Network News

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

DCU Stadium Update

The saga continues.....

Read it and weep.

Thoughts on St. Louis United?

By Steve Goff  |  March 10, 2009; 9:14 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Terps' Newcomers
Next: Wednesday Kickaround

Comments

Did they really need to involve the county? Do they want this to fail?

Posted by: sitruc | March 10, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

With as tight as it is for govs this is simply not the time for United to get cute and mess around or they will mess everything up.

Posted by: degerron | March 10, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Thoughts on St. Louis United?

I'd feel a lot better about Portland and Vancouver getting expansion teams if St. Louis gets a relocated team.

Posted by: sitruc | March 10, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Atlanta United! Atlanta United!

Posted by: Reignking | March 10, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Is there anyone in the area, DC, VA or MD who is interested in the team? This sucks. Guess we will be at RFK forever.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | March 10, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Ohhhh Atlanta, Our Sweet Sweet Club, Stolen History, Blue skies above...


See, I just wrote the first song.

No, but really, don't get cute. If you didn't think your original plan would work, you shouldn't have made it your original plan. Stick with it, fight for it. Build in PG.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 10, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Worse case scenerio: We just continue playing at RFK. DC United will never move - too much history -- to big of a fan base

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | March 10, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

"Worse case scenerio: We just continue playing at RFK. DC United will never move - too much history -- to big of a fan base"
------------------------------------------

RFK is gonna crumble at some point.

Posted by: stancollins | March 10, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

any chance this is in response to renewed interest from the District?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 10, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

"RFK is gonna crumble at some point"

And from what I understand, that point is sometime soon.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 10, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

How much does a round trip ticket to St. Louis cost?

Posted by: marcool | March 10, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone really surprised by all of this? I won't believe that they will get a stadium until it's built...

Posted by: bighungry | March 10, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

This does seem like very poor planning. They just rolled this thing out and now the club is already changing the tune. Not good at all. I'm sure the county doesn't like being blindsided like this.

Posted by: fedssocr | March 10, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh well. It was fun to have DC United around. I'll miss them greatly. My only regret is that I only have one vote to vote against the people that made this happen.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | March 10, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

PG County buy in provides a good faith deposit, at least as seen by the Stadium Authority as this helps to spread the financial risk. This could be a deal breaker in this environment unless some real grassroots support for this builds. Other than the DCU faithful, not sure where this is going to come from.

Posted by: sbg1 | March 10, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

No more talk of St. Louis.

Don't hypothesize...mobilize!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rFx6OFooCs

Posted by: Pedalada | March 10, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

On a bit happier note, our U-20s have qualified for Egypt. Down to nine men during the second half, Brek Shea and Tony Taylor scored to win 2-0.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 10, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

12 days until United's first match.

It only took me 90 minutes to drive from Chester to Montgomery County last Sunday.

Posted by: Curious99 | March 10, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Great idea RK!!!!! Atlanta United has a nice ring to it. Btw, did you hear we are getting one of the AC Milan friendlies this summer at the Dome?

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | March 10, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

It has been said before about different matters, like those related to recruiting, trades, etc., but the front office of this team is a disaster. They have "tin ears" about every move they make to "improve" this club. Reminds me of the bankers who spends millions on parties as their franchise is evaporating.
Get your act together for gods sake.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | March 10, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Really?? This stadium saga has been going on for what seems like 10 years...and just as all hope dies with DC and the team has a chance to make something work nearby they come up with this???? I would compare this to someone offering you a burrito for $5 and when you get to the register they say "That will be 10.50 please". The customer is going to be pissed and walk away and that's probably what Maryland and Prince George's County will do as well.

Now do the owners really care if this team makes money as DC United or as Insert City Here United? Or do they really care about where they are going to get the sweetest deal for the portfolios?

Posted by: DCU_VW | March 10, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Pedalada has tought us an important lesson. When this comes up for a vote, have Pacino give the argument in favor.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 10, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I feel like this is a bait-and-switch after I've e-mailed all of my elected reps and asked all Marylanders to do so.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 10, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

In a related note, a very important vote in the Portland City Council tomorrow that will determine if the stadium remodel in downtown Portland will go forward or not, and thus whether Portland will probably get a MLS team or not.

Posted by: timoteo1 | March 10, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I have never heard a good reason why the stadium can't be built in lot 8.

Posted by: dsheon1 | March 10, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

The stadium will be recovering in Argentina.

Posted by: asfoolasiam | March 10, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Not to worry. This is all a deliberate scheme to make the PGC stadium implode. There's a secret deal with the city to make Poplar Point happen.

Posted by: benonthehill | March 10, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

At least they sent us an email asking for our support... That means they care about us right? Didn;t think so either.

Posted by: bighungry | March 10, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

SDM: source on that? Atlanta has to show up for that.

Posted by: Reignking | March 10, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I think that perhaps it is time to wrest control away from the management and commit them to the funny house.

I don't think they'd notice it. Just hang a few posters on the wall, give them keyboards.

Seriously, I don't know if there is a way to clean them out.

Goff, perhaps a subject for another day?

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 10, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Demon: they own the team.

Posted by: Reignking | March 10, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Ive been telling everyone all along..DC has the worst negotiators ever.

sucks!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | March 10, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I just checked the Georgia Dome website, and they don't have it on the event schedule. That said, if it's here, I know of a group of about 11 that wouldn't be missing it for the world.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 10, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Quick web search turned up this info

July 22
AC Milan vs. Club America at Georgia Dome Atlanta, GA, 7 p.m. ET ESPN2

http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?p=17148097

Posted by: emanon13 | March 10, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I have never heard a good reason why the stadium can't be built in lot 8.

Posted by: dsheon1 | March 10, 2009 10:19 PM

Squatters.

Not everyone in the Barra and the Screaming Eagles goes home after games...

