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United Stadium Setback

The project is dying, just about dead. Prince George's County Council voted 8-0 today to not pursue the plan. Three of those eight council members spoke in favor of the plan at the big news conference at PG Community College a couple months back. You remember that joyful event, right?

United's comment:

"We're, of course, disappointed at the outcome of this vote. It's certainly unusual for an elected body to decide it would rather not learn the facts of a proposed opportunity. We will continue conversations with other jurisdictions regarding a future home for D.C. United."

Oof.

Read the full story from The Post's Maryland bureau.

If you spot any moving vans with Missouri plates pulling up to RFK this week, you'll know why.

By Steve Goff  |  April 7, 2009; 5:05 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Wednesday Kickaround

Comments

Very disappointing. I wonder how much of this was caused by the bad economy. Better timing might have produced a different outcome.

Posted by: SSMD1 | April 7, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Yet a month ago they said PG County was the only jurisdiction they were talking to and that they hadn't talked to the District in months. And VA is notorious for not having stadiums built...


I think I'm gonna hurl. :( :(

Posted by: NattyBo1985 | April 7, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"Three of those eight council members spoke in favor of the plan at the big news conference at PG Community College a couple months back."

Wait, wait, wait....politicians said one thing and then did another...shocked, shocked, am I.

Posted by: decoi | April 7, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

This is getting ridiculous. Goff, are your constant teases about St. Louis just that, or are you beginning to know something we don't - that the "draconian option" is actually being looked at seriously now?

If DCU leaves town I don't know what I'll do.

Posted by: the_slammer | April 7, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

What does DCU have to do? Why can't a club with loyal support get any support inside the community? I feel for DCU. I really do. It's pretty piss poor that something hasn't worked out. I just don't know who to be pissed at.

Posted by: MichaelVann7 | April 7, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"What does DCU have to do? Why can't a club with loyal support get any support inside the community?"

Because the public is getting tired of helping to finance sports stadiums. It's as simple as that, especially when you factor in a bad economy. DC United and/or MLS have to come up with the money to build a stadium on their own...or else the team won't be here much longer.

Posted by: icehippo | April 7, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I die a little inside each time you mention St. Louis.

Posted by: dculuva | April 7, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I would sincerely like to know why the Council members voted against doing a study. Anti-stadium or not, it is harmless. Can someone offer a rational reason other than they were just against it and didn't care about the results or they were actually afraid of the results (I am sincere in this question). I can't think of any other reason than that for being opposed to a study. Pretty much confirms what I said previously, Prince Georgian's are anti- stadium/soccer and never really cared about the economics. That was just a smoke screen.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 7, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I suppose St. Louis isn't out of the question, but unless you have a real indication that they meant something outside of the DC metro, I'd hold off on such speculation. my guess is they mean the District of Columbia.. Maybe some fantastical ideas about a Montgomery County or Virginia location.

Hopefully, this is a lesson learned. If, even the early supporters jumped off the bandwagon, the driver was probably driving drunk, or headed over a cliff. Line up all the chickens ahead of time.

I'm still not sure Poplar Point is the best or most likely candidate for development, given the location -- but they are the most desperate there. If Barry goes to jail, Fenty can take the credit. I wouldn't be surprised to hear an announcement this time next year about a site in D.C. The Nats will have Strasburg, and will finally have some decent crowds and a buzz. That will lessen the criticism of a stadium -- and the economic climate will be more hospitable.

Posted by: fischy | April 7, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Goff, you're a great writer, but you're a little over the line with your Missouri comment. This is very upsetting news to United fans, and you have to end it with an insensitive comment just to make you look clever or something. Very cold on your part.

Posted by: bspence11 | April 7, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I bet it is somewhere else in Maryland. They are working closely with MSA. I t only makes sense that they prepared for this and are looking at alternative sites. I just hope it's not St Louis or Ottawa.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 7, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I am a D.C. fan living all the way down in Birmingham and I feel like I got punched in the stomach. I can't imagine the disappointment you local fans must feel.

I wonder what a really cheap, no perks, lowest bidder stadium would cost? On there own, could the team afford to built a really simple and cheap stadium that seats 18,000? Kinda like the big H.S. stadiums down in texas. To me, that would be a better option than picking up and moving to a new city.

Posted by: martincr70 | April 7, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

dculuva writes: "I die a little inside each time you mention St. Louis."


Trust me, he knows that.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | April 7, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Ottawa? Dear god. If they MUST relocate, please let it be in our country.

Posted by: carmines757 | April 7, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"This is very upsetting news to United fans, and you have to end it with an insensitive comment just to make you look clever or something."

I too, sir, am quite offended. Any joke that may plausibly be insensitive towards soccer players, politicians, professional sports organizations, banana peals, blondes, light bulbs, or The Song of Hiawatha should never be published on this blog. I also condemn your infrequent political commentary and any expression of personality whatsoever. In fact, cleverness should be banned from all the interwebs forever. We don't like it, and what we don't like will be thoroughly scolded and condemned.

Posted by: HWLongfellow | April 7, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

DC United is not moving to another city. Period. I'm no expert, but it seems totally ridiculous to even suggest that they will move. This is the flagship franchise of MLS (well maybe besides Galaxy). We'll stick it out for a few years, the economy will improve, the political atmosphere will improve, and then we will find a way to get a stadium deal done in the District or NOVA.

To be honest, the move to Prince George's would have sucked anyway. I know it was our only option, but we can always fundamentally change our approach to getting this thing done. I really hope we can get something done in DC.


Posted by: davethelad | April 7, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Link to the Post story now available on the blog entry

Posted by: Steve Goff | April 7, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Well played, Longfellow, well played! :-)

SG

Posted by: Steve Goff | April 7, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

My friend suggested that they tear down Springfield Mall (let's be honest, who would miss it?) and build the stadium there. I know that VA will never let it happen, but it's actually a good idea! :)

Posted by: pmtthree | April 7, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

It's hard enough following MLS from a city that has no team within hundreds of miles. If they get rid of my hometown team that I've grown up supporting since I was 12 then it is going to be even harder for me both logistically and emotionally, if not impossible.

Posted by: dpowellutkedu | April 7, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm a gaLAxy fan and DC has left a legacy in this young league. Moving is not the best option. If anyone needs to move is KC and FC Dallas before DC moves.

Posted by: silentbat | April 7, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Wake up people! The problem isn't Steve! This situation is critical and it isn't going away. Condemn him because he shows a little personality? The best answer to this is for the fans to unite behind the team, support the team, and most importantly if another deal becomes imminent get behind the team and be heard. The opposition spanked us, pure and simple. If there are some fans that take offense to this, I'm sorry it's just the truth.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 7, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

DCU won't move. MacFarlane will most likely sell his share of the team to someone who's not a real-estate developer and is willing to pay for most of a stadium's construction costs.

What's that, you say? Lamar Hunt's DEAD?!? Oh, dang...

Paging Ted Leonsis...

Posted by: Juan-John | April 7, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

By all means shoot the messenger! We don't want to hear the message that absent a soccer specific stadium in the DC area the team is dead money to any investor and liable to be sold to another investor who might relocate to another locale. Our heads are firmly and happily planted in the sand on this one. DC United could never move. It's that simple.

Posted by: rick1977 | April 7, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

You fans of "Major League Soccer's flagship franchise" just have to get an owner that will build you a stadium without begging for public money, like Red Bull.

Posted by: ElPibe1 | April 7, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I too, sir, am quite offended. Any joke that may plausibly be insensitive towards soccer players, politicians, professional sports organizations, banana peals, blondes, light bulbs, or The Song of Hiawatha should never be published on this blog. I also condemn your infrequent political commentary and any expression of personality whatsoever. In fact, cleverness should be banned from all the interwebs forever. We don't like it, and what we don't like will be thoroughly scolded and condemned
___

Hey, don't forget jokes about Lawyers and the Rapids.

Posted by: hacksaw | April 7, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Well I guess I can go back to my, " I'll never spend another dime in PG County" stance.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 7, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully the current owners sell the team to someone with the money, will and competence to build a stadium and keep the team here. My sense from the papers is that Vic is losing plenty enough money in his day job, maybe he wants to get out now and cut the losses on his side show.

