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Poll: United's Future Home

With the Poplar Point plans a distant memory, the Maryland stadium proposal in tatters and RFK Stadium crumbling, it's time to ask.....

By Steve Goff  |  April 8, 2009; 12:55 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , Poll  
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Comments

Why was St. Louis not a choice? Steve, do you know something that you're not telling us? I'm tired of you not telling us the things that you don't know!

:-) Emoticon captioned for the humor impaired

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 8, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Five-year plan? Definitely an SSS on the site of Ludwig Field at the University of Maryland. Under Armour can buy and sell Dan Snyder, they're so rich. And Sasho Cirovski would love it in the worst way. So would the lacrosse teams.

Posted by: bs2004 | April 8, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

As usual, well played, I-270!

Posted by: Steve Goff | April 8, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Because I'm rapidly losing my mind - I went for "B"

Dare to dream!

Posted by: Kev29 | April 8, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if this has any validity or not but this is posted on the Metro stories blog:

"Nosh1 wrote:
Oh, I forgot to mention, I don't know if there have been any formal conversations with the Redskins, but I have seen some rough architectural sketches down at the deputy mayors office of a dual stadium complex at RFK, a new retractable roof stadium for the Redskins and a new soccer stadium for United, all together on the same grounds.

It would make perfect sense. Right there on the metro, easy access to two main highways and the open ground to accomodate both and their parking. All the infrastructure is there and the city already owns the land. Probably be the best option for both sports teams.

We'll see if it ever happens.
4/8/2009 1:05:06 PM"

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 8, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

As long as DC United remains in the DMV all is good. Can't see DC anywhere else.

Posted by: RM27 | April 8, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

That does sound really neat, blackandred777 - but there are some major complications. If United played in some sort of new stadium on the RFK site, there is no certainty that it would be any better of a deal for the franchise than RFK. DCSEC would still be their landlords. Remember - this isn't really about a new place to play - it's about having control of revenue streams and additional sources of income. Who knows - maybe there's an idea out there that could see the city and United both get what they want/need.

Also - I would think that every inch of the stadium/armory footprint would be needed for a Redskins EnormoDome. A 25k seat soccer stadium would take up a lot of parking spots.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 8, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

EnormoDome. Cheers to the Spinal Pap (sic) reference. Puppet show and DC United?

Posted by: EssEff | April 8, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@blackandred777

I'd hesitate to believe some random guy who seems to have little knowledge or interest in soccer posting on a Maryland stadium story who saw some "sketches" in the "deputy mayor's office"...

Man, we really are grasping at anything at this point, aren't we?

Posted by: the_slammer | April 8, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

EnormoDome. That's an idea. "Two teams enter, one team leaves. Two teams enter, one team leaves. Two teams enter, one team leaves."

Meanwhile, Mayor Fenty and the PG County Council -- "bust a deal, face the wheel." GULAG!

And Mel Gibson buys DC United and flies them to Tomorrow-morrow land, and Goff can tell the tell.

Posted by: OWNTF | April 8, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Man reading around other blogs and rumor sites, people seem to be really pist at Goff for his St. Louis remarks. I dont know some take it way too personal and dont realize that soccer is a business as well. We are the fans but we dont own the rights to the team. So if they move, what are we suppose to do? I mean we can send nasty emails but whats the going to do. All I know what we can do is continue to support the team in any way we can and the let the future play out for the best!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | April 8, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

it might also be interesting to see what Aunty's Choice would be with Fenty, now that Aunty is 70 years old

Posted by: OWNTF | April 8, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

St. Louis United.

Posted by: Har7 | April 8, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

1st choice - Cleveland
2nd choice - Pittsburgh

Cleveland was great for the US friendly and there is already the whole Browns vs Steelers rivalry (at least there used to be). Just have to make Pittsburgh wear White and Orange since the Crew is Black and Gold. ;)

You could also take advantage of your location AND the fact that DCU is already the evil empire... submit a stimulus project and construct a Death, er soccer Star in orbit above DC. You could even bring it to away games to intimidate the opposition.

PS Can't wait for the 4th of July!

Posted by: crewfanscott | April 8, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I think at some point DC United will be applying to the Montgomery County parks authority for a field permit, and probably lose out to a rec league team for practice on Fridays.