Posted by: fischy | March 10, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I think you're all missing the point here. United's ownership is feeling pressure from state lawmakers. So, they're asking the PG County Council -- those with the most to benefit (besides DCU) -- to put some skin in the game. If the Council can be persuaded to ante up some $$, that means they can ask the state for less, or give some assurances about cost overruns (by the way, DCU should pledge to cover the eventual cost overruns -- there's always overruns -- as the Portland ownership is pledging to do).

It's a calculated gamble -- to get past the PG County Council and the State legislature. That said, it's really just a trial balloon. It didn't come from the top guys, and it hasn't been put forward as an absolute condition. The heavy lifting in the negotiations is still to come....

Posted by: fischy | March 10, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

I want to amend that last comment. I read the article too quickly. This did come from the top guys. This suggests some desperation. MacFarlane and the Stadium Authority guy must have read the tea leaves and seen that the current financing plan would not pass through the State gov't. On the other hand, it does suggest that they have some idea what it will take to get approval from the State. So, the ball is in PG's court....

Posted by: fischy | March 10, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Arghy bargy it is on a Wednesday. Will limit the audience.

Posted by: Reignking | March 10, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Since people are posting youtube videos...

Did anyone else think of Diddy when he was going by P Diddy a few years ago when they read "The Saga Continues"?

Anyone?

We ain't going nowhere.

Posted by: sitruc | March 10, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Worst case scenario is that the team continues to struggle financially for years, until a Poplar Point project does come through. The city thinks that there will be a new developer chosen this Fall. Fat chance. Not in this climate. It'll be at least 2011 before any huge public project of that size can be seriously contemplated. Groundbreaking no earlier than late 2013.

So, it's 7 or 8 years in the rotting hulk of RFK. Not a happy prospect for DCU....Which is why they're so desperate to make the PG deal. If that deal goes through, they're in a new stadium at least 3 years (probably more) before that could ever happen in DC -- and that's assuming that the city could ever be persuaded to put up the money to make a stadium project viable.

Posted by: fischy | March 10, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Yet another reason why they should raze the DC Armory to the ground and build it there.

But since there's no additional developable real estate there, the current DCU ownership will never go for it.

Posted by: Juan-John | March 10, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Way off topic, but did anyone see the Netherlands-Dominican game tonight in the WBC? I figure you guys would appreciate the international competition more than the boobs in the baseball blogs. A truly stunning upset in what should have been a complete mismatch -- possibly ranking up there with the USA upset over England in the '50 World Cup as one of the most unlikely results ever.

Posted by: fischy | March 10, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I know this will never happen, but there has been 100 acres of land in Laurel off of 295 that has been for sale for at least 3 years.
Worst case move to Baltimore. Plenty of land on the water that needs revitalization. The one area behind the Sun HQ that had a Sams Club and WalMart is at least 100 acres that could house everything that the DCU owners want

Posted by: BmoreFan | March 10, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

DC United is literally the only thing I can think of that I really like about this area. The schools aren't bad in Arlington... They aren't bad in Portland either. I've joked before that I'd move back to the Pacific Northwest if they went. I really wasn't kidding.
Maybe ben on the hill is right...
If the club gets sold it's gone. Reminds me an awful lot of the Super Sonics... What a shame... Made way for a MLS franchise though. Maybe DC will get a second basketball team...LOL
This does suck. Hopefully I'll move before I ever witness Goff working at Whole Foods.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 10, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Best way to convince them of attendance is to buy your season tickets, folks!

And do call, write or email MD politicos. If you're not part of the solution well, you're not helping matters by just feeling a certain way.

Posted by: KireDCU | March 11, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Worse case scenerio: We just continue playing at RFK. DC United will never move - too much history -- to big of a fan base

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | March 10, 2009 9:45 PM

Hi troll!

Posted by: Towson_Tiger | March 11, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

The schools aren't bad in Arlington...
Posted by: DadRyan | March 10, 2009 11:58 PM
-----

Aren't bad?

I'll trade HB Woodlawn, Yorktown, and Washington and Lee for any three public high schools any day of the week.

Even Jay "my rankings are completely arbitrary and meaningless" has Arlington ranked super high. The top high school in Oregon, according to his nonsensical reports, clocks in at 86.

Sorry, Jay Matthews and Arlington get me fired up, in complete opposite directions.

Posted by: churtmah | March 11, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

My only regret is that I only have one vote to vote against the people that made this happen.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | March 10, 2009 9:56 PM

You must not be a Democrat...

Can the seating at the Maryland SportsPlex be expanded to 27,000?

Posted by: joedoc1 | March 11, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe I wrote a letter to Maryland officials supporting DCU's stadium plans on the same day that they pull this kind of junk. I guess I'm a dupe and they can now say that I support their new plans.

Why didn't the "letter to DCU fans" mention this bait and switch strategy?

We don't know what we are doing.

Posted by: churtmah | March 11, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

"Soccer Stadium by 2009? City and D.C. United Differ"

By David Nakamura and Steven Goff
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, December 22, 2006; B04

Posted by: churtmah | March 11, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Ive been telling everyone all along..DC has the worst negotiators ever.

sucks!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | March 10, 2009 10:39 PM


We are talking about the same organization that paid a premium and used a DP slot for a guy who was having constant injury problems and was stuck on the bench at PSG.

For some reason the idea of DC United blowing yet another stadium deal really isn’t surprising. Maybe if they treated the politicians to free sports hernia surgeries in Germany they could be convinced.

After so many years of backing DC United’s stadium plans and arguing their cause to almost everyone I met I think with this latest news I’m ready to throw in the towel. I’m convinced they don’t want a new stadium in DC and are looking for a way to be moved to Miami.

This is the real life version of “Major League” a crappy stadium, a team with has-beens and never heard ofs, awful training and almost zero marketing.

I can almost picture them taking an old Greyhound bus to their next game in Colorado with Ben Olsen teaching Fred to read with a comic book version of Moby Dick.