Posted by: OWNTF | April 7, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

stop begging for money and built it with private cash. It may mean downsizing it, but that's better than nothing. You tellin me this Macfarlane isn't rich enough to fund a $70-80 million stadium himself? didn't he spend millions on a penthouse condo?

Posted by: hendrix | April 7, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Goff, it's a little late for an April Fool's joke... please tell me you're kidding!

Posted by: jrnail23 | April 7, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

If MLS weren't already here, it would be moving here. Simple as that. DCU already does better on its bottom line at RFK than many teams with the so-beloved SSS. That is a cold fact. And, Goff, where is this mystical St. Louis? The land of easy credit, great politicians and thousands and thousands of fans crying for MLS? KC and Colorado have done so well, another Midwestern team is a natch. Right? Right? This Shangri-la must be the place where smug, smarmy, easily self-satisfied reporters roam, also.

Posted by: Boogie_Knight | April 7, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm stunned this is even an issue. What's surprising about a state/county/city not wanting to build a soccer stadium at this point in time? We all need to be a little realistic right now.

Posted by: ZidVicious | April 7, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"Well I guess I can go back to my, " I'll never spend another dime in PG County" stance."

----

PG County has places where you can spend money?

Posted by: ashleybone | April 7, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

If MLS weren't already here, it would be moving here. Simple as that. DCU already does better on its bottom line at RFK than many teams with the so-beloved SSS.

Posted by: Boogie_Knight

You're as wrong as the PG County board.

I told you all that Maryland hatred was still warranted! Cmon VBB!

Posted by: Reignking | April 7, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

All I'm saying is I think I know how Soehn feels right about now....

Posted by: bspence11 | April 7, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I would like to hear McFarlane pull out of his investments in DC to the tune of $1 Billion, and then see if maybe the mayor would be a bit more accommodating on reproach.

Posted by: dsheon1 | April 7, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

My wife did ask me when all this PG stuff started, "what makes you think anyone in who lives in PG wants a bunch of soccer nerds coming to their neighborhood?"

I was hoping that people would be smart enough to prove her wrong... People must really love wallowing in crime ridden, hopelessness here in the mid-atlantic. It's crazy.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 7, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Why has DC United not tried to build a Stadium where their biggest fan base is located, Alexandria and Arlington.

Posted by: Tacaraya | April 7, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the ignorance, DadRyan.

Posted by: ZidVicious | April 7, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Since you guys are the only one's who understand my anguish, please read my rant:

http://apinghemingway.blogspot.com/2009/04/wishful-thinking.html

It's time we make s*it hit the fan for Fenty and reclaim Poplar Point for DC United.

Posted by: DonDraper | April 7, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Nashville is calling.

Posted by: you-dont | April 7, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Why has DC United not tried to build a Stadium where their biggest fan base is located, Alexandria and Arlington.

Posted by: Tacaraya | April 7, 2009 6:11 PM

----
There is a reason that Virginia has no professional sports teams. They won't build a stadium for the NFL, what makes you think MLS has a chance?

Posted by: NattyBo1985 | April 7, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

"My friend suggested that they tear down Springfield Mall (let's be honest, who would miss it?) and build the stadium there. I know that VA will never let it happen, but it's actually a good idea! :)"

The plans to tear down most of Springfield Mall and replace it with a town center-style development are already well advanced. Doubt the developer would reconsider it at this stage (it's been in the works for several years now).

Posted by: 1995hoo | April 7, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barcelona, don't invest in Philly, buy DCU!

Posted by: Granitza78 | April 7, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

the infrastructure needed for a 25K seat stadium is vastly different from what is needed for a 75-90K seat stadium.

I'm not saying there's room in metro-accessible Northern Virginia, but the idea (were there neighborhood support for it) that some sites inside or just outside the Beltway in Virginia couldn't be a good fit for a United stadium seems strange.

An urban stadium could work in Arlington or Alexandria, in theory. The Caps have a nice training facility in Ballston. Traffic concerns are a major issue, but if it is a metro-dependent location, it could work. Of course Poplar Point looks much more accommodating for stadium (and as is the key, additional surrounding) development as opposed to what may be available in Northern Virginia.

Posted by: tab5g1 | April 7, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

dsheon1,

Vic would need to pull out of impending deals to be effective. Otherwise it's just a change of ownership and Fenty wouldn't care.

PG County is dead to me. If I wasn't a Redskin season ticket holder, I would completely avoid giving the county another dime. It wasn't about their opposition, it was the venom the residents had for the soccer community that appalled me.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 7, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't think $70-$80 million gets you much stadium wise, anywhere in the DC Metro area.

I like RFK but I know it's a poor site for any team trying to make a profit. Maybe some day the teams in the league will derive more of their money from TV rights, sponsorships, etc and DC can remain viable as a location. But RFK may finish crumbling before then...

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 7, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

"Well I guess I can go back to my, " I'll never spend another dime in PG County" stance."
----
Yeah, me too. And this stance will be far easier to keep than my resolution not to spend any money in DC. I mean, seriously, why would I ever bother setting foot in PG, if not for DC United?

Those politicians are fools. It's not like there are tons of outside dollars flowing into PG, especially after the Skins leave in a few years. Even Skins fans probably don't spend a lot in PG. I, on the other hand, was willing to go out of my way to spend money there on everything from gas to food to clothes. Not just on game day either.

Oh well, their loss. They don't need my money anyway. Especially with the average household income in PG where it stands. They don't need any stinkin' cash from Virginia. Right...

Posted by: DCU4LIFE | April 7, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Aside from the question of spending scarce public funds, which I oppose for ANY sports franchise, soccer stadiums are unattractive as an anchor for development because they don't host enough games.

A site that sits empty most days -- much more than a baseball stadium -- is not an economic neighbor or an attractive neighbor. So not only will DC United need to pay for their own stadium, they will have to find a place that wants it. It hasn't been easy, and it isn't getting any easier.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 7, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield Mall aren't options. The team looked in VA early on and didn't find anything that could be done. Regarding Springfield Mall, it is owned by Vornado and most of the zoning and planning has just been approved for the renovations and surrounding development. Vornado was waiting for final approvals before moving forward too much on the project for Springfield Town Center. The mall is nearly empty because of interior renovations and reconstructions. Some tenant leases were allowed to expire while others were allowed to move during renovation. An idea of what it will be can be seen here. Work has already begun and much of the mall will be completed by next year.

Posted by: sitruc | April 7, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Tysons? Just tear build it in one of those ridiculous large parking lots for those malls!

Future metro accessible . . .

And re: Goff and St. Louis . . . how about a realistic analysis about that option . . is there anyone in St. Louis that actually cares? Does MLS/Garber think it's wise? Who in the United franchise is looking at it?

Either way the St. Louis comments and bad jokes are getting old without any real news. I could read this on Big Soccer! Take that! :)

Posted by: delantero | April 7, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I second the Ted Leonsis idea. Wow, would that be a coup.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 7, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Don't discount the possibility of a move...the first San Jose Earthquakes won MLS Cups in 2001 and 2003, but after the 2005 season blew town (for Houston) over stadium issues...DC United may have those four MLS Cups and all those other trophies, but as far as permanent residency in an area, success guarantees nothing.

Posted by: Lukashenko | April 7, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

delantero,

Call the front office. Unfortunately, it's not a smoke screen.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 7, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Back to the drawing board. McFarlane made his millions investing other people's money (CalPers mainly)and when it comes to building stadiums, that just won't wash in this area and in this economy. Folks are right that we need an owner who will put the money up to build a stadium and we just don't have that kind of owner. It will be tough to find one in these times. Maybe AEG will buy us back. The franchise just doesn't seem to have fared well on or off the field since they left.

Posted by: LostinPotomac | April 7, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Two things, one, DCU fans need to have more of a sense of urgency about this situation, because once they start loading up the moving vans, it's game over! Two, (and I know this is a STUPID STUPID question) is there any scenario in which RFK could be renovated, downsized or reconfigured to meet United's needs?