Posted by: Wiggan | April 8, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

the slammer,

I'm with you. That's why I alluded to the voracity of the statement. However, it does have some merit in theory in spite of the DCSEC complications which I doubt would exist in this scenario. Is there anybody out there that thinks Danny would give his money to anyone. That problem would be negotiated away in my opinion. Has anybody called Leonsis yet?

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 8, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Might those stadium renderings be leftover from the Olympics bid? I seem to remember seeing pictures of drawings way back when DC was bidding for the Olympic games (2012?) that showed a complex in the RFK area including an Olympic stadium with a smaller stadium next door.

Posted by: fedssocr | April 8, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if the owners are willing to renovate RFK and develop the surrounding area?

Posted by: ctsmithjr26 | April 8, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

fedssocr,

Anything is possible. However, rumors of early talks have been around for months. What if Snyder has his eyes on United a la Robert Craft?

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 8, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

So is there any chance of a joint stadium in Fairfax for DCU and GMU football?

Posted by: Pedalada | April 8, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I have heard that rumor but it there is no Metro out there.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 8, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for staying at RFK. As long as the lights don't go out, the jumbotron doesn't die and we win some championships. It'd be nice to keep RFK running and just fix it up nicely.

Posted by: Konoha7 | April 8, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

your legion is in VA so why not build in VA!!!!

Posted by: Bigmon411 | April 8, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I voted RFK, but with a caveat -- I really am voting for Lot 8.

RFK will start (continue) to crumble, so the team will play amongst the tailgating faithful...

DC United 2, NYRB0, Anacostia River 3 (errant balls lost).

Posted by: 22206no1 | April 8, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@ctsmithjr26,

Can't.

Cheaper to build a new stadium for DC than to renovate RFK.

RFK is owned by the District of Columbia and the DCSEC. They would have to sell or renovate on their own. Their not interested in that.

The RFK site is Federally controlled land that is on a ground lease of sorts and depends on having a tenant. The DCSEC (I'm pretty sure) controls that lease as well so there's nothing to redevelop and I doubt that the District wants to re-zone for development.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 8, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

their= they're

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 8, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Renegotiated Rent at RFK/year is $1 million per reports here.

Renegotiated Parking/Concession agreement at RFK = more money for United per reports here.

So where does the oft repeated theme that "United is losing millions at RFK" originate? Or would it be more accurate to say they are losing millions that they would be making in a SSS?

Posted by: delantero | April 8, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Simply amazing that we are into the 14th year of MLS and DC United - the gold standard of MLS franchises - is still playing in a run down stadium. I don't get it. Why can't they get a deal done?

McFarlane and the rest of his co-horts need to ante up and pay for the stadium. So sick of this!!!

Posted by: cfrazier91 | April 8, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Has northern Virginia received serious consideration by DC United? Does anybody know of any groups that are working on NoVA options...like the group that advocated the NovA nationals stadium? DC has turned them down. PG & MD have now turned them down. How about giving VA a serious shot?

Posted by: ckehde | April 8, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"That's why I alluded to the voracity of the statement."

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

You should do more than mere allusions. We need some serious defenses against these voracious statements......

Back to the castle, men!!

Posted by: fischy | April 8, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

hpyothetically, if DC were to move elsewhere, don't you think MLS would do everything they could to get another team in DC pronto? it's one of the best markets for a team in the U.S., it has a devoted fanbase and a proven track record of drawing well, even in the dilapidated sh*thouse that is RFK. if San Jose picked up another team so quickly, why not DC?

as to the question of whether they're losing money, until they open their books, i'd be very skeptical of those statements. the baseball owners dined out on their assertions of impoverishment for years and years (almost getting a salary cap out of it), until someone bothered to really look into it and realized that they were mostly raking it in and shoveling profits around to make them look like losses. MLS certainly isn't doing as well as MLB in the 90s, but if MacFarlane and Chang want to take their ball and head to flyover country because they can't get their corporate welfare here, i'd bet it would take about 0.3 days for a new potential ownership group for DC to materialize.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | April 8, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

@kev29 -- the city wants to develop the area just to the south of the stadium, to extend Mass. Ave to the river. There's plenty of room to build a soccer stadium alongside "EnormoDome". As an aside, personally, I think the idea of a retractable roof is a bit silly. It doesn't get cold enough here to really warrant that, and a Super Bowl or two doesn't warrant that kind of added expense either. But, if Danny wants a dome, he'll probably get it.