Posted by: Southeasterner | March 11, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Contrary to what the author of the article states, I guarantee everyone reading this that DC United IS NOT asking Prince Georges County to do this. Who did the author of this article quote? The Maryland Stadium Authority that's who. This is nothing more than politics as usual. Here's what I am completely convinced actually happened. The Maryland Stadium Authority was asked by the state legislators to approach the Prince Georges County legislators to help pay for the cost of this and spread the political heat around thereby taking some of it off of them. They're obvious reasoning was that it was Prince Georges County that approached DC United in the first place so why are they taking all the heat. Think about this everyone, what possible motive would DC United have for this? The answer is obvious, absolutely nothing.
Once again I am terribly disappointed with the Post's reporting on this. This political move was remarkably transparent. Why didn't the author pursue the obvious instead of taking the easy inflammatory route? I would like to see just one article from the Post that looks at the other side of this. The reporting by the Post has been lazy at best and in my opinion deliberately scandalous. I guess it sells papers.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 11, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Why do people here keep making utterly bizarre statements like "Guess we will be at RFK forever" and "Worse case scenerio: We just continue playing at RFK" when we know from the team, the District government, and the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission that that's absolutely, positively, 100% not an option?

As far as the team is concerned, it isn't an option because the team loses money hand over fist there and they're tired of losing millions.

As far as the DCSEC is concerned, there's no money for the long-term maintenance / refurbishment of RFK. It is not in DCSEC's public priorities to keep RFK going long-term.

As far as the District government goes, the District has a variety of plans for the land on which RFK sits. None of those plans involve an RFK in which DC United is still playing.

Here, I'll type it really slowly: THE....TEAM....CANNOT....STAY....IN....RFK....INDEFINITELY.

RFK is not an option. What the hell has to happen to get this across to people?

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 11, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse

crofton: your point is completely valid. the strange thing is that besides the headline and first sentence the rest of the article is just straight forward no complaints or spin reporting. sounds like an editor "spiced" it up which is clearly an issue for the ombudsman.

but, based on the substance things are bad for DCU. once again they thought all they needed was a top down agreement and suddenly get played at the last minute. whoever is managing their new stadium operation keeps messing up big time.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | March 11, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

PindarPushkin: I agree with you to a certain extent. Where I lose you is at the motive behind this. I find it very hard to believe that my point above didn't occur to the author or the editor. This needed more in depth reporting than it received.

Steve-where's your voice? You couldn't possibly believe DCU was behind this move.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 11, 2009 2:17 AM | Report abuse

I dutifully sent my e-mail as well. Look, MacFarlane and Change bought DCU's rights as a vehicle for real estate development, I don't believe they really give a rodent's backside about the "team" or "MLS", except as a vehicle to make money. They will probe the DC Metro area to find a useful spot for the stadium and their "other pursuits" and, if not, they will either sell their rights to someone else or move the team to some other location where their property development prospects are brighter. As fans, this is what we are stuck with, we care more about the "team" than the owners do and so as it always will be in professional sports.

Posted by: griffin1108 | March 11, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

croftonpost, you nailed it.

Not a good sign at all that the Stadium Authority is the one making the request. Either they don't believe the numbers or they've done a good job of counting votes...or both.

As to those thinking no matter what, DC United won't be moved, Garber has been very clear recently that United must have a stadium or move to another city.

Why should other MLS team owners want to continutally either contribute to covering the loss or at least not see their earnings be what they should. They invested in a league. That's their business concern.

They could not care less about United's tradition or fans. No stadium, United is gone. The task then will be how to do that without totally tanking attendance in the interim.

Moving vans at midnight, anyone?

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 11, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

I agree Seahawk Dad. DC United fans and the soccer community need to step up and step up now. If not,

MOVING VANS AT MIDNIGHT!

Posted by: croftonpost | March 11, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

And so it begins! The 'ol bait-and-switch. Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Posted by: stwasm | March 11, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

I sent my letter. Off topic but David Beckham is live on Today's show from Italy.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | March 11, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I didn't see anyone give the link to it, but DC United has a form to fill out that will e-mail all the necessary people. Even if you don't live in Maryland, let them know you want a stadium for DCU!! https://secure.dcunited.com/stadium

Posted by: bspence11 | March 11, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Griffin,

Not sure you can accuse the owners of not genuinely caring about the team or MLS when you see them in Lot 8 before home matches and shaving their heads after Chivas losses.

Posted by: notafembot | March 11, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I can't speak to MacFarlane -- I haven't spent enough time around him. But Chang has clearly shown me that he cares about the team and its success/failure.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 11, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Ugh. Having put up with the old Metrostars ownership playing games with stadium financing, I feel for you guys. I feel stupid every time I see the name "Red Bulls," but I could have been worse. It was clear from about two weeks after the Austrians took over that they were going to lay out serious cabbage to make a stadium happen. MacFarlane/Chang don't treat the soccer site with the primacy it deserves.

I don't know who would buy any team in this economic climate, but DC United is a can't miss investment, seriously. I'd pit DCU's fan demographics against almost any in US pro sports. A lot, and I mean a lot, of people spend significant money beyond beer, fries, a replica shirt, and a season ticket to follow their team.

If MLS wasn't such a rich guy business, as enforced by the league, teams with big, committed fan bases could raise capital for a stadium with a stock issue. $47 million divided by 20,000 people is $2350 a head. Now maybe not every regular DC matchgoer could lay out that kind of money, but a lot could, and there are a LOT of DC fans all over the place who would love to buy a piece of the team, even if all public stock represented a minority stake.

I'm dreamin', I know. Good luck.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | March 11, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Gee, I don't get why PG Council are so upset. The taxpayers are not at risk because the studies show that the stadium revenue will pay off the bonds. You can take that to the bank, right? Or is PG saying that this one of those deals that looks great so long as your consituents enjoy the benefits and someone else's constituents take the risks . . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | March 11, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

As has been pointed out, Griffin is very wrong about Chang not caring.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | March 11, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"but DC United is a can't miss investment, seriously."

I thought they were losing tons o' money?

And if they were to move to other parts, as I'd treat them like the Irsay's Baltimore leave in the middle of the night Indianapolis Colts. the DC United :) would lose their fan base, their best asset---

If they stay, but not in PG County, I suppose Payne will have to come face to face with RFK and start dealing with Fenty, etc again about a site around Lot 8---sounds good to me.

