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In MLS, All Tied Up

Congratulations to the Kansas City Wizards, Chivas USA, Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake. Common thread? Two months into the season, they are the only MLS clubs with fewer ties than victories.

This is getting ridiculous. Of the 68 matches, 27 have ended in draws (nearly 40 percent). Six of the past eight games have failed to produce a winner/loser. Los Angeles is 1-1-7, Chicago 3-0-6, DCU 3-1-6, Columbus 1-2-6. Last year, over a 210-game calendar, 57 games (27 percent) were ties. In the English Premier League this season, 26 percent have been draws.

Revive the shootout! (No, not really.)

A tie does not necessarily indicate a scarcity of excitement. Look no further than Home Depot Center this past weekend, when DCU came from two goals down against Chivas USA in the final 13 minutes for a 2-2 result and, 16 hours later, Eddie Lewis struck from distance for Los Angeles against Columbus in the late moments of a 1-1 draw. (Watch Lewis's goal.)

What do you think of this spate of ties?

By Steve Goff  |  May 18, 2009; 10:53 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Comments

It's a cycle that will eventually work itself out. No need to overreact.

Has anyone heard the latest stadium rumor? ASHBURN?!!!! If there is nothing else, then OK but that is way out there. I think it will be very tough for them to succeed at such a location. There is a link to the rumor on DC Uniteds web site.


Posted by: blackandred777 | May 18, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm cool with Ashburn.

Posted by: Pedalada | May 18, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

ashburn is a great location for me. I know it's a pain for others, esp MD folks. But the metro will be there probably around the time they get the stadium built, which would help things. There's plenty of land out that way too. PG County: no season tickets. DC - 1/2 season plan. Ashburn: full season tickets. I'm sure it's the complete opposite for other folks, but that's how it is for me. and there's about a billion soccer kiddies out that way too.

as for the draws...chalk it up to league parity.

Posted by: nairbsod | May 18, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I think it helps to call it a 'draw' instead of a 'tie'. Then, just whistle a cheerful tune, and everything's fine...

Posted by: JkR- | May 18, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

What a horrid first touch. Schelotto was able to close in maybe 3-4 steps by the time Sanneh was ready to play the ball away.

I think the spate of ties is actually a good thing: makes the team that got a point grateful, and it makes the team that dropped the points hungry. For the fans, at least everybody has something to be happy about.

Posted by: schmuckatelli | May 18, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Don Garber said that he'd like to do something about all the draws, but his hands were tied.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 18, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

As long as the matches produce excitement I don't worry much about draws.

Where is the Redskins training facility now...wasn't out towards Ashburn???

Posted by: BellusLudas | May 18, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Knotted up, you might say.

Posted by: joedoc1 | May 18, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

With so much parity as there is in MLS right now there is going to be a lot of one pointers. However, the league cannot overreact to it as it will eventually change.

Ashburn is a terrible location. It affects more than people from MD. That is a substantial commute for most people inside the Beltway as it involves distance and NoVa traffic. It could completely change their fan base. What is the expected date of completion for the Silver Line?

Posted by: Gambrills4 | May 18, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Ashburn? That's in Spotsylvania County right? Near Richmond?

Why don't they put a team here?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 18, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

redskins facility is in ashburn. soehn and simpson live in ashburn, others in surrounding area.
not saying it's the best choice, but if the team can't work something else than they gotta do what they gotta do - it's better than moving to St Louis. DC is out, unless something big changes; PG is out, unless something big changes. The rest of NoVa hasn't stepped up. The only other option being talked about is Montgomery County MD, which is just as far from the District as Ashburn. So pick your poison, I guess.

Posted by: nairbsod | May 18, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

From a fan perspective, ties are OK. 0-0 ties are not. Fortunately we haven't seen many of those (?).

From a competitor's perspective, ties are a problem. Three ties in a row and you've left four points, just as bad as going 1-2-0. DCU has 15 points from 10 games (1.5 out of 3 per game). So despite a good won-loss record, they are no better than a .500 team.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 18, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

(correction: you've lost six points, not four).

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 18, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Per Mapquest, the estimated driving time and distance from downtown DC is approximately the same for Ashburn Va and Baltimore Md. They cannot do this unless they have no other options.

Posted by: blackandred777 | May 18, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

You know Goff, funny you should mention this subject. I am currently working on my dissertation and I recently analysed the Bundesliga over the past 8 seasons. Only 26% (very similar to MLS) of those matches ended in draws between the first and second divisions. MLS's number is phenomenally high.

Posted by: strago | May 18, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

At least, if I'm not mistaken, there are a lot of score draws in the total. Goalless draws are a worry - score draws are fine. Probably just shows the parity of the league. It'll sort itself out in August/September.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 18, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Please. Like anyone is going to bother with the metro out that far in Virginia on the weekend. Maybe on the rare weekday game, but that ride would take forever.