Posted by: coreymartin2004 | April 7, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The United have shown no interest in Nova because Alex, Arl, and Ffx would never consider public financing. The stadium should be built in the District and team ownership should pay for it.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 7, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"We will continue conversations with other jurisdictions regarding a future home for D.C. United."

What's left?
DC? Out
PG? Out
NoVa? No way.
MoCo? With all the local opposition to the ICC, this won't be possible. Even if we had the space, we'd be swamped by the same issues with the same stadium authority and the same legislature.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 7, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

@Zid: My slightly jaded, and dark feelings about DC and the surrounding Metro area were wrought working in the streets and not sitting in some office, fartin' around blogging on the internet about soccer all day long. Granted I do a lot of fartin' around commenting on this particular blog and following the goings on with DCU pretty closely and taking care of my kid. The statement I made I guess could be considered an obtuse generalization, but hardly ignorant. Honestly, there's a better fit. That's all I'm saying.
ONe question though zid:
Do you live around here bro?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 7, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

kinda makes that move to National Harbor dumb now. Maybe they should move the visiting teams back into the city.

And isn't the "St. Louis" stadium actually in Illinois? So maybe we should say the team is moving to Illinois not Missouri.

Posted by: fedssocr | April 7, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

re: DC United is not moving to another city. Period. I'm no expert, but it seems totally ridiculous to even suggest that they will move. This is the flagship franchise of MLS (well maybe besides Galaxy).
------
While I do think we're not quite to the point where options are exhausted (particularly with the current economy) and I think eventually something will get worked out in this area; it can't be ruled out as a possibility. San Jose had won multiple titles, drew well and was a major market the league really wanted. Yet when they couldn't get a stadium they moved to Houston. Granted ownership issues were part of that, but part of what attracted current ownership was they are real estate developers and they'd hoped to use the stadium as part of development deal. Eventually they may look to get out and another city may come in with a good enough offer - especially if they can get the team for less than the expansion price the league wants at the time. The St. Louis rumors have been out there on other sites for awhile. How valid they are, who knows, but it's not something new.

Posted by: thrh1 | April 7, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

hear me now and understand me later . .

if United moves, I will summon some curanderos to place a curse on them that will make the Cubs look like champions.

Posted by: delantero | April 7, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

The United...

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 7, 2009 6:51 PM

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

All the rest of the words you wrote are completely invalidated by the ignorance shown in these two.

Posted by: Kenobi | April 7, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I think RFK is a great site, why is that land off the table? A stadium could be built in the parking lot while we play in RFK and then make the switch. Can't we buy this land from DC or receive it as payment for future tax revenues? F*ck the redskins returning to DC, they made their stadium and it would be irresponsible to build another so soon. And for 10 games a year who cares where they play?

We have a good thing going where we are, I say lets stick with it.

This is troubling news because I would like to have a resolution to this issue, but I am personally relieved to not have it in pg county.

Posted by: The_Dude_Abides1 | April 7, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

M&T Bank Stadium!!!!

Posted by: dcfan11 | April 7, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

@fedssocr: The Anheuser Busch soccer complex is west of downtown St.Louis, ergo MO. Oddly enough, it's near I-270. I hope that isn't an omen.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 7, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

man this sucks. while I personally wasn't 100% thrilled about the PG location, I was glad they seemed to get something done. A part of also had a bad feeling about the whole thing after watching all the grandstanding and hand shaking. In the long run, PG shooting this down, could be a great think for us.

Sadly, DC now has the upper hand in any negotiation, at least with McF/Chang. Are we going to come running back with our tail between our legs? I don't think anything will get done with the current DC administration and McF/Chang.

I personally don't need an urban setting, this is not Europe where the teams started decades ago, and the cities grew up around them. We just need something. Whether it is a new stadium in the lots of RFK, out in the burbs, or in the city. Who cares at this point. Ideally, it would be a place that would still enable the wonderful tailgating opportunities that come with RFK.

At first, I thought all the talk about the team moving was just that, talk. I think it is a real possibility at this point and we should be very nervous. The big question would be, where would we go? It is not like baseball relocating the expos here. DC/Williams totally caved on that one, and now we are paying for it. Where would MLB have moved the Expos? This was obviously the best choice. Once the team starts doing well, and the economy picks up, the fans will come back. There are too many baseball teams as it is, they weren't going to Vegas, or any other location. DC just didn't call MLBs bluff. Because of that, they called United's bluff (not that United bluffed since they did go to PG -- but since it didn't work out, I'm calling it a bluff).

United is stuck between a hell of a rock, and a hell of a hard place. Things are bad, and we as fans should be very, very worried about this.

I'm hoping the team releases a statement or something, pledging their allegiance to this area. However, that would only lessen my fears somewhat.

Posted by: torrey151 | April 7, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Someone get down to Poplar Point and take some photos. Post them on DCist, wherever you can. Get people upset that with the unemployment rate up to 10%, Fenty scratched a solid plan to pass a project onto Clary Realty who dropped out leaving the city with nothing. This city could use those construction jobs now. Are there any Keynesians left in this town?

Show the city the decrepit state of Poplar Point and its disrepair. Show the Ben Olsen's smiling face cleaning it up and asking for a stadium. Lets drum up some good old populist anger.

Posted by: DonDraper | April 7, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

HEY SUBURBIAN VA - BUILD IT THERE. SE DC/and PG have had enough of being YOUR playground. Keep your chump change (beer tax cents).

Posted by: DerekSTH | April 7, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I would like to congratulate for those who HATES soccer for ignorant reasons, who opposed DC United stadium no matter what (whether it's public finance to help for infrastructure or build entirely by the owner) not because it's just a sport's stadium but because their hatred for succeeding to kill the plan, and that includes crook politicians, one sided local media except Goff. Let's raise funds to kill off their election dreams when they try to run for re-election for their disgrace posts.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | April 7, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm doing my victory lap.

While I feel for the club and I know that this creates more uncertainty than losing Poplar Point did, the bankrupt territory between the two Commonwealths was no place for DC United.

I'm not sure where this leaves the team. Is something brewing with the RFK site/Redskins/Redevelopment JV? Is Poplar Point still an option? River Place in Arlington - site of the worst condos with the best views and original plan for the "beloved" boreball team in town?

I seriously hope Vic, Will and Kevin have something as plan Z. I actually hope to hear that the team cuts all business and other ties with the Free State.

I'm buying season tickets for this team as long as its in the area. I'm buying merchandise, beer, food, parking, VW's, etc. However, this club needs to find a good partner. If Will and Victor and Kevin have to dillute their holdings to supporters' equity and another JV partner then perhaps that's the root to go. This is going to be a privately funded venture. And it better not be bare bones. If you're in sports you need the extra stuff to drive revenue both when the team is there and when it's not. Ask FC Dallas about that - were it not for boxes, Pizza Hut, and some other stuff - they'd be sunk already.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 7, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh - and Maryland - we're back to being through with one another.

Back to silence on all topics about Maryland.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 7, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

You're as wrong as the PG County board.

I told you all that Maryland hatred was still warranted! Cmon VBB!

Posted by: Reignking | April 7, 2009 6:04 PM

Har! Wanna make a bet. Do a clckity click in Google or Big Soccer and look for the MLS Proforma that was presented to the Portland City Council. Come back and say your sorry after.

Posted by: Boogie_Knight | April 7, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

HEY SUBURBIAN VA - BUILD IT THERE. SE DC/and PG have had enough of being YOUR playground. Keep your chump change (beer tax cents).

Posted by: DerekSTH | April 7, 2009 7:43 PM


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

you sir are a complete blithering idiot. If it weren't for Virginia (and Maryland for that matter) dollars coming into DC (whether for sports or otherwise), it would be a whole heck of a lot worse off. If you have a brain between your ears, use it before you speak.

Posted by: torrey151 | April 7, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

icehippo - amen, finally someone here is talking some sense.

If DCU wants a new house they are going to have to buy or build it themselves; the ownership will have to risk and leverage its own capital. That is how NFL and MLB attained whatever public-good status they have today. Generations of entrepreneurs built and sold those products as Major Sport.