Posted by: delantero | March 11, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

@ MJ -- a public offering is an interesting idea, but the owners, no matter who they are, still have to build a stadium.

Isn't Red Bull Stadium being financed by the owners, with no expectation of a public hand-out?

Posted by: OWNTF | March 11, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

From the article:

********************************

Prince George's County should sell at least $47 million in bonds to help build a stadium for the D.C. United professional soccer team, team officials told council members yesterday, a change of financing plans that prompted some council members to express skepticism about the project.

Team owner Victor MacFarlane and Gary A. McGuigan, the project executive at the Maryland Stadium Authority, said yesterday that the current deal, under which only the stadium authority would issue bonds to build the 24,000-seat venue, should be amended to require the county's financial involvement.

"This was a county initiative," said McGuigan, who noted that Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) wooed D.C. United from the District after negotiations to build a stadium at Poplar Point stalled in 2007. Johnson also asked the stadium authority to commission a study to look at the economic benefits of building a facility in Prince George's instead.

The current deal calls for D.C. United to pay 25 percent of the estimated $180 million to $195 million cost of its new home. The remainder would be financed by tax revenue generated at the stadium, primarily from ticket sales.

The original deal did not require a county contribution, but team and stadium authority officials now say legislation should be amended to include one.
**********************************

PG County's proposed bond issuance wouldn't be IN ADDITION to the Maryland Stadium Authority's earlier proposed bond issuance, would it?

I think the article implies that the overall estimated stadium costs. It's just that PG County may be asked to share some of the risk with the Maryland Stadium Authority. If the stadium brings in enough revenue it still wouldn't cost the state of Maryland or PG County anything. PG County is just being asked to share some of the overall risk with the Stadium Authority.

If I read that correctly it sounds responsible. But that doesn't mean it's not a potential dealbraker to skittish PG officials.

(PG County is being asked to back up some of the optimistic stadium revenue forecasts that they enthusiastically supported while someone else - the State - was responsible for covering revenue shortfalls)

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | March 11, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Screaming Eagles, Barra Brava, and La Norte please get the word out. Have everyone send e-mails. We need numerical support to include all DCU fans that want the team to stay around. E-mail! Email! Email!

Posted by: croftonpost | March 11, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

>>>>The PG County Council will hold a meeting this afternoon regarding plans for DC United's Stadium proposal. We urge all United FANS who can attend to do so. The meeting is at 2:00 pm TODAY!!! at...

Prince Georges County Administration Building
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

Posted by: delantero | March 11, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Joel M Lane,

You are correct. It's not additional funds.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 11, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, may not have been clear.

I think the article implies the forecast stadium costs remain the same. But PG County, as the primary economic beneficiary of said stadium, is being asked to share in some of the funding risk by issuing some of the bonds to cover it's construction.

If the stadium generates as much revenue as some predicted (perhaps optimistically) neither PG County nor the Md Stadium Authority would owe anything in the long run.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | March 11, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Look - this seems VERY typical of the politicos when it comes to money.

-Stadium would be paid for through revenue from operations-

Well that's right - but first, you have to find that 195 million to build it. Stadium Authority kicks in their share - DC United theres - someone has to float the loan to be repaid by the operations. And that was ALWAYS going to be the municipality hosting the stadium.

Now - readers are spot on saying that this is a terrible time for this sort of proposal anywhere in the country. We're only beginning to see the issues that state and local governments are going to have funding obligations with the current economic climate and declining tax revenues.

I'm going to be calm about this whole situation. I've written my letters and emails to all parties involved in the name of helping out my club even though my original dreams have been crushed and I'll have to go to Maryland to see games. I'll keep helping in any way possible. However, the sky is not falling just yet. Fenty did the same thing when he would claim that DC United was asking for money. Yes - DC United is asking for money in the form of a loan at government interest rates rather than what they would be paying in the private syndicated market provided they could find that financing. DC United is not asking for the money as a freebie. They will pay it back like any mortgage (as long as it's only on taxes on tickets and some other items, which means the fans are the ones paying back for the stadium).

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 11, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Cynical viewpoint -- THIS is why United brought in Josh Wicks....as a distraction / comic element to oppose this more serious and unhappy development.

Posted by: 22206no1 | March 11, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"Worse case scenerio: We just continue playing at RFK. DC United will never move - too much history -- to big of a fan base"

Tell that to Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, Seattle Supersonics, etc. fans.

Posted by: ol-brob | March 11, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Contrary to what the author of the article states, I guarantee everyone reading this that DC United IS NOT asking Prince Georges County to do this. Who did the author of this article quote? The Maryland Stadium Authority that's who. This is nothing more than politics as usual. Here's what I am completely convinced actually happened. The Maryland Stadium Authority was asked by the state legislators to approach the Prince Georges County legislators to help pay for the cost of this and spread the political heat around thereby taking some of it off of them. They're obvious reasoning was that it was Prince Georges County that approached DC United in the first place so why are they taking all the heat. Think about this everyone, what possible motive would DC United have for this? The answer is obvious, absolutely nothing.
Once again I am terribly disappointed with the Post's reporting on this. This political move was remarkably transparent. Why didn't the author pursue the obvious instead of taking the easy inflammatory route? I would like to see just one article from the Post that looks at the other side of this. The reporting by the Post has been lazy at best and in my opinion deliberately scandalous. I guess it sells papers.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 11, 2009 1:20 AM


This was perhaps the greatest post in Soccer Insider history and it pains me greatly that it took over 40 of them before someone realized the obvious. I'm nearly speachless....nearly. This has the MD Stadium Authority's finger prints all over it. This was not United's decision.

Posted by: afadgsafhgd | March 11, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Worst case scenario: soccer is outlawed by a totalitarian regime that suppresses all forms of creativity and free expression. All Americans comply out of fear, all but a small group of outcasts who hide their soccer balls under piles of hay in barns or beneath floorboards. These renegades aim to bring down the tyrants through Jogo Bonito.