A soccer stadium would work there, and I do think it remains the strongest option. It's on 2 Metro lines, and right off the highway. With more available parking, DCU might even aim higher -- 28-30,000? I realize that's overly optimistic, given the recent crowds, but in 6 years, with a World Cup coming to the USA, (and a new neighborhood catering to Capitol Hill professionals) there might be a different dynamic.

Ever hopeful....

Posted by: fischy | April 8, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I voted for playing outside of the DC area--probably St. Louis. It would break my heart to see DCU leave. But McFarlane and Chang are not from this area and without a new stadium on the horizon, it's stupid for them to continue to keep the team here. Thus, either move or sell (or sell to someone who moves the team).

I figure DCU has about a 2 year window. In that time, they need to get something moving, agreed to, arranged, financed, begin taking the shovel to earth. If that means they're still in RFK in year 5 but the new stadium in year 6, that's a shame and some lost opportunity but do-able. But McFarlane and Chang can't afford to sit it out indefinitely. At somepoint they can't wait any longer.

1. The Nats were a client of mine. The seating and walks are in amazing shape in RFK compared to the stadium. I was in room where water was leaking out of the ceiling on a consistent basis (and it hadn't rained in a week). The Nats admin staff told me about how two sink holes suddenly appeared in the RFK field in the pre-season (which was also preseason for DCU). The place is falling down. I'm not talking about great amenities. I'm not talking about sky boxes. I'm talking about a stadium where things are broken, broken items continue to proliferate and the day-to-day costs of being there go up every year.

2. There is only ONE positive side to this recession as far as DCU is concerned. Maybe, just maybe, a plot of land that was too valuable for a soccer stadium or a developer had plans over, may become available. Otherwise, everything else right now works against DCU. Financing is tougher. Ticket sales are down. Sponsorship is harder to get. Local Govt. is less likely to pay for infrastructure. The ability to extend Metro isn't there in the short-term. The political will to take risks or argue for a higher tax (even if only temporary) isn't there. And we're still experiencing the fallout from the Nats stadium (who have effectively stuck it to DCU twice--by sharing the stadium and screwing up the field, and by poisoning the environment for discussion of any kind of public support for a stadium).

3. Maybe, maybe, maybe, with Clark defaulting, Poplar Point becomes back in play again. But my personal take is that after the PG County fiasco, this only strengths the hand of Fenty. He can do nothing, argue for maximum concessions, take no political risks, take no initiative and still come out fine. As it is, DCU has almost no other options. Unless the team is going to go "Regional" and look at playing stuff in Fredericksburg or Annapolis.

Posted by: JoeW1 | April 8, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I have the perfect solution. Move to the Maryland soccer complex for a year and fix up RFK.

Posted by: tundey | April 8, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I know! Let's build at Potomac Yards!

And a million other ideas we've already heard...

Posted by: Reignking | April 8, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

An retractable roof EnormoDome would also attract the Final Four - in addition the Super Bowl and other events (a solid bowl game). I don't think they'd bother to build it if it wasn't covered. The city wants a Ford Field/Lucas Oil/Reliant as an attraction along with the Skins back in town. Actually - you could just keep the thing covered full time, like Ford Field.

And although this isn't an extreme cold weather city, I can't think of a population that would love climate control more in a stadium. We're not exactly 'hearty' around here :-)

Posted by: Kev29 | April 8, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I think the team should practice a bit of patience, negotiate a more favorable rent with the City to stay at RFK until the economny gets back into full swing. In the meantime, all sides should put their ego's aside and figure out a plan to keep them in DC. It's that simple.

Posted by: mbm1 | April 8, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Unrelated update from Scotland:

Good news - Beasley and Edu start for Rangers

Bad news - Beasley taken off injured in the 15th minute

Good news - Edu scores in the 20th minute

Posted by: Kev29 | April 8, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

DC/DCSEC isn't going to fix up RFK and neither is McFarlane. I wouldn't even try to get DC to do more than identify a site and perhaps kick in some amenities, like street widening. McFarlane will only put up his own money if the stadium is part of a development project he can invest in and earn money from. I don't see him contributing in any meaningful way to a stand-alone SSS. Sure, he can commit a certain percentage of stadium revenue to pay off construction loans, as is the plan for the PG county stadium, but that doesn't seem to be enough to get the job done. I just don't see him contributing out of his own pocket.