League-wide, MLS continues to push in that direction, inch by inch, and DCU has fallen behind by standing still. My ire is divided between Vic and Fenty, and unfortunately this may come down to the two of them being able to make something happen, or not.

Perhaps a sweetheart deal on some public land around 24th & East Capitol would be a good start? Seems like a win-win for both of them.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | April 7, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Dad - Don't live there anymore but remain a United fan. However, I believe the residents have a right to be upset when DCU's owner said they wouldn't use public funds, then did just the opposite. Crappy area or not, nobody deserves to be taken to the cleaners like that. The owner is a millionaire who made a significant amount of money driving up real estate prices so high with these developments that they no longer can be justified.

I love soccer and hope to see everybody get a situation like Toronto & Seattle, but we have to be realistic and understand that, in this economy or even a booming economy, a $175-200 million soccer stadium isn't going to help anybody. You can be outraged that DCU doesn't have a place of their own, but I'd prefer to blame the ownership, who should responsible for the costs, and not the people who are smart enough not to put up an over-expensive, under-used facility.

Posted by: ZidVicious | April 7, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

But really - all my opinions aside - I feel really badly for DC United. From a public facing standpoint, they've seemed to be more honest and more devoted in a community service sense in their pursuit of a stadium location. It's just a shame that the economy/area politics/etc has taken the wind out of the sails on this one.

Growing up being a supporter of DCU it really astonishes me that this would be the ONE team in the whole league that doesn't have a stadium situation cleared up at this point. Now I just hope they get something done somewhere so I can go to that first game, it would kill me to not live near the team when they open up their real home.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 7, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

"Goff, are your constant teases about St. Louis just that, or are you beginning to know something we don't - that the "draconian option" is actually being looked at seriously now?"

I think this is a legitimate question, and I haven't seen an answer.

Goff, you were happy to be zzz for a long time about stadium news -- maybe you ought to go back to that if the alternative is St. Louis jokes.

Glad you found a new friend in Longfellow -- if United leaves DC you're going to need a lot of new friends for your blog, I would guess.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | April 7, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

"Glad you found a new friend in Longfellow -- if United leaves DC you're going to need a lot of new friends for your blog, I would guess."

-----------

True that. Without United in town, my only need for soccer news becomes National team, and there are better places to get that.

Posted by: yotman | April 7, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Where to go from here?

Could ownership sell the team? Perhaps one of the other MLS investors would step in (Anschutz, Paul Allen...) to keep the team in DC and invest in a stadium, sell to new ownership group down the road when times are better. The Leonsis Theory sounds interesting, and right about now he has to feel like he can take ANY franchise and make it succeed. The District appears to be the only option, and it's going to take an owner willing to foot the majority of the bill. I have to think the league itself would step in before losing a market like DC, with some say in the matter due to the single-entity model. But if you don't think the team could relocate, it's wishful thinking. Two NFL teams have moved out of LA. I hardly think an MLS team would be immune to the same fate if all else fails. All I can say is...the MetroDonkeyBulls are next, see you in Lot 8 next Friday!

Posted by: Brock_Landers | April 7, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | April 7, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Charles County anyone? Some lovely water-view lots down south...

Posted by: jealousmuse | April 7, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Look, the pecking order in DC on sports stadiums is (1) getting the Redskins back; and (2) letting everybody else pay for it themselves. We need a deep-pocketed owner committed (and financially shrewd enough) to build a stadium and run like Abe Pollin does the Verizon Center...If anybody thinks Leonsis is losing money remember he is part owner in Lincoln Holdings which owns Verizon and makes a bunch of money outside of the Caps on the facility operations as a whole. Privately owning a stadium would make sense in the long-run, the problem is having an owner that is committed to the team and the community, McFarlane is neither.

Posted by: jnel | April 7, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why people are piling on Steve for the St. Louis remark. He makes a snarky comment here and there, but so what? His record shows that if he knows anything, he at least gives us a hint - even if he just says it's big news for a print edition story. Do you think he'd hold back and let someone else get the scoop?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 7, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Would they even get a stadium done if they put up their own money at this point? I remember when Disney tried to build a theme park in Manassas and everyone went crazy shooting that down. And what's in Manassas now except McMansions, strip malls and a traffic problem?

Seems that's all people want -- McMansion developments, 100 nail salons and 7-11s (and schools to house all the new McKids moving in). Oh, and horrible traffic (which they seem to complain about whenever someone mentions a seasonal, once/twice a week development like a stadium).

I say we bulldoze the Maryland State house and build the stadium there. It would look beautiful on that hill, right across from the Governor's mansion and overlooking the City Dock and the Chesapeake Bay.

Posted by: mercurysnake77 | April 7, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Goff has a track record and hes not some robot who just spews information out with no personality at all. I imagine he, like the rest of us, is fed up with this stadium dance that seems to be going no where.

Maybe everyone's sense of entitlement because we are dc united has clouded their judgment. Realistically what other options are there to explore? DC said no. There are no sites in VA. MD says no. What options do the owners have? This is a business and it needs to make money. I don't think its too far fetched to happen and I certainly find the idea (while being a dagger) funny of moving van parked outside of RFK on a Saturday night with MO license plates. This is like an abusive relationship and one of these stubborn sides needs to give up and try something else, it's clearly not working.

Posted by: strago | April 7, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Goff, you're a great writer, but you're a little over the line with your Missouri comment. This is very upsetting news to United fans, and you have to end it with an insensitive comment just to make you look clever or something. Very cold on your part.

Posted by: bspence11 | April 7, 2009 5:27 PM
Listen it's not like Goff is ever going to win a Pulitzer. He is stuck covering a team that he does not even like. I love that he provides good if not great coverage of american soccer, but his St. Louis comments are over the line. He is still bitter and throwing a hissy fit over the fact that Soehn yelled at him. Get over it. You are grown man and there is no substantial evidence the team is moving.

Posted by: no_recess | April 7, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what Goff has in mind with his St. Louis comments. If he knows something but doesn't know enough to say it definitively, I would appreciate the hint. OTOH, it irritates me badly enough where I think I am going to remove Soccer Insider from my regular internet wandering path. I lived through Sonny Werblin stealing my Dips, and I don't think I want to put up with that crap again. MLS, listen up: Move DC United and I am back to hockey or baseball or anything but soccer.

Posted by: bdwooton | April 7, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Seriously - calm down about Maryland. This was shot down by a County Council that did not see any political gain from from a perceived economic gamble. Hell, "Maryland" (state reps and Stadium Authority) is still behind the stadium.

Time to aim the vitriol towards the owners who have not done a single thing right in the last couple years. Why don't we act like proper football fans and focus our energy in house - not beg politicians for handouts.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 7, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Imagine Goff having to deal with the dumb as...american sports fans/writers in his office? I feel for him. 2010 is his year to raise his head above everyone.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | April 7, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Enough of this! When is kickoff? Shall we discuss it on this thread of despair or shall we go to the second Vieri thread, where there's more room?

Vamos Islanders!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 7, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Uh, why are the St. Louis comments over the line?

I would argue that there's a substantially better chance of DC playing there in 2012 than anywhere around the District.

Posted by: thamlin | April 7, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I plan that lying sack Fenty. He strung United along for two crucial years. It turns out he was a, well, lying sack. Now the economy crashes, meaning we missed the boat.

United has to muddle through for another two years likely to weather the economic storm. Maybe then someone will they can work something out in this area.

If United's not patient (or can't afford to wait to two years), then they'll have to move for the sake of the franchise.

Sad, but true I fear.

Fenty, thanks for lying to our faces.

Posted by: defpotec | April 7, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Kev29. Look, expecting "leadership" from county politicians is right up there with a continuing belief in the tooth fairy. The bottom line is that DCU needs "owner-investors" who are invested in the locale and willing to put up their money to make the team work. MacFarlane and Chang aren't from here, and DCU always has been the vehicle for real estate development. Course the economy has put that idea to bed for a few years and real estate developers and war criminals are vying for bottom of the "most popular" list right now. DCU really needs a Pollin or Leonsis -- guys from the community and committed to the community -- to get this done. Hendricks has money in the Freedom and WPS, maybe he is interested or knows of local folks who would put their money where their mouths are for a DCU stadium. In the end, the owners have to get it done, and this crew has done nothing right since they took over. If you or I did as poor of a job as they have, we would be out on the street looking for a new gig. Right now, this is just a miserable day for DCU fans.