Starring: Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Heather Mitts, Vinnie Jones, Leslie Osbourne, Hope Solo, and that soccer-playing kid from Home Improvement.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 11, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

that soccer-playing kid from Home Improvement.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 11, 2009 9:54 AM


Ahhh...yes. Played against him at the Dallas Cup. Claremont Stars, I believe.

Posted by: afadgsafhgd | March 11, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

If they stay, but not in PG County, I suppose Payne will have to come face to face with RFK and start dealing with Fenty, etc again about a site around Lot 8---sounds good to me.

Posted by: delantero | March 11, 2009 9:09 AM

Dream come true!

Posted by: Hoost | March 11, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Contrary to what the author of the article states, I guarantee everyone reading this that DC United IS NOT asking Prince Georges County to do this. Who did the author of this article quote? The Maryland Stadium Authority that's who. This is nothing more than politics as usual. Here's what I am completely convinced actually happened. The Maryland Stadium Authority was asked by the state legislators to approach the Prince Georges County legislators to help pay for the cost of this and spread the political heat around thereby taking some of it off of them. They're obvious reasoning was that it was Prince Georges County that approached DC United in the first place so why are they taking all the heat. Think about this everyone, what possible motive would DC United have for this? The answer is obvious, absolutely nothing.
Once again I am terribly disappointed with the Post's reporting on this. This political move was remarkably transparent. Why didn't the author pursue the obvious instead of taking the easy inflammatory route? I would like to see just one article from the Post that looks at the other side of this. The reporting by the Post has been lazy at best and in my opinion deliberately scandalous. I guess it sells papers.
____________________________________________
Folks, I do think that this is how the deal went down. While the roll out before setting this in motion with the Maryland state legislature, I think that there was no chance that this wasn't going to be messy, nasty and dirty. This is how politics work in Maryland, after all.

Folks, we've got a Rudyard Kipling moment here in my opinion. Our is not to reason why, ours is but . . . I've written to my District Court delegates and state senator, all Montgomery County delegates on the House Appropriations Committee and all Montgomery County state senators on the senate taxation and budget committee. Remember . . . ours is but to do or die.

If this dies in the legislature, I think that its more likely than not that United will be moved to another city.

Posted by: Stevenho | March 11, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but makes me wonder if everyone who was complaining about having the team in maryland, and stating they would not attend any games or would attend a few games started to stir doubt in at least 1 voters mind? There were some very negative comments here and on big soccer, granted not every law maker looks at these things, it only takes 1 person to stir up some doubt. The fact that many of the Pg/md reps have responded to my emails by saying they were afraid many people from virginia would stop attending games. I wonder where they got that from?

Posted by: Norteno4life | March 11, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I just threw up in my mouth.

Posted by: EdTheRed | March 11, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

This article says that Vancouver has a lock on the next MLS franchise. Ottawa, Portland, or St. Louis will get the other. Then I suppose the two cities that are left at the gate can try to lure an existing franchise (any candidates?).

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090307.BCSOCCER07/TPStory/National

Posted by: universityandpark | March 11, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm going into zzzzzzzzzzzz mode. Goodnight and good luck, everybody!

Posted by: Kev29 | March 11, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Contrary to what the author of the article states, I guarantee everyone reading this that DC United IS NOT asking Prince Georges County to do this. Who did the author of this article quote? The Maryland Stadium Authority that's who. This is nothing more than politics as usual. Here's what I am completely convinced actually happened. The Maryland Stadium Authority was asked by the state legislators to approach the Prince Georges County legislators to help pay for the cost of this and spread the political heat around thereby taking some of it off of them. They're obvious reasoning was that it was Prince Georges County that approached DC United in the first place so why are they taking all the heat. Think about this everyone, what possible motive would DC United have for this? The answer is obvious, absolutely nothing.
Once again I am terribly disappointed with the Post's reporting on this. This political move was remarkably transparent. Why didn't the author pursue the obvious instead of taking the easy inflammatory route? I would like to see just one article from the Post that looks at the other side of this. The reporting by the Post has been lazy at best and in my opinion deliberately scandalous. I guess it sells papers.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 11, 2009 1:20 AM

_______________________________________

re-posted for emphasis

Posted by: kebzach | March 11, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

...The reporting by the Post has been lazy at best and in my opinion deliberately scandalous....
Damned if you do and damned if you don't...in the comments under the on-line article the reporter gets flamed by one poster that she totally ignored the negative reactions of the residents who were at the meeting. So from that person's perspective, The Post is guilty of a white-wash and poor journalism.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 11, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Here's the key sentence from the article:

"Team owner Victor MacFarlane and Gary A. McGuigan, the project executive at the Maryland Stadium Authority, said yesterday that the current deal, under which only the stadium authority would issue bonds to build the 24,000-seat venue, should be amended to require the county's financial involvement."

Let me emphasize one key point from that sentence:

"Team owner Victor MacFarlane..."

Let me do it one more time:

"Team OWNER Victor MacFarlane..."

Oh heck, three's a charm, right?:

"TEAM OWNER Victor MacFarlane..."

Posted by: Juan-John | March 11, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Move on to plan "C". Why not try montgomery county near one of the red line stops.

Posted by: kenemerc | March 11, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Oh heck, three's a charm, right?:

"TEAM OWNER Victor MacFarlane..."

Posted by: Juan-John | March 11, 2009 10:40 AM

If MD comes up to Victor and says "Victor, the only way you are going to get money out of us for this stadium is to convince PG county to pitch in," don't you think he would reluctantly comply? United are being forced to do this. Why else would we have heard nothing about this before? This has never been in the plan and United has always been very up front in the past.

Posted by: afadgsafhgd | March 11, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I took Payne's comments the other day about "A failure in this effort having far-reaching effects" to mean that if this deal falls through, the team will have to look at relocation.

Were we ever given a reason as to why the supposed "lot 8 stadium" proposal the city offered was not viable? I remember it being briefly mentioned, but I cant remember if it was ever an official offer. While I know they support the team, I do worry that the owners are more concerend with the ancillary development deals than making sure DCU has a home for the longterm.