Posted by: b18bolo | April 8, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, if the team moves to Philly, they can hire Stan Kasten as their marketing director.

Posted by: noslok | April 8, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Barca isn't a bad team...

Posted by: Reignking | April 8, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Man I've been looking at Pictues of Wolfsburg's newish stadium(it isn't on google maps, but it is on yahoo maps), and boy oh boy is that thing nice looking. I'm curious about it's footprint, it seems very compact with very steep seating. I' bet you could fit at least one stadium of a similar design in Lot 8.
In fact so many of these online map sources are awfully old as the stadium was finished in 2002. So many do not have the stadium on their maps.
Check this one out though!
http://maps.yahoo.com/broadband/#mvt=h&lat=52.431944&lon=10.803889&mag=6&zoom=17

Posted by: DadRyan | April 8, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@DadRyan,

That's what I've been saying. You don't even need to spend on architectural plans. Whatever the relationship between DCU - VW - VfL Wolfsburg is - just get the plans for VW Arena and erect it there at Poplar Point! It's PERFECT!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 8, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

DC United will only get a new stadium in DC if it is part of a Redskins package or if the Nationals start winning and drawing crowds. One of those things could happen at some point. 5 years might be a bit too soon.

I dont think United will be able to get a stadium while the Nationals and the waterfront are wasting away. If the Nationals were getting 30-35k of actual people at their games, the city would be making money and another stadium would be an easy or easier sell.

If Nationals continue to get 10k of actual people at their games, there is no way in hll the city builds another stadium unless it is for the Redskins and DCU can get in on the package

Posted by: makplan20002 | April 8, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Well, there was some sort of profitability study done a few years ago by the Wall Street journal (I think). At the time, Los Angeles was the only club operating in the black.

The main point of the article was that to be profitable, clubs had to own the revenue generated from the stadiums. The largest percentage of revenue from stadiums comes from the luxury/club box seat sales. RFK can not offer this revenue stream.

Additionally, RFK is decades old, crumbling, and in desperate need of demolition. Repair/upgrade costs are prohibitive because RFK is built entirely of concrete. Part of the challenge with demolishing RFK is that the Kennedy's still view it as a Memorial to Bobby Kennedy. It has sentimental value to an incredibly powerful political family.

I'm not sure why some people fail to grasp the issue with RFK. Maybe it's ignorance or denial, but RFK is NOT a solution. RFK will hold up for a few years longer, then it has to be shut down. After that, our best bet would be to share FedEx with the Redskins until a local/state government steps forward to assist with the building of a new stadium.

Do not forget that McFarlane and Chang are partners not just in DC United, but first to MLS. We're still talking Single Entity. I do not believe the League will allow McFarlane & Chang to build the stadium entirely with their own money (even if they had enough to do so--Credit is tight right now). The league has specific requirements for it's SSS'. One of those requirements is to have a Public/Private Partnerships. It's clearly a business model for a reason. I'm not sure, but I do not believe that Red Bull is paying for the entire cost of the Arena they're building. I think Harrison had to chip in something.

Plus, even if United were to pay for a stadium, the local government would have to pay for the infrastructure improvements.

Had Poplar Point actually occurred, the team could have started building the stadium, but at some point, the infrastructure improvements would slowed the development or functionality of the stadium.

Posted by: TCompton | April 8, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Another thing, I know Kev29 had mentioned parking spaces being a problem, but I think that we may be a little spoiled with the sprawl of Lot 8. I wouldn't want tailgating to go away, but a nice multilevel parking structure with an open air top would do quite nicely. Or even some sort of tailgating "park" adjacent to the parking structure, if need be could be pretty cool... I'm convinced there are some creative minds in the mix, someone had to draw up some of those original Poplar Point drawings right?
Qwest field, and Safeco in Seattle have some parking structure, similar to the structure semi connected to the Nats park in DC, but maybe a little bigger... two stadiums you know?