Posted by: griffin1108 | April 7, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

sitruc: what's funny about those Springfield plans is that it reminds me of Landmark. Landmark used to be an exposed mall, but that wasn't popular, so they built around it to make it an enclosed mall. Now, Springfield is trying to do the opposite...

Posted by: Reignking | April 7, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Nice try, no_recess.

Pulitzers are for writers uncovering disgraceful conditions at Walter Reed and risking their lives overseas. They're not for sports writers. Not an issue.

"Stuck" covering a team I don't like?? I love covering soccer. It's the best job in the business. However, I have no emotional investment in any particular team or player.

St. Louis comment over the line? Lighten up. We're talking sports. A hundred people just DIED in an earthquake in Italy. North Korea launched a missle. Gain some perspective. The St. Louis comment wasn't presented as news -- how anyone can confuse that with a breaking story is beyond me; it was presented as a snarky comment about a stadium situation that seems to get worse by the day.

"Bitter and throwing a hissy fit"? Again, nice try. Soehn and I have a good working relationship. Always have. He got mad after an emotional game; big deal. Happens in locker rooms all over the nation. It took me a day to get over it.

Take a deep breath, open a bottle of mediocre red wine, turn on Coltrane.

Posted by: Steve Goff | April 7, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Somebody cue up the .wav file of that radio guy wailing while the Hindenberg burned in Lakehurst. "Oh, the humanity."

Goffer again the bullseye for some, but he must know now there is no spirit of St. Louis around here.

We've got a great history, fan base and a great environment at RFK. Old, yes. Hard for DCU to make money, yes. Crappy staff at times, yes. But still the best ticket in town.

Fenty/PG Cty. politicos - "from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."

Posted by: MR1Caretaker | April 7, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Don't be too hard on yourself Streve - Pulitzer prizes and good red wine can be obtained by soccer writers :-)

Posted by: Kev29 | April 7, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

'Steve' - not 'Streve'

Need to stop posting via phone

Posted by: Kev29 | April 7, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey Vamos Islanders seconded! hope I'm on the right thread... found a nice feed... who needs FSC? Eh?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 7, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

This is a big test for the club's ownership. After striking out in the district, they go to PG. Seemed like a good plan B. Too bad however that the National's stadium experience has left such a bitter taste in local politician's mouths. Since the atmosphere is now poisoned. Even a better financial "offer" for PG looks doubtful. They may need to consider renovating RFK because where else locally can they go. Maybe the District will reconsider Poplar Point. Anyway you look at it this is bad for the club and its supporters.

Posted by: sbg1 | April 7, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

PR playing like they are protecting a one goal lead in injury time...

Posted by: Reignking | April 7, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, Coltrane. :)

Posted by: B_A_ | April 7, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the metro going to be extended to Loudoun County by 2013? Why not a stadium out there? By the time the stadium is built, metro will be accessible.

Maybe I missed something about Loudoun County, but no one has mentioned them at all.

Regardless of where in this area the stadium is, I'm a United fan for life.

Posted by: dculuva | April 7, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Why are we waiting for politicians to "decide" whether DCU gets a stadium deal or not?

It's time for us to stand up and make a statement to everyone...DC, VA, MD, soccer-haters, the rest of MLS, etc...

Get out and support the team. Support the front office. Support your kid's soccer team and bring them out to some games. Support your friendships at work and organize a happy-hour at a midweek game with your co-workers. Support the underpriviledged youth through United for DC. Get out to RFK with your family, friends, neighbors, anyone and everyone!!!

Quit b**ching about what other people are NOT doing and let's do something to support this club and what they stand for - winning championships and serving the community!

We need to make sure everyone knows that DCU is the premier organization in MLS. All we can control is what we can do ourselves so let's make sure we do everything we can!

Posted by: voetbol07 | April 7, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Loudoun County is BFE. At least the MD site was inside the beltway. You'd be losing so many supporters from Maryland...

Posted by: Reignking | April 7, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Cruz Azul red card! After CR hits one off post, Gaudette lets it sit in front of him. He teases, picks it up, the Riveros comes slide-tackling in hoping to get to it. He is nowhere close to getting to the ball -- never even touches Gaudette -- and he's outta there.

How do you get a red card without touching a player (other than verbally)?

Posted by: Reignking | April 7, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Hope these PR cats can get out of Mexico City alive...I can see this thing getting REALLY ugly...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 7, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Take a deep breath, open a bottle of mediocre red wine, turn on Coltrane.

Posted by: Steve Goff | April 7, 2009 10:03 PM


You forgot the part about "repeat as necessary."

Posted by: Section117 | April 7, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

St. Louis comment over the line? Lighten up. We're talking sports. A hundred people just DIED in an earthquake in Italy. North Korea launched a missle. Gain some perspective. The St. Louis comment wasn't presented as news -- how anyone can confuse that with a breaking story is beyond me; it was presented as a snarky comment about a stadium situation that seems to get worse by the day.

Posted by: Steve Goff | April 7, 2009 10:03 PM

Goff,

I have no problem with the comments about St. Louis. I understand why you are responding to people who are trying to call you out. You're right, and you're doing your job.

I just don't think that DC United will move anytime soon. A lot of people are acting like the sky is falling right now. Is there any truth to things that people saying about RFK being unsafe or unsafe within a few years? Yeah the lights stopped working at one point last year, but that can be fixed easily.

The team just needs to wait things out a little while. Maryland (as a state government) has had an awful economic situation the last few years. DC was burned by the National deal. The national economic situation doesn't help either.

The economy will get better. If United times things right they could potentially strike a deal for a stadium in DC when the political and economic atmosphere seems most convenient. It's also clear that United will have to front the cash for a stadium.

Posted by: davethelad | April 7, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Guess who's riding up to CVS for a bottle of mediocre red wine at halftime...I've already got the old lady firing up the old phonograph... Thanks for putting things back in perspective Steve.
They don't have a Whole Foods down in St. Louis do they???

Posted by: DadRyan | April 7, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Fellow readers - Goff is winding you all up with cheeky references to St. Louis. Don't take the bait! Now if he starts mentioning Montreal, then it's time to get worried...

Posted by: bartapest1 | April 7, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

As random as DadRyan's comments seem...I understood them.

At least we have this PR game to distract us, eh?

Posted by: Reignking | April 7, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Goff loves MTL!

Cruz Azul goal from 20 out...

Posted by: Reignking | April 7, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

1. Virginia is pretty much a none option. DC United looked extensively at Virginia, pursued a couple of options (one as far out as Loudoun County!). None were near Metro or inside the Beltway. All were killed by local community opposition. Ordinances and HOA rules restricting amount of traffic, lights on at night. For those of you who think this is silly, go talk to some of the youth coaches in Northern Virginia. The Post carried a series about one HOA that was suing a YC because of their field in McLean had lights on at night and was generating traffic post-rush hour going to youth games. Virginia killed the proposed Wilder-Cooke Redskins stadium in Alexandria (so instead we get two strip malls there as an alternative). As much as I'd like a Virginia stadium, there are a gazillion reasons why it ain't happening in Virginia.

2. I'm not going to argue that everything is lost. But McFarlane and Chang aren't local guys. They'd like this club to make money. And it can't without a SSS. We can belittle Ottawa or St. Louis or Miami all we want but right now, McFarlane and Chang probably have a better chance of getting a stadium built in one of those cities than they do in DC.

3. There isn't even a realistic alternative to go to if RFK was to be torn down and something built on that site. Ravens Stadium? Annapolis? FedEx Field?


Posted by: JoeW1 | April 7, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Overview of MLS Team Proforma
Presentation to the MLS//AAA Baseball
Task Force
Portland, Ore.

http://www.portlandonline.com/omf/index.cfm?a=231170&c=49495

Pages 16 and 17. Page 16: Season ticket sales. Page 17: team by team revenue and operating income.