Posted by: VTUnited | March 11, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

""Folks, we've got a Rudyard Kipling moment here in my opinion. Our is not to reason why, ours is ""

. . . but to do and die". . . that's Charge of the Light Brigade, Alfred Lord Tennyson, what's Kipling have to do with this moment?

Cannon to the right of them cannon in left of them, boldly they rode and well, storm'd at with shot and shell, into the jaws of death, into the mouth of hell, rode the six hundred.

Posted by: delantero | March 11, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

If MLS wasn't such a rich guy business, as enforced by the league, teams with big, committed fan bases could raise capital for a stadium with a stock issue. $47 million divided by 20,000 people is $2350 a head. Now maybe not every regular DC matchgoer could lay out that kind of money, but a lot could, and there are a LOT of DC fans all over the place who would love to buy a piece of the team, even if all public stock represented a minority stake.
-- from Mast Juan
-- I second this. Fischy, DadRyan, I270, Chest can go to shareholders' meetings and hold appropriate feet to fire.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | March 11, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but makes me wonder if everyone who was complaining about having the team in maryland, and stating they would not attend any games or would attend a few games started to stir doubt in at least 1 voters mind? There were some very negative comments here and on big soccer, granted not every law maker looks at these things, it only takes 1 person to stir up some doubt. The fact that many of the Pg/md reps have responded to my emails by saying they were afraid many people from virginia would stop attending games. I wonder where they got that from?

Posted by: Norteno4life | March 11, 2009 10:08 AM

You're kidding, right? I hope you are.

Posted by: Hoost | March 11, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"Were we ever given a reason as to why the supposed "lot 8 stadium" proposal the city offered was not viable""

No. Payne has been asked about this before and limits his response to "I've looked at sites for 8 years." End of comment.

But, in my oft stated, beating a dead horse opinion, it's because our Real Estate Magnate owners want a land development deal and are using the stadium as the attraction. Lot 8 offers little in the way of condo/convention center/hotel complex. It would, however, BE GREAT for United.

Posted by: delantero | March 11, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@VTUnited,

Thanks - the Lot 8 proposal doesn't work because of the ancilliary development issue. Stadiums, as a whole are typically a money losing enterprise for whomever owns it, unless you get it for free. It's like your house. It's better than leasing/renting, but you're still out money and the secondary market for stadiums isn't good. Unless you get it for free like the NFL, NBA, MLB - building it yourself could leave you empty! Or with Craven Cottage instead of the Allianz Arena.

That said, you're going to need a hook, some secondary development, if you will to support the stadium and this is where you make the cash. If DC United/The Owners have additional land where they can at their own cost construct other items - Hotel, Apartments, Retail (well if Americans ever find their wallets again), office, etc - they can generate income off of that to put into sports (typically money losing). Since the plot of land that RFK sits on, including the area around it for parking, is federal land, you cannot create any sort of additional development to support the team and to leverage with the stadium. That east Capital Hill Project is going to someone else and so it would be very hard to get ahold of any of the development there to make that work.

The RFK site is a great site, if you're the NFL and 10 games a year with suites, parking, $10 beers, and a handful of concerts (because the playing surface matters nil in that game). If you're DC United and at best you break even on game night - ehhhhh.

So yeah - I can understand why RFK redevelopment is not in their interests right now unless land ownership/proximate development rights/zoning changes.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 11, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

OK, I'm sure this has been discussed here ad nauseum, but I am wondering as an outsider why demolishing/renovating RFK is not an option. You get to keep your historic home, the city gets a shiny new facility, you don't have to deal with the planning hassles of a new facility in a new location. Play at the Maryland Soccerplex or somewhere similar for a year or two while they are working on it. Everyone's happy, right?

I'm sure it's not that simple.

Posted by: whoshotsam | March 11, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

whoshotsam: I think the rent is ridiculously high (and renovations would cause higher rent). United needs a stadium owned by the team.

I'm just alarmed that the article had to point out that DC United was a professional soccer team. If this was and other sport, they wouldn't have to throw that in there.

I bet you'll beat the Revs though...

Posted by: revsfanindc | March 11, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Yes, but if DC United move out they have no rent and no regular tenants, in addition to a white elephant of a facility continuing to rot. It seems that there should be some kind of deal that could be struck.

Posted by: whoshotsam | March 11, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@ VirginiaBlueBlood

I figured that was it, that the team wouldn't be able to develop anything other than the stadium with the lot 8 deal, which led to my comment about the owners caring more about the money with a development deal than the future of the team. If these guys are in it to make a ton of money, then they probably bought into the wrong league/sport, at least in the short term. They don't have Phil Anschutz money, so I can see where they aren't going to put up with this mess too much longer. I would just hope they look to sell the team before relocating.

Posted by: VTUnited | March 11, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

It gets torn down. The land is valuable (and owned by the US govt) and it looks like Snyder would like to build a new stadium there for the Redskins.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 11, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

This is what DCU gets for trying to deal with the PG County Government - the one local entity more poorly run than DC. The locals cry for development then do everything they can to get in the way and stop it when it comes. See Peterson, Milton V. for more information. He went through hell to build the National Harbor.

Posted by: MBUSA | March 11, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

It gets torn down. The land is valuable (and owned by the US govt) and it looks like Snyder would like to build a new stadium there for the Redskins.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 11, 2009 11:39 AM

Isn't that the REAL reason why Lot 8 isn't an option - because the city is holding it for the eventual Redskins return?

Posted by: ZidVicious | March 11, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

OK, I'm sure this has been discussed here ad nauseum, but I am wondering as an outsider why demolishing/renovating RFK is not an option. You get to keep your historic home, the city gets a shiny new facility, you don't have to deal with the planning hassles of a new facility in a new location. Play at the Maryland Soccerplex or somewhere similar for a year or two while they are working on it. Everyone's happy, right?

I'm sure it's not that simple.