My main point is that some creative, and smart design could save a lot of space. That is if space and sharing it are actually an Issue. I'd also like to see multiple style bars inside the grounds, places that stay open year round and have viewing parties etc. for world football, away games and such.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 8, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Anyone see this?
Montgomery County may go after D.C. United [BizJournals.com]

Posted by: GiannicolusJones | April 8, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant! Perhaps they build at I-270, Exit 1!

Posted by: OWNTF | April 8, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Now that is a definite positive development. I-270 should be happy.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 8, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant! Perhaps they build at I-270, Exit 1!

Posted by: OWNTF | April 8, 2009 4:10 PM

I think he'd rename himself I-270, Exit 9A

Posted by: Kev29 | April 8, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

DCUFO needs a PR firm and FAST! Got to sell the idea and benefits before the NIMBY's get their panties in a knot.

Posted by: boda-united | April 8, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

OK Here's a suggestion for a Metro headline that is the opposite of a couple weeks ago.

Not so Fast Stadium Opponents, DC United Scores!

Do you think there's a chance in h e double hockey sticks of seeing such a headline?

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 8, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

If it's in the right place, everyone is invited to my office for the tailgate.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 8, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I think it would be hilarious if they put the stadium in upper Montgomery County. And Virginians went crazy about the possibility of a PG County commute?! Try the 270 Spur on a Wednesday evening. Or a Saturday Metro ride from Huntington to Shady Grove.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 8, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Goal - Cardiff 4 (Eddie Johnson 79) Derby 0

Posted by: Kev29 | April 8, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Ooopsy!!

Goal - Cardiff 4 Derby 1 (Eddie Johnson Og 90)

He can't stop scoring! :-)

Posted by: Kev29 | April 8, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! Kev29 is right. But at this point, I think many of us across the river have come to grips with a potential move. I guess the team will have to do what it needs to do, just without many NOVA's. Again, this comes down to Fenty being a liar and a snake. Pure scum.

Posted by: Hoost | April 8, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Um, the 10 - 20 events number that keeps popping up kills me. It's at a minimum 20 events for United alone. By the time that stadium is open there will be 17 home games for the league, toss in at least one USOC game, one playoff game, one SuperLiga or Champions League game and then any shortfall would come from friendlies, USA Mens and Womens games, Freedom games, Maryland games, the occasional ACC mens or womens tournament, some concerts, youth tournaments, and if need be gawdforsaken Lacrosse.

But seriously, no matter where it is NO FREAKING FOOTBALL - high school, college or otherwise. I'll take nothing and spite myself than allow that garbage in.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 8, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Frederick County!!!! Worse than Loudon!

Posted by: Reignking | April 8, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey, an Andy Dorman sighting...he scores for St Mirren...not enough to overcome Edu and Rangers, though.

Posted by: Reignking | April 8, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@DadRyan: Check out Hull's 25k-seater, expandable in the future to 30k:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KC_Stadium

I keep having visions of this stadium every time I walk by the Armory.... :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | April 8, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Shady Grove on the Metro. Nice digs. It's a decent dream. Plenty enough for Virginians to complain about, though. Then again, they would complain about anything in Maryland, even something in Potomac just across the river from them.

Posted by: Cavan9 | April 8, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

No lacrosse! The sticks tear fields apart creating divots where the players miss the ball. Lacrosse is actually worse for a field than football.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 8, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Hypothetically Tysons Corner could be a cool option with the metro going in. The major developers are trying to make Tysons basically into a small city in the vein that Ballston is.

Posted by: usiel3 | April 8, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else surprised that the Post not only got scooped on this Montgomery County possibility but still haven't even reported it yet. I am close to stunned.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 8, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

@Juan-John: beautiful looking ground I looked at the sat. image and it too looks very compact. What's up with it's apparent hybrid playing surface though? How common is such a thing?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 8, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

In all fairness Gambrills, that's barely news so I'm not surprised in the least.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 8, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Re: Montgomery . . . it beats a St. Louis commute

Re: Tysons/Reston Corridor YES!!! And we heard there weren't places to build in NOVA! caca de toros.