Onyewu County, I-270?

Posted by: Reignking | May 18, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

You know Goff, funny you should mention this subject. I am currently working on my dissertation and I recently analysed the Bundesliga over the past 8 seasons.

Posted by: strago | May 18, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse
======================

Your advisor said that you'd be done with your thesis and defense by now if you weren't wasting time on Bundesliga websites.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 18, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

On Draws:

Part of me thinks it's a cycle that will work itself out. And I hope that's the case. The other part worries that the long-term implications of PARITY in a game like this versus basketball or football will be heavy Starting XI turnover with draws being the outcome as very little will separate teams.

Also - just blame LA - w/o their English Tumor, they aren't losing as frequently anymore.

As we all know - I uphold Sic Semper Tyrannis and support all things Commonwealth - however, Ashburn for me is EVEN worse than PG County. If that's the compromise, then move the team to St. Louis or Montreal or Miami.

And for those talking about the Metro being there by the time a stadium would open - you completely over-estimate METRO's ability to turn a 5 year project into a decade.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | May 18, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

There is a link to the rumor on DC Uniteds web site.

Posted by: blackandred777 | May 18, 2009 11:03 AM
________________________________________

I don't see it. Can you provide the link? Thanks.

Posted by: universityandpark | May 18, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Funny how we never hear about Becks anymore. I have no idea what he has done in Italy.

Posted by: Reignking | May 18, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I-270 Dont be jealous I get paid to surf Bundesliga websites and use the data in my dissertation :)

Posted by: strago | May 18, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Probably so many ties because of the parity. IE rewarding bad teams.

Posted by: StewartDC8 | May 18, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I heard that rumor after the last match. Apparently there is some sort of "town center" being developed at what will be the end of the new Metro line. And that is the place where the new stadium would go. If they do that they might as well make it seat 15,000. Unless all of the people who are stuck living in all of those townhouses out there have any money leftover to buy soccer tickets. But that is at least 7 or 8 years down the line. So I think we will be at RFK for quite some time.

Posted by: fedssocr | May 18, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Man, Ashburn would be an awful location for the stadium. You'd either have to take two toll roads or endure the stop/go ride on Route 7 to get out there.

And in comparison to MoCo - as the crow flies, Ashburn is 5 miles farther from RFK than Germantown (the farthest conceivable location for any stadium project in MoCo).

Posted by: combedge | May 18, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

limp offense and limp d's...
they both cancel out so you get ties...
simple equation..

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | May 18, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I think the number of ties will come down as the season goes on...or at least I hope so!

Also, if I might put my whiney hat on, DC could very likely be 5-1-4 (19 pts.) if not for those referee blunders in both trips to LA this year. So over the year, maybe some lucky bounces and referee calls will produce three points in a couple games and balance it all out.

Parity in the league helps to make so many ties, but there has been parity for many years in MLS.

Could it be that as teams are added to the league, and the playoff race becomes a bit tighter year by year, teams are pushing a little harder earlier in the season for every possible point?

Posted by: CDRHoek | May 18, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Ashburn is a terrible location for a big part of United's fanbase. Sure, the team management lives there, and a lot of fans might also, but I'm just guessing that not a very large percentage of United's hispanic fans live in Loudoun County. But still...

DC > PG > Ashburn > St. Louis*1000

Posted by: DCUMD | May 18, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Ashburn is a fast-growing area and a soccer hotbed. Development as part of a town center makes lots of sense (although the window appears to have closed on Springfield, this would also be good). All the info on Metro's planned Silver Line is here: http://www.dullesmetro.com/

Posted by: Pedalada | May 18, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Ashburn...I'm in the opposite effect crowd. I would likely never attend another weeknight game and most definitely would avoid any full or half season tics in the future.

Posted by: mbetka23 | May 18, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

limp d's...

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | May 18, 2009 11:59 AM |

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

Sounds like a personal problem

Posted by: AtlantaMLS | May 18, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

NO 2 ASHBURN....

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | May 18, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Garber:

Please ask the Match Officials to actually call the holding of the forwards. That would open the match up considerably.

Sincerely,

Posted by: carnack | May 18, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I still think Eddie Lewis is one of our best National team players. I think we will need him in South Africa. Who has a better left foot on the Nats than Eddie Lewis? Preki was the only player we had with a good left foot. Awesome goal Eddie!

Posted by: alan19 | May 18, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Also of note this week, no victories for a home side.

That doesn't happen too often in MLS.

Posted by: ARickey | May 18, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Who has a better left foot on the Nats than Eddie Lewis? Preki was the only player we had with a good left foot. Awesome goal Eddie!

Posted by: alan19 | May 18, 2009 12:26 PM |

That sound you hear is Greg Vanney rolling around in his grave.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | May 18, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Agreed on Ashburn. I don't have a car, so I would probably only hit a few games a year instead of the season tix I have.