Posted by: whoshotsam | March 11, 2009 11:12 AM
________________________________________

Soccerplex (capacity 7,000 or so) would be worse than Kansas City or San Jose. It would look especially less than major league on TV. Further, District officials hold out hope of building a large pointyball stadium on that site and luring the Deadskins back. (This is also the response to others who would want to build an SSS on Lot 8. That real estate would probably be needed for parking for a new pointyball stadium.) United has to stay at RFK until a new permanent home is ready for occupancy.

Posted by: universityandpark | March 11, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

what's Kipling have to do with this moment?
Posted by: delantero | March 11, 2009 11:00 AM
=================

East is Wast and West is where United will go unless we get a stadium.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 11, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

In the new thread, Goff mentioned a game at Annapolis tomorrow night, which reminded me of one additional point. The Navy-MC Stadium has an association with soccer that goes back at least to the 1984 Olympics. Ditto for FedEx Field, going back at least to the 1999 WWC. However, I can recall no instance where these venues, or any other similar places in the Baltimore-Washington area, have hosted a soccer event during pointyball season. That is why I discount them as potential temporary homes for DCU.

Posted by: universityandpark | March 11, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Boy does DC United really know how to mess things up. What a dreadful communications and political strategy they have. More importantly, while I am a big DC United fan I think it is absurd for local government to pay such a large proportion of a stadium to be used for a for profit entity. DC United at this time simply does not generate the economic activity to warrant this level of government investment. DC United fans can go crazy and try to mobilize but really, in this economic climate where school funding is being cut, cops are being laid off, local governments around the country are having trouble keeping up with unemployment insurance then is it really fair to ask local government to foot the bill on this? I am all about government investment in rebuilding our nation's infrastructure, but that is stuff like highways, bridges, power grid and schools which are more then short term job creators, but rather they are foundation of economic growth. To justify a sport stadium as such it would need to be part of a larger economic development plan (ala the Nat's stadium) and even then its a dubious economic claim.

Posted by: nyjer1 | March 11, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

lifetime season ticket holder here.

Let's be realistic. The majority of stadiums are NOT engines for economic development (there are numerous studies on this issue). Yes, some may point to Verizon Center, but that is the exception, not the rule. Abe Pollin paid for that, with DC kicking in for infrastructure. Also, the businesses around the Verizon center got (I think) a 10 year tax exemption. Can't compare it.

Now it is time to play devils advocate. If the DCU owners/brass are so confident that this stadium is going to be the financial juggernaut they are touting, then why not pay for it themselves? Answer? One is they don't want to take the risk. Yes -- the construction and everything will create jobs, but in the long run, most jobs created will be low paying, operations jobs.

I live in VA, and will happily drive to MD to watch games. I would still drive (or metro) to DC and or Virginia. I just wouldn't want my tax dollars going to a stadium. NOw if they wanted to institute a sin tax on beer sales/food sales etc. at RFK (oe some other idea) to generate money for a stadium, I'm all for that. I can CHOOSE to not buy food and beer. I'm also in favor of MJs idea about fans ponying up and buying in.

With localities needing road improvements, better teachers, services etc., I don't think tax money should be used for stadiums. now everyone is going to point out that the taxpayers are not footing the bill. Don't be so sure of that. It boils down to taxpayers fronting the money.

Here is an interesting thought. The league is still somewhat of a single-entity right? so why is the League office not getting involved in some way.

When it is all said and done, I hope the team stays here. I think there aren't many better markets that could support a team.

Posted by: torrey151 | March 11, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

All that said, I would hate to see DC United leave and am really annoyed that folks on this blog championing their move to St. Louis or Atlanta. DC United is synonomous with the MLS. While they have hit a rough time on the field lest us not forget that DC United and its fans helped build the league. Our teams in the early days of the league set a standard and their quality helped the league get noticed by leagues around the world. So I hope and am confident that an arrangement can be made for a new stadium in the DC area that is equitable, financially viable, economically sound and fair all parties involved

Posted by: nyjer1 | March 11, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Not to be a Debbie Downer (or a complete realist) on this, but has DCU's ownership opened a newspaper lately? Asking a county to sell $47 million in bonds at this time, or any really, is absolutely ludicrous. They want the stadium, pay up. I know everyone wants a stadium to call their own, but no public money should be spent on this. It's too much of a risk. That's the harsh reality.

Posted by: ZidVicious | March 11, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked to learn from this thread that not all PG County and Maryland State politicians read Bigsoccer!

Shocked!

Posted by: JkR- | March 11, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I think a lot of folks are getting bum raps in this thread. The article wasn't all that inflammatory. It's simply reporting that the Stadium Authority and MacFarlane asked PG to put some money in.

Obviously, they tested the waters in the State legislature, and decided that this was necessary to get passage there. They did not make this request cavalierly. Maybe it was even O'Malley that expressed skepticism and wanted Johnson on the hook financially. Johnson's dropped hints about a possible challenge to O'Malley, so it's not impossible that this could be a factor. From the outside, we have no way of knowing. All we can know is what was reported -- that the request was made, and that the PG County Council didn't jump at the suggestion. Obviously, those seasoned politicians know the writing is on the wall in the Legislature, or the request would not have been made. So, they will consider this carefully.

As for the Lot 8 area -- I still think this is a promising possibility, but it suffers from the same thing as Poplar Point. The city has big hopes for development. This is what the city is calling Hill East. They are already asking developers to submit plans for development. Although KP has said they're not interested, if MacFarlane could get a piece of the action there, I guarantee he'd jump. I suspect the team's reticence reflects a judgment that any new construction in that area is many years away, and would be far more complicated than other avenues. Another possibility is they don't think it's logistically possible to build there while RFK is still standing...or, it will be inaccessible when the new Redskins stadium goes up. I'd be really interested in knowing why the team has not pursued that locale....It's a good location for a stadium. That's why RFK was built there.

Posted by: fischy | March 11, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Here's my understanding of the current RFK site:

- The land is owned and controlled by the Feds.

- It was 'loaned' to the city for construction of DC Stadium with the proviso that when there is no longer a stadium there, the land reverts back to the feds.