Posted by: delantero | April 8, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

has anyone considered that vw could step in and offer advice or funding or something to help, they have a team in germany, i dont know if they own the stadium there in any way, but i would think someone there could provide their thoughts on the matter.

http://fcblackfoot.blogspot.com/

Posted by: hamlin_todd | April 8, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

btw, i think they should build in dc/va/md, but not by no means delaware...LOL.

Posted by: hamlin_todd | April 8, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Dadryan,

A Montgomery County Council member, who is also a committee chair, goes public with interest and it is barely news? I don't understand your position. It is certainly more substantive than anything else going on. I guarantee you that DCUFO's has already called and I'm certain they have interest.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 8, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

sorry, I'm done holding my breath for any county anywhere. I've already seen videos and pictures of a bunch of folks in PG holding up United jerseys. 1 single MoCo County Council member saying they have some interest in DCU isn't news to me, it's just talk. Too much talk lately. Of course I'll be looking and welcoming any story written, I'm just not surprised that the Washington Post doesn't have anything DC United stadium related on the top of their priority list.

Don't worry, I'm sure Goff will tip off his cronies in MoCo and they'll soon have a field day with it on their beat...;-) I'm captioning my winking emoticon as well...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 8, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I definitely understand your pessimism and I feel your pain. However, this sounds a little different to me. They already want an arena, this is far more logical and functional than an arena, and MoCo is much more soccer friendly than PG and I think that is huge. Trying to build in areas that aren't particularly fond of the sport has been a mistake in my opinion.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 8, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

IIRC, we MoCo'ers didn't make it easy for the Soccerplex, and that was at a time when few people lived in Boyds/Germantown. Given our opposition to many things (the ICC, a bridge upstream of the Veteran's Memorial), I'm not optimistic about a stadium. And while the locations mentioned may have the space, the last stop of the Red Line or a bus ride beyond that doesn't bode well for attendance.

A 6-10K seat concert hall is not the same as a 25K seat stadium. We MoCo'ers like arts centers and libraries - things that won't generate a lot of traffic in our unwalkable communities. I'll be the Co. Council phones are ringing off the hook about this.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 8, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, American Legion Bridge, not Veteran's Memorial.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 8, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

You will support it though won't you I-270?

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 8, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I'll support it, but the plan has to be tailored to MoCo. It's not as simple as changing the address on the Prince George's Co. plan. The mixed-use development opportunities are likely to be limited.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 8, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

ya know how much it would rock if barca owned DC united and let them keep the name? If barca pulled out because of the risk of starting a new franchise, how about going after the leagues most famous?

just imagine every year watching dc versus Barca. That's pretty neat.

Posted by: doh1 | April 8, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

@DadRyan: Hull has a Rugby team that plays on the same grounds, apparently.

Posted by: Juan-John | April 8, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

their= they're

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 8, 2009 2:19 PM
There, there...

Posted by: seahawkdad | April 8, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

1. I am appointing myself the chairman of the "bring DCU to Frederick County" booster club.

2. check out DSB Stadion in Alkmaar Netherlands, home ground of AZ Alkmaar Only 17,000, but I bet it could be expanded easily. Very small footprint. I saw this stadium last summer when I was coaching a team in Holland. It looks really nice and could fit on a small parcel of land.

http://www.nieuwslog.nl/data/subdomain/149/article/20060927122017_luchtfoto8.jpg

Posted by: jjfooty | April 8, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Great discussion. Treacherous waters everywhere close to DC for any public stadium project. I think a post from someone from Chicago said it best last night in that DCU FO put too many eggs in one basket (D.C.), then in another basket (PG Cty.). I am still hopeful for a revised Poplar Point plan as it makes the most sense for a lot of reasons. FO would be wise to team up with a local developer with better navigation skills and local politicians (plural) other then Barry, who can't even pay his own taxes much less deliver council support. The proffers to the city will need to be much greater. The dreams of retail development riches will also need to be significantly scaled back.