DC United
Revenue: $13 million
Operating income: -$3.0 million

Columbus Crew
Revenue: $6 million
Operating income: -$4.5 million

Chicago Fire
Revenue: $16 million
Operating income: -$3.1 million

Colorado Rapids
Revenue: $11 million
Operating income: -$2.2 million

Kansas City
Revenue: $5 million
Operating income: -$2.9 million


Posted by: Boogie_Knight | April 7, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

@Reignking: This game is getting a little boring though....

Posted by: DadRyan | April 7, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey! I just wondered if attitudes may have changed in Northern Virginia as drastically as they have in politics in regard to Soccer Friendly/Monster Hybrid SUV Solar TRuck show venues?
Maybe all these soccer savvy Virginians who're not too drunk on Virginia Gentleman and micro brews are ready to stand up and say,"Hey! We've got some room for some Soccer Friendly/Monster Hybrid SUV solar Truck show stadia!" Isn't there some room near Reston or something? Dulles? Come on!!!

Couldn't we just build on Teddy Roosevelt Island? Haynes Point? Too small? never mind.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 7, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Why does Dunseth pronounce an Indian name as if it's Spanish? Jagdeosingh as in Jaguar.

Close call for Puerto Rico.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 7, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

voetbol07,

Well said and I completely agree.

For pete's sake people get off Steve's back. We are lucky to have him in this town. If you don't believe me, check out the coverage elsewhere.

I think DCU needs to give up the urban stadium idea. Go where the community is soccer friendly. PGC didn't want a soccer stadium period. It wasn't about the money.

Rally around the team. It's our best chance.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 7, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Back@ZidVicious:The implosion of the Kingdome in Seattle and the building of Safeco and Qwest were actions that were not very popular for some time. I bet you'd have really hard time finding anyone in Pioneer Square or the International District who'd bad mouth the business that these developments are bringing them these days.

Are there any other cities in the US that have their Pro Baseball, Football, and MLS team within two blocks of each other in a downtown location? Sucks for overlap traffic, but pretending that redeveloping crappy neighborhoods within spitting distance of the downtown area in any city USA is not going to be a good thing after everyone gets over the initial culture shock is going to be more successful than expecting suburbanites to keep this league afloat is crazy!
The RE-URBANisation of America hopefully will be televised, or we'll at least be able to find a live feed online!!!
You can't get a Toronto or a Seattle unless you put it right where people are going to be when they get off work, put it close enough to work that you tempt people to leave work to come check it out, and or put it in a place that's very easy to get to on the weekend. duh.
Everyone will love Seattle if they can just make it in the stadium;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | April 7, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

This is let's get drunk news.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 7, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Goff, glad to see you admit that it got under your skin for a day. If it didn't, then I really would think you didn't care.

Yes, it's only a game. It's not life and death. However, we seriously give a crap about this stuff. We invest big chunks of ourselves into this, and comments about the club moving anywhere really bothers. Of course we are going to take what you say too seriously.

This is where blogging sucks. You say it offhand, we take it seriously.

Posted by: bdwooton | April 7, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

How do you get a red card without touching a player (other than verbally)?

===

I'm not certain, but I think that a yellow card came out for the foul, but before the CR had a chance to show it, the player touched or grabbed the ref's wrist in a way that the official didn't like. That was the straight red for Violent Conduct.

I still would have given a straight red (Serious Foul Play) for the tackle. It was studs up, two-legged and completely unnecessary. The GK is just waiting until you get close. Make him pick the ball up. There's no need to come flying in with excessive force like that.

Posted by: mason08 | April 8, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Paging Ted Leonsis...

Posted by: Juan-John | April 7, 2009 5:48 PM
---------------------------------------------

I think that's a terrific idea. I hope that Victor and Ted would consider that -- though this would hardly be the ultimate answer. It still leaves the team without a place to play besides the "crumbling hulk". However, if Ted says I need this locale and I need support, there's not much chance that Fenty will say anything more than "How much do you need?" Plus, Ted is a soccer fan, and he's probably in a much stronger financial position. If he owned the team, he could really use his other properties to raise United's profile in this town. In his hands United might be a more valuable property than it would be for someone else. It really does seem like an elegant solution for the team and its fans. Perhaps, it will be as appealing to Leonsis and MacFarlane. We can dream....

Posted by: fischy | April 8, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm late to the Islanders-Cruz Azul match, but it looked to me as if the Islanders were really dragging at the end. The altitude hit them just like everybody else, despite their much greater "heart". Rough finish there for Dominic. Won't earn a place in the fans' hearts by giving up the tying goal and blowing a great chance to win it. Maybe, they can rescue it in extra time?

Posted by: fischy | April 8, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Are there any other cities in the US that have their Pro Baseball, Football, and MLS team within two blocks of each other in a downtown location?

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

Philly does it one better -- with their basketball/hockey arena right by the baseball and football stadia. It's a wasteland. No other economic development there, but the teams do enrich the city in other ways.

A stadium in Poplar Point isn't going to add a great deal of intrinsic value, but it could serve to kick-start development -- as a signal that it's OK to build in Anacostia. Similarly, if they built by RFK, they could be the first step in the Hill East project.

Leonsis could make it happen. MacFarlane? If you want it, Vic, it's going to cost you more than you've offered to date.

Posted by: fischy | April 8, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if you guys are aware of this or not but Leonsis's web site www.tedstake.com lists DC United as one of his favorite sports sites. Mutiny on the Armory!

Posted by: croftonpost | April 8, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

@ croftonpost -- Ted's a big soccer fan. He got four-square behind the Homeless World Cup. He was even in the stands to watch the matches when they staged the USA finals on a blisteringly hot weekend last summer. He came with his son (or, maybe it was sons -- not sure if both lads with him were his own). And he bankrolled the "Kicking It" documentary.

He really would be the ideal owner for the team. Too bad he can't engineer a hostile takeover. However, MacFarlane might decide that it's no longer worth it, with no prospect of a stadium. If he decides he wants out, I hope he gets in touch with Leonsis.

Posted by: fischy | April 8, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

fischy,

Absolutely. He has political clout in DC as you stated. I think the owner of the Capitals and Wizards (minority I know) would definitely get Fenty's attention. It would change the whole ball game. If it could only happen.....

Interesting about Ted. I am a diehard Caps fan yet I never knew of his interest in soccer. Maybe I'll post a help wanted comment on his site. ;)

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 8, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

I knew of his interest in soccer but was unaware of the depth of it. This whole Leonsis idea, albeit fantasy, sure makes a lot of sense in theory. As both of you stated, it would create an entirely different dynamic. To dream the impossible dream.....

By the way, ROCK THE RED & GO CAPS!

Posted by: croftonpost | April 8, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

You guys are funny. The comments on here are as passionate as those regarding the caps, but all the regional hatred is petty. I won't spend money in PG county. DC would be nothing without people from virginia coming in and spending money. Etc, etc. Ask yourselves the following questions:

1) Why do we need a new stadium?
I have a great time at RFK so I don't need a new stadium. The owners would like one so they can charge higher ticket prices and make more money. And of course they would love for someone else to pay for it.

2) What's another way for the owners to make more money?
Increase attendance. Maybe everyone should take the passion displayed here and channel it to increasing attendance/ticket sales. If you put 25k fans in RFK every game then the owners aren't going anywhere and you can save all the vitriolic comments for politics.

Posted by: nperazich | April 8, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Puerto Rico lost the match against Cruz Azul the minute their manager submitted the team's lineup. A five-man back line?!? They started the game and played the first 75 minutes as if there were only 15 minutes left!

Oh, and on Teddie:

The only way the DC government (or PG County for that matter) would let Ted Leonsis build a stadium for United -- if he were to buy the team (please Gawd) -- is if he paid for the majority of the construction cost (say, 65 to 75 percent). Anything else is just not gonna happen.