Posted by: JkR- | March 11, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse


Here's my understanding of the current RFK site:

- The land is owned and controlled by the Feds.

- It was 'loaned' to the city for construction of DC Stadium with the proviso that when there is no longer a stadium there, the land reverts back to the feds.

Posted by: JkR- | March 11, 2009 1:02 PM

I asked long ago, and can't remember exactly why the stadium couldn't be built in lot 8 while the team still played in RFK, then have an implosion party, and build new parking lots, bars, etc where RFK now stands? Similar to the Kingdome going down in Seattle and the build of Safeco and then Qwest...
If they couldn't get it done properly and sequentially then maybe DCU plays in another alternative venue for a season or half a season...
Seahawks played at Husky stadium, for awhile... I can't remember where the Mariners had to play... Anyway, what would really stop them from building in lot 8? Dan Snyder?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 11, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

You may choose to believe me or not, but I have it on an extremely reliable source that DCU brass is now entertaining relocation thoughts. People, if you care about this team stop debating the merits of the stadium location and start e-mailing the government officials now.

Steve- where's the Washington Post article about the possibility of relocation if this effort fails. It is undeniably a legitimate pursuit. The other side has unquestionably rallied around WP articles, the soccer community side deserves an article that informs them of the severity of this.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 11, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I have no doubts that they are entertaining relocating the team. Like I said, I would hope they would sell the team before moving it. MacFarlane bought the team so he could develop Poplar Point. If he can't do that, or something on a similar scale in Prince George's, then he should sell the team to someone who is interested in promoting DC United, not real estate development.

Posted by: VTUnited | March 11, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Somebody remind me again -- why DIDN'T Fenty go for MacFarlane's original Poplar Point proposal (the one where MacFarlane pays for the stadium in exchange for development rights)?

Posted by: Juan-John | March 11, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Public financing of stadia is just a boondoggle and thats it.

The owners and leagues can afford the stadiums, let them build them.

Do the tax payers get - lower ticket prices, lower concessions, or equity in the team for footing the expense; the answer is no.

There is reason that no other team is owned by its fans like the Packers, after it happened the leagues made it against its rules to do so. Face it the owners are greedy and looking out for their own best interest, not the fans, not the tax payers, and not the players.

I like soccer, and I like DC united. But let them go rip off some other city for their stadium. As long as foolish fans and delusional politician continue to fall for this scam the longer it will continue. Privately owned stadiums do make money, and those teams are pretty okay with the situation. The problem isnt that they will loose money on private stadium, the problem is the can make MORE money if they rip off the local population.

Next time you see one of these toxic stadia pushers...JUST SAY NO

Posted by: nobdy | March 11, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I got a sinking feeling when I read the story the first time, DCU is pulling a bait and switch on us after I sent an email backing them up. But I think the real problem is the article is misleading. Dividing the bonds between the state and county is reasonable and I hadn't been aware of which entity would be issuing bonds in the first place. This is displayed prominently on the WaPo homepage and RSS feed, and before it goes to print, the headline and lede should really be adjusted to reflect the reality, even though that may make it less "newsworthy." Here's what I posted in the comments section of the article.

To reiterate the substance of the article, as opposed to the misleading headline and lede:

The MD Stadium Authority is asking PG County to float a portion of the bonds to cover the initial costs. DC United is neither requesting nor receiving any additional funding. The budget for the project has not changed, only the financing arrangement. PG County will be the major beneficiary of the stadium, so the State wants it to have a stake in the outcome. As with the Stadium Authority, the bonds will be repaid with revenue generated by the stadium, not by taxpayers. Here is a link to the feasibility study from the Stadium Authority:

http://www.mdstad.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=82&Itemid=121

"Assuming a 24,000 - 27,000 size, this soccer-specific stadium could expect to stage between 54-63 events annually, including the 15 homes games for DC United. Cumulative annual attendance for all activities is estimated between 680,000 - 841,000.

Job creation is another factor evaluated in the study. Based on the number and size of events, the study calculates total employment to be between 1,080 and 1,320 FTE jobs.

Total earnings related to stadium operations range from approximately $25.2 million to $30.8 million.

Incremental annual tax revenues from stadium operation range from $1.8 million to $2.2 million for Prince George’s County and $3.2 million and $3.9 million for the State of Maryland."

Posted by: distriteno | March 11, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I asked long ago, and can't remember exactly why the stadium couldn't be built in lot 8 while the team still played in RFK, then have an implosion party, and build new parking lots, bars, etc where RFK now stands? Similar to the Kingdome going down in Seattle and the build of Safeco and then Qwest...
If they couldn't get it done properly and sequentially then maybe DCU plays in another alternative venue for a season or half a season...
Seahawks played at Husky stadium, for awhile... I can't remember where the Mariners had to play... Anyway, what would really stop them from building in lot 8? Dan Snyder?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 11, 2009 1:17 PM
__________________________________________

Why Lot 8 is not an option was answered in several earlier posts in this thread. To recap, there is widespread interest in building a large pointyball stadium on the current RFK site. It would be foolish to commit Lot 8, or any other portion of the RFK grounds, to any other purpose before it is known what impact it would have on a project to build a such a stadium. It is highly likely that every bit of the existing RFK parking, Lot 8 included, would be needed for a new stadium.

Why an alternative venue is probably not an option was also dealt with earlier in this thread. Basically, there aren't any good ones in this area.

Posted by: universityandpark | March 12, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

As for the Lot 8 area -- I still think this is a promising possibility, but it suffers from the same thing as Poplar Point. The city has big hopes for development. This is what the city is calling Hill East.

Posted by: fischy | March 11, 2009 12:54 PM
__________________________________________

Just to clarify, I don't believe that Lot 8 itself is part of the Hill East plan, although nearby areas (e.g., that defunct hospital) are. The biggest drawback to Hill East as a home for United may simply be that it would involve dealing with the same District government that gave United the runaround in the case of Poplar Point. It would be like undergoing a second root canal.

Posted by: universityandpark | March 12, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company