Posted by: MR1Caretaker | April 8, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I'd have to agree that Poplar Point still makes the most sense as far as I can tell looking at satellite maps, metro stops, roads, etc. Teddy Roosevelt Island looks perfect, but.... I know there is a crappy taste in DC's mouth still over Nats park, and I know what I'm about to say must be years off, but all it will take is one better than average season of baseball there and a lot of things will change. Attendances will skyrocket, and some love of ye' ol' baseball will flourish..
If you can even suspend your disbelief for 10 seconds and imagine that, you could surely imagine a beautiful, compact soccer specific stadium just across the river.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 8, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

MoCo would be great for the legions of soccer fans in the county. And with the ICC, folks in Howard County might actually have the easiest drive there. As a Bethesda resident, I'd love to see a stadium @ Shady Grove -- and if it were the impetus to extend the Metro, even Germantown would be OK -- of course, that's fantasy -- no way to get a Metro extension in less than 10 years.

As was noted above, I-270 is a traffic nightmare, without 5,000 or more additional cars coming from Virginia. It's really not a great solution with the current infrastructure. Build another bridge, and a dedicated expressway there, and you've got something.

We've got a lot of soccer players and fans in MoCo, but building the stadium there would be the easy part. Getting people there would be almost impossible, except by Metro. MoCo residents won't support this, unless there's some radical new road proposal that comes with it -- one that holds the prospect of making traffic better, not worse. And Frederick County? That's gotta be a joke.

Seriously, DC is a much better and more likely solution.

Posted by: fischy | April 8, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

"If Nationals continue to get 10k of actual people at their games, there is no way in hll the city builds another stadium unless it is for the Redskins and DCU can get in on the package

Posted by: makplan20002 | April 8, 2009 3:53 PM
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Interesting observation. If you count actual heads, United often outdraws the Nats -- and even the paid attendance is sometimes higher for DCU. I realize that is a fact that most politicians can't grok.

Still, it suggests that the Nationals failings shouldn't be visited upon the soccer team. It's apples and oranges. The question is how to make the DC Council understand....

Posted by: fischy | April 8, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I would buy season tickets even if the stadium ended up in Germantown, I'd just never, ever be able to go to games on weekdays...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 8, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Count me in.

If this amounts to anything, then we have to make our voices heard this time. If their is a numbered opposition, then we need to double it. If the opposition is loud, then we need to be louder. Whatever comes up we need to take the stage and not fade to the background like last time.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 9, 2009 5:19 AM | Report abuse

Louder voices won't do any good if they're all coming in from the outside. There wasn't anyone from Prince George's County itself to counter Judy Robinson and her fellow opponents, to speak in terms that would relate to fellow county residents.

DC United came into Prince George's unaware and ended up being struck down for it. That can't happen in Montgomery or anywhere else. If the next in play ends up being Montgomery, home-grown Montgomery residents should take the pro-stadium lead.

Posted by: evwill | April 9, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

This is a small point but truth is better than the alternative, so I will make it.

It is easy to see why the uninformed would think otherwise, as a lacrosse stick looks like a shovel, but lacrosse sticks do not hurt a field with any reasonable grass surface, much less a professional sports field. Anyone who doubts this, we should do a DCU fundraiser where we go to a field and watch the doubters TRY to gouge it with a lacrosse stick. We can film it, seated on lawn chairs with coolers of beer. The doubters can pay for the sticks, which they will break before doing any real harm to the field. Supplemental health insurance is suggested as well, as some of the doubters will doubtless hurt themselves. We can sell the footage to America's Most Befuddled Home Videos. (Of course, the lawn chairs *will* actually hurt the field, so we'll need to take care of that damage.)

Wear on a lacrosse field is like that of any sport, caused by feet. What lacrosse does do is tear up the front of the goals and crease areas, from excess wear. (Much like soccer, but it is more concentrated.) This happens noticeably when a field is used for daily practice. A dedicated lacrosse *game* field, used once per week for less than two hours, doesn't see much of this. A borrowed field, used less than that, for occasional events, sees even less. A tournament packing 8 games or so might be another story, especially in the rain.

So, gauge the wear issue as you would any sharing with other sports. But the whole "stick-gouging" notion is ridiculous. To the extent that any sharing arrangements might better DCU's chances of finding a place to play that keeps them here for us, don't let this concern hold you back. There are far more daunting challenges.

A small point, admittedly, but since someone suggested otherwise...

Posted by: PostThisToo | April 9, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

The lacrosse notion may or may not be ridiculous but I know of a county where the recs and park department try to keep lacrosse games of certain fields due to that notion. I don't know anything about the sport and I will not pretend to know anything but the aforementioned statement is accurate.