Posted by: Juan-John | April 8, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

nperazich,

As you can see above I am a fellow Caps fan so kudos. However, dude you are misinformed. RFK is deteriorating and the cost to fix it up is greater than the new stadium they are pursuing. As Ted would tell you, butts in the seats on the hill are not going to compensate for the lack of butts in the club seats or suites. They are losing too much money at RFK and a new stadium with it's corresponding corporate money is the only realistic answer to their ills.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 8, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Juan-John,

Maybe but I'm not so sure about that. Ted carries a lot of clout in this town and more importantly he owns a team that Fenty cares about (Wizards). I think Ted would get far more leniency at the table then the current ownership could get. At the very least, Fenty would listen.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 8, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Final: Cruz Azul 3(4)-3(2) Puerto Rico Islanders. The Cement Boys advance to the CCL finals.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | April 8, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

@Juan-John -- what do you mean by the majority of the construction cost? Originally, DCU wasn't asking for money to build the stadium in DC -- I'm pretty sure I'm right about that. What they wanted was infrastructure improvements -- lots of money for those. Over $200 million -- possibly $300 million. There were other reports that DCU wanted development rights and was looking for a smaller contribution from the city. Finally, the team was looking for the city to cover more than half of the stadium cost, but United would have covered overruns. And, the $200-$300 million in infrastructure? Well, the city would have paid that anyway in the Clark deal. The first offer was the one that would have cost the city the least out-of-pocket, but it would have given DCU some free real estate to develop. Fenty decided that was worth more -- hence the deal with Clark, which fell through a few months ago.

The difference in the dealings with the District was that the team and the city were separated by dollars. The neighbors wanted the deal, and it was a a question of closing the financing gap. At least, until the whole Poplar Point thing fell apart. While there was a big gap, I think the city knew that they would pay the majority of the stadium cost. In PG -- the money isn't the big sticking point. The team and the state would like to do the deal, but the neighbors don't seem to want it.

The biggest problem with Poplar Point is that there is no developer or plan. The city still needs to get the land from the feds. DCU got tired of waiting. Now, they're back in that waiting game. I suspect they will be able to cut a deal, assuming that the Poplar Point development ever gets back on track -- the question is how long will that wait be?

Posted by: fischy | April 8, 2009 2:03 AM | Report abuse

I've been reading other blogs around the country and man is our area getting trashed. The media, politicians, fans etc are all getting their fair share of criticism about this situation.

On a pleasant note there has been a significant sentiment from fans elsewhere that this team should not go anywhere, implying that it is bad for MLS.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 8, 2009 6:16 AM | Report abuse

Goff, please pay no attention to those on here who are attacking you. You do not need to stoop so low as to respond to mindless criticism. Your record speaks for itself in the quality coverage you have given over the years; easily the best in MLS. Thanks for what you do. Please keep it up.

Posted by: RRP1 | April 8, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Where to begin...

Someone mentioned that the Earthquakes got moved despite drawing well. I've read this tons of times, going back to before their move. It has never been true. Look it up:

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

Their historic average, even with a strong debut season, is around our historic midweek game average.

Moving on, SG (clearly in snark mode) mentioning a move to St. Louis should not have caused anywhere near the freak out that it did. The fact that the team is not guaranteed to be here makes me nervous and robs me of sleep; the fact that SG cracked a joke about it lets me know he understands gallows humor. I don't think he's been sitting around the past few weeks thinking of ways to antagonize his readers.

***

Boogie_Knight:

It's disingenuous to use that data and leave out LA ($4 million in profit per year), Toronto ($2.1 million) and even moribund Dallas ($500K). You also list Kansas City, which has never played a game in a stadium of their own.

You were less crazy that people thought. Losing $3 million at a crumbling facility while your landlord is somewhere between negligent and hostile still sucks, though.

270:

Dunseth mispronounces names more than RFK's English-language announcer. I was shocked at how good his analysis was for the most part, though...normally I find him very erratic, but tonight he was really good.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 8, 2009 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Goodbye Soccer Insider, it's been real...

Posted by: CHICO13 | April 8, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Goff

To be quite honest I wasn't trying to be clever. I was just pointing out the facts. I do not know where the "nice try" comes from. I was just letting people know that you were taking shots for a cheap laugh. As far as I am concerned your blog is great. However I find it funny that you get a rise out of people by making unsubstantiated remarks. I hope you are wrong about DCU moving. That would be awful for the fans, the game, and the league.

Posted by: no_recess | April 8, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Mark Cuban wants to buy a soccer team? Vic & Will have a pretty decent one for sale. Little dusty, though.

Posted by: grotusmaximus | April 8, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear this. One radical alternative to either staying in RFK or moving: Shut down for a year or two. If DC Area govt moves forward with a reasonable plan, reopen the team in a year or two, start-up again. If not, move to another market. Again, I hope this radical action is not required, but I'm going from the comments that moving might be in the cards. Might require owner to sell team to MLS first.

Posted by: RedCyclone | April 8, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

What's Mayor Fenty up to today?

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 8, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Take a deep breath, open a bottle of mediocre red wine, turn on Coltrane.

Posted by: Steve Goff | April 7, 2009 10:03 PM

I'm going use this advice in the future.

Posted by: TCompton | April 8, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

It's disingenuous to use that data and leave out LA ($4 million in profit per year), Toronto ($2.1 million) and even moribund Dallas ($500K). You also list Kansas City, which has never played a game in a stadium of their own.
Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 8, 2009 6:43 AM

Arrowhead was a stadium of KC's own for years. The Hunts own it. The Hunts owned the Wiz up until recently. Same with NE at Foxboro. Kraft owns the stadium and the team. He's not charging them RFK prices.

The point was/is, in case you missed it, that there are teams in SSS that are worse off than DCU at RFK and teams with better rent deals that are as bad off or actually worse than DCU. Larger point being if any team is dead money, it’s the Crew. Those were also 2007 numbers when KC was still at Arrowhead and before we had a VW deal. The larger point being if DCU had a stadium of its own or at least a stadium that wasn't falling apart and a better rent deal with more control of game day revenue stream, it would be a huge bottom line success. The largest point being it would be monumentally stooped for MLS to even think of moving DC United. Name one MLS city where the teevee numbers for the local MLS team are better than the local MLB team. Washington, D.C.

Posted by: Boogie_Knight | April 8, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Here are the events taking place at Toyota Park in suburban chicago for this year. Are these enough to warrant a stadium? Maybe they could have more concerts.

http://www.toyotapark.com/events/list.asp

Posted by: gode | April 8, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Jimmy Buffett!

Posted by: DadRyan | April 8, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"Name one MLS city where the teevee numbers for the local MLS team are better than the local MLB team."

Uh, Seattle and Toronto.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | April 8, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Save DCU!

Build in the District!

http://fcblackfoot.blogspot.com/

Posted by: hamlin_todd | April 8, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

We live in the most Liberal, leftist area in the mid-Atlantic. The so called progressives are against anything that will hurt the environment, risk anything economically and just might introduce some "Jobs". Its backwards, everything is backwards around here politically. Despite cultural diversity, soccer is not not appreciated in some areas of DC, and even with youth soccer booming in PG, Football is still the number 1 sports. I'd love to move to seattle but man there is three months of nothing but Rain.

St. Louis it is!!!!

Posted by: godpere | April 8, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@fedssocr: The Anheuser Busch soccer complex is west of downtown St.Louis, ergo MO. Oddly enough, it's near I-270. I hope that isn't an omen.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 7, 2009 7:34 PM
__________________________________________

It was pointed out in earlier posts that for a number of reasons, that site probably could not be expanded into an MLS venue, although it could be a training facility, a venue for low-profile events a la the 'Plex in Germantown, etc. If an MLS team ever materializes in the St. Louis area through expansion or relocation, it will presumably be in a new SSS in Collinsville, IL.

Posted by: universityandpark | April 8, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps a sweetheart deal on some public land around 24th & East Capitol would be a good start? Seems like a win-win for both of them.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | April 7, 2009 8:05 PM
__________________________________________

You do understand that the land underneath RFK, along with the surrounding parking lots, are owned by the National Park Service, don't you?

Posted by: universityandpark | April 8, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

If there are four malls that need to be torn down to make way for a soccer stadium, they are Landmark, Landover, Laurel, and Owings Mills.

I cannot fathom why Sears is occupying its space in Landover Mall, preventing anyone else from redeveloping the site.

Laurel is supposed to become "town-centered" in the next couple of years.

