only with Becks), comes close to selling out on a regular basis. Fact.

Posted by: Hoost | February 18, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, well, it's not that I am not super excited for a new stadium, etc.

But not publicly discussing the alternatives makes me think the front office had Poplar or PG or nothing.

I will guarantee that when the final plans are announced for PG, they will include extensive development possibilities for Victor and Will.

The reason they did not truly explore other, non-Poplar DC sites is because those sites didn't have acres of space that could be turned into condos.

Payne saying that real estate is not their motive is pure politics and I am not buying the bs.

Go UNITED. Football FIRST!

Posted by: delantero | February 18, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow, can you imagine if they put a terrace in there? That would be incredible! I hope all future SSS expansion tries to do unique and cool things like that instead of the "cookie cutter" mold.

Posted by: kingchros | February 18, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a definitive answer on the DCU stadium, but how many facilities these days (in any sport) are designed to accommodate future expansion? Not many.


Posted by: Steve Goff | February 18, 2009 5:58 PM
_________________________________________

Goff: The attendance figures you presented above show why they should consider making an exception in this case. These figures show an average annualized growth rate of about 2.2 percent per year over DCU's history. If this trend continues, average attendance would be about 21,600 in 2012, the projected first full year for the new stadium. Then it would hit 24,000 by about 2017. If the stadium were to be expanded to allow it, attendance would grow to 27K by 2023, and to 30K by 2027.

And I don't find continued growth at that rate over the long term unrealistic. If DCU attendance simply tracks growth in the area's population, that would account for most of it.

Posted by: universityandpark | February 19, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

I played around with routes from my home in Arlington to various destinations in and near Largo using MapQuest. Interestingly, some points in this area are best reached by taking the familiar route to RFK (14th St. Bridge), but then continuing past RFK down Suitland Parkway, and up the Beltway. These trips are estimated to be about 15 minutes longer than a trip that concudes at RFK. There are also alternative routes (e.g., Silver Hill Rd.). People should not get fixated about getting stuck on Wilson Bridge.

Posted by: universityandpark | February 19, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

24,000 is fine for the next 15-20yrs.
If you think soccer growth in this country has reached a peak, you are a fool.
I hold season tix in Charlottesville, Va.
PG is as good a spot as any.
Fenty got burned by a business venture decided upon under high emotion;his bad. He wants to be careul and inturn lost DCU.
F-him.
20yrs. DCU consistently sells out it's renovated PG sss at 35,000 seats.
Nonaysayers.

Posted by: eyeprose | February 19, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

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