I agree about the county residents. I have concurred with the sentiment that one of United's mistakes has been to attempt the SSS development in areas that aren't soccer communities. MoCo is different as it is definitely a soccer community. I doubt very seriously that United would have difficulty finding proponents in MoCo. Actually they could have found them in PG as well if they had made the rounds in Bowie which has been a soccer community for decades.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 9, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

It's that damned jousting that really rips up the pitch in MD.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 9, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

LOL about the jousting.

Had a couple of questions for any who have long followed the stadium issue closely. (I've had only an ear to the wind.)

I know a dedicated soccer stadium would be great to have, but not sure how likely it is.

Sounds like the Redskins may move from Fedex back to the city? Would Fedex be available for pennies on the dollar if so?

Seems like with the faltering economy, between borrowing Fedex or RFK, there would be some competition for anyone who can bring attendance to an existing site. Any chance of decent renegotiation? As much as it isn't posh, I still like going to RFK, and the parking and tailgating room is luxurious.

Failing that, can't we get some Kennedys drunk and talk them into spending their own money to freshen up the RFK memorial site?

Posted by: PostThisToo | April 9, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Teddy Roosevelt Island looks perfect, but....

Posted by: DadRyan | April 8, 2009 10:54 PM
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Why on earth would the National Park Service be interested in putting a stadium there? How is that consistent with TR Island's mission as a nature preserve? Apart from that, the lack of access makes it anything but perfect.

Posted by: universityandpark | April 9, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like the Redskins may move from Fedex back to the city? Would Fedex be available for pennies on the dollar if so?

Posted by: PostThisToo | April 9, 2009 10:20 AM
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This is not likely to happen within the next five years. The most likely site for the Deadskins would be the RFK site. There would be a process of negotiation with the National Park Service, which owns the underlying land and must approve any proposed use of the site other than the continued operation of the current stadium. That is in addition to the period of construction. Further, DCU would need a temporary home while construction is taking place. It would probably be difficult to interest major pointyball stadiums in secondary tenants whose seasons overlap pointyball season, leaving options that are even worse that in Kansas City and San Jose.

Posted by: universityandpark | April 9, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

...than in Kansas City and San Jose.

Posted by: universityandpark | April 9, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that the people who think DCU will land in VA outnumber those who pick MD, given that there has never been a single site in VA that has received serious consideration.

Posted by: universityandpark | April 9, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

In 5 years DC United will be outsourced to China.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | April 9, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Not a soccer fan really, not against it just not my style sport here but I am 100% for a new stadium being built, preferably in DC, but with the economy in a nose dive you cant expect any city or county to be able to put much money into a soccer only stadium.If the stadium is so bad, why did they not take the deal to look at a way of making the new ball park a hybrid stadium, or look to an agreement with FedEx Field till the economy gets fixed.

What I see here is a basic problem of ownership being unrealistic on who they should partner with, and to me a joint venture with one of the local colleges GW,Mason, American,Howard, that local government and the team on a stadium that the Soccer team can use as well as the school and the county/City, if you want to get something done now.

Sadly McF is not interested in doing things for the fans as much as his own self interest. Just like the owners of most the sports teams in this area except maybe the Caps.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 9, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to U&P for the answer about the Redskins.

alex35332's comments make sense to me.

Bigger picture, is the team, without a lot of stadium funding from some taxpayers somewhere, really a profitable venture? I love watching them play, but if they can really make money, what stops buying a chunk of land and building a stadium on it? Or cutting a better deal to rent?

If you really want a dedicated stadium, 25,000 fans times an *average* of a 2k PSL raises the first 50 million, right off the top of what the owners have to cough up. A 4k *average* PSL raises 100 mil.

No doubt, that's seriously asking people to put their money where their mouth is, but if you really want to keep the team...

So, I ask the world, what would YOU pay for a PSL to build a dedicated stadium? (I swear I am not a management plant.) My answer is 0, because I am unable to make it to more than a few games a year. But if I was able to go to all, as a die-hard, I'd fork over 2k per seat in PSL. 4k starts to get pretty pricey, as most people have at least 2 seats. I think 3k per PSL, for excellent seats, would be about my cutoff.

SO WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU PAY?

Posted by: PostThisToo | April 9, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

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