Landmark is a small footprint.

That leaves Owings Mills. Hmmm. "Baltimore United," anyone? The people at M&T Bank this summer will show the market for footy in America!

And PGCO (fellates).

Posted by: bs2004 | April 8, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Boogie_Knight, good stuff. That info was pretty well-hidden. I'm surprised that it hasn't come up more.

That said, I'm not sure what the big picture is. Different ways to look at it, of course.

Posted by: Reignking | April 8, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

River Place in Arlington - site of the worst condos with the best views and original plan for the "beloved" boreball team in town?

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 7, 2009 7:58 PM
________________________________________

Obviously that plan fell through. What were the reasons, and would those reasons still be germane today?

Posted by: universityandpark | April 8, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I was out in San Jose when the first Quakes franchise left town. This looks just like that situation, honestly. I'm getting serious deja vu. Stadia are are real pain in the culu.

Posted by: Danno1313 | April 8, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I suppose the only hope left for us is a stadium collapse at RFK injuring fans and generating backlash and political will to rebuild RFK as the DCU stadium. The question is: where would the interrum facility be? The Maryland soccerplex? That patch of green near RFK with temporary bleachers?

Posted by: Wiggan | April 8, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Just a few responses to some of the things I've read so far.

1. San Jose's attendance was always pretty bad compared to DC.

2. I blame the DC ownership group for not getting a stadium worked out. This should be a wildly successful soccer market. DC should be asking themselves how to get DC at the 20K season ticket level like Seattle and Toronto.

3. Just because Goff is good at what he does, doesn't preclude him from being annoying. As a matter of fact, a lot of people who are good at what they do get big heads and offend those around them regularly. Goff is either insensitive to his audience or takes pleasure at goading his readers. He has steadily done this with his stadium commentary from the get-go.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | April 8, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"If there are four malls that need to be torn down to make way for a soccer stadium, they are Landmark, Landover, Laurel, and Owings Mills."

You could probably trash White Flint too. It's not that far from Montgomery mall and everytime I go to WF it seems that the restaurants are the "anchor stores." Of course, the residents of that part of Rockville - excuse me - North Bethesda, won't countenance a discussion of a plan to consider a study.

Thanks U&P. I haven't followed the St. Louis stadium topic enough to know about the IL site.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 8, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The question is: where would the interrum facility be? The Maryland soccerplex? That patch of green near RFK with temporary bleachers?

Posted by: Wiggan | April 8, 2009 11:24 AM

Doesn't the baseball team owe us? Maybe they can sit out a season and let us play there?He, he.

Posted by: DadRyan | April 8, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

If there are four malls that need to be torn down to make way for a soccer stadium, they are Landmark, Landover, Laurel, and Owings Mills.

Posted by: bs2004 | April 8, 2009 10:59 AM
__________________________________________

Did you see this article about a mall not far from the sites that DCU has been looking at? Would an SSS at this site be likely to inherit all the problems with the existing mall, and thus not be a worthy addition to your list?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/28/AR2009032802115.html

Posted by: universityandpark | April 8, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

universityandpark,

Oh my gosh yes. That mall is right across the beltway from Morgan Boulevard. Deep six that idea.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 8, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@universityandpark,

Well, because the residents didn't want to leave. So now it's condos with a hundred or fifty year ground lease. Basically wasted land. However, look at the rest of Rosslyn - that's a blight if I ever saw one. However, the only way to get ahold of it now is a HUGE check or being condemned by Arlington, but they'd prefer it be office or housing space - less traffic - more tax dollars.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 8, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh my gosh yes. That mall is right across the beltway from Morgan Boulevard. Deep six that idea.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 8, 2009 11:59 AM
__________________________________________

What would keep mixed-use development surrounding a new SSS on or near Morgan Blvd. from developing the same problems as this mall a mile or two away?

Posted by: universityandpark | April 8, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

As a Chicago fan, this news pleases me on one level. For years, DCU fans were bragging about how DCU is the "flagship franchise" of MLS, despite their team being without a venue and without a path to profitability. For years, DCU fans mouthed off about how their team would get a stadium done inside The District.

Heck, even Ben Olsen mouthed off about how he preferred to play at Soldier Field instead of Toyota Park. This, due to Toyota Park being so "far away" from downtown Chicago. [I guess Ben would rather be playing in a league in danger of insolvency than one with SOME chance for profit, no matter how minute.]


Fenty and McF and Chang [and before them, Kevin Payne] screwed the pooch. Instead of doing the astute thing in having several locations bid for the venue, your team wasted years hoping for The District to come through. They undercut their own leverage by proclaiming PG as their focus thereafter. Without different communities to compete against each other, it became all too easy for them [DC/PG] to say "no."

Peter Wilt was wise to have many communities in Chicagoland bid for the future site of Toyota Park. Inasmuch as Scott Boras and other greedy, slimy agents artificially driving up the price of free agents, so too is it important to have more than one municipality bid for a venue. Now, with the front-runners in the DCU venue race both already having said "no," it becomes all too easy for others to say "no." [Or for later approaches to DC/PG to be met with a "no."]

Even with Toyota Park being "way out in the suburbs," I'm certain that DCU fans would rather have something, ANYTHING akin to what the FIRE have.

I hope for the sake of the DCU fandom that something can be worked out. I'd rather have DC in the league than not. After all, the world needs more Arena fanboys and wild proclaimations about how their team is the "flagship" of MLS. The world needs more shots of Ben Olsen looking constipated as he complains to the ref.


But in my estimation, there is plenty of blame to spread around for your team being homeless. I hate to agree with Goff, but perhaps St. Louis is more likely than anywhere in/around DC.

Posted by: khan1 | April 8, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I can give a little background on the St. Louis site. The stadium has been approved by the city of Collinsville and the dozers are ready to go. 18000-20000 seat stadium.
The 270 site in Missouri is prone to flooding, has only one exit off of interstate. Would make a nice training site and WPS site. Athletica drew nearly 6000 for opener and playing at St. Louis University against L.A. next Saturday.

I really want a team, but hope that it is not D.C... Puting San Jose back was a mistake and would be a better choice.

Posted by: jbmcconnell1 | April 8, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm extremely disappointed with the news coming out of Prince George's County. I feel it's a bit "penny wise and pound foolish" because the economy will recover and the stadium will have uses and make money beyond just hosting D.C. United, Washington Freedom and University of Maryland soccer games.

Those of you who are in a panic here should check out this link: http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/stories/2009/04/06/daily36.html. It seems a D.C. United stadium in Maryland (or the greater D.C. area) isn't entirely dead.

For those of you who want the stadium in Virginia, it's far better to have it in VA than outside the MD/DC/VA area. I seem to recall, however, that there was some initial MLS Baltimore discussion a little over a year ago (before the economy tanked). The economy will eventually improve and moving United to VA will probably lead to serious efforts for MLS Baltimore. I wonder if the Prince George's County efforts were an attempt to effectively squash any MLS Baltimore movement thus keeping United and MLS Philadelphia the only mid-Atlantic teams. I love a good conspiracy theory.

For those who have suggested "Baltimore United," that idea might not be totally outside of reality. Check out this link: http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/stories/2009/04/06/daily35.html. M&T Bank Stadium could make a nice temporary home for United while Baltimore builds a soccer specific stadium.

If the team wanted to send a strong message to Washington, D.C. area politicians another nearby option for a temporary home for United could be Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. Crystal Palace FC Baltimore played their first season in the stadium. The Washington Bayhawks professional lacrosse team plays in the stadium. United suddenly moving from RFK to another location in the greater region would send a strong message. It would move them a little further from their fan base but not so far away that fans couldn't make it to the games...

Steve, in my opinion your comments about St. Louis aren't out of line. Actually they probably represent a much stronger reality than any of us would like to admit. Actually you could have easily substituted Montreal, Miami, Ottawa, Atlanta, or any other city who has bid on MLS expansion over the years. Hey, I seen to remember that Norfolk was at one point a serious bidder for the Washington Nationals before they picked D.C. Could the Norfolk area attempt to put together a bid for United?

Posted by: SoccerFan1 | April 9, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

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