My old man lives in Oakton, which takes just under an hour from my door (Columbia Heights) to the Vienna station. Factor in getting past Dulles and then the distance to the stadium. That's pretty brutal, even with a crossword and some Dogfish Head. I guess given my druthers, I'd rather have the team there, and still in the area than move. But I'd be bummed to miss so many home games.

There must be some studies on how the "far out" stadiums have fared. Frisco? Carson? wherever the Revs play? I'm guessing large chunks of fans that would care can't get to games and quit caring. Dammit Fenty, figure out a way to let United build in a parking lot at RFK.

Posted by: eadc | May 18, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Goochland United!!!
Clap.Clap..Clap.Clap.Clap!!!

Posted by: DadRyan | May 18, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Ashburn? Oh please NO!

Baltimore or Annapolis would be better. Charles County. A garbage barge out on the Potomac. Anything, but please don't make us deal with NOVA-sprawl traffic.

(NOVA fans who were complaining about he extra 10-minutes to PG -- surely you agree that Ashburn is a dreadful distance...)

Personally, I would try like hell to stay engaged with DCU. I would try.

Posted by: -rke- | May 18, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Salary cap + Expasion Teams = Ties

The talent Pool is diluted and spread all over the place. I hear the A League is getting ready to introduce relegation. It would be nice if that happened here, and it would solve the problem of salary caps and ties.

Posted by: bighungry | May 18, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Does someone in DC have a big enough backyard for the team to play in?

Posted by: DonDraper | May 18, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Ashburn would be a great location for a soccer team. A USL2 side.

Posted by: fischy | May 18, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Ashburn would be great to draw in those fans from West Virginia.

Posted by: Reignking | May 18, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Claudio Ranieri has been sacked as manager of Juventus and will be replaced by Ciro Ferrara for at least the last two games of the season.

Posted by: Reignking | May 18, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

ashburn would be good, since it would be marginally closer to where i live than, say, philadelphia or new jersey.

but i guess we wouldn't be moving until they finish building the silver line and we'll probably all be flying around on jetpacks at that point anyway, so it's really a moot point.

Posted by: stairs | May 18, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

While I'd normally be happy with the draws, so many of our draws coming at home to Eastern Conference teams (Chicago, New England, Toronto), I don't think we'll actually benefit from them.

If the league awarded the lost point to the away team for draws the tables would like quite different.

Posted by: TCompton | May 18, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

If Virginia wouldn't support a stadium for the Redskins and they wouldn't support a stadium for the Nats, what on earth makes anyone believe they'd support a stadium for DC United? You're clearly underestimating the clout of the NIMBYs out this way.

Posted by: jburksva | May 18, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

nairbsod:

The vast majority of Montgomery County is closer than Ashburn, not to mention more accessible to everyone in MD, DC, and even many of the Virginian fans. You know it's out of the way when even VBB can't get behind it. Ashburn is one of those places that seems like it's an hour from everywhere due to traffic.

If the choice is Ashburn or watching the moving trucks drive off for St. Louis or wherever, obviously the best option for us is Ashburn. However, I feel like it's an "if all else fails" plan.

***

Like everyone else, I think the ties are down to parity. We also have a league full of pragmatic coaches. Even a guy that has been committed to attacking like Jason Kreis has given up and started playing a 4141 on the road, benching his top scorer in the process. The only 2 coaches who seem to be attacking home and away are Soehn and Onalfo. In Soehn's case, I think even that's just pragmatism; we're a much better attacking team than we are defending, so we're playing to our strengths and hoping that can cover our deficiencies.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 18, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

As a staunch Virginian, I would prefer the stadium be in Maryland than Ashburn, Manassas, or Woodbridge -- they are all just too far out.

Posted by: Reignking | May 18, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I think this is too far, and I live in NOVA.

Kinda hard to believe they cant find any room in development-happy South Arlington to do the stadium.

Oh, wait, I forgot... the current ownership is only using the team as a bargaining chip in a larger development scheme. The actual team and stadium are the least of their concerns, it seems.

Also... I guess they haven't been around here long enough to have learned that depending on the WMATA to do ANYTHING on time is suicidal. There is no way the silver line and "stadium" timelines will match up as designed.

Moving that far out will give us Frisco-esque crowds or Galaxy-esque atmosphere. And if that's the case, then whats the point?

Posted by: me_ahogo | May 18, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

everyone's complaining (as they always do), but can someone realistically name a place in the metro area that wants the stadium? I don't see it happening anywhere inside the beltway given the circumstances (read: the big PG and Fenty screw over). I've only heard of MoCo stepping up, and now this Ashburn thing - both outside the beltway, and both sites that people will freak out over. I'm assuming if there was something in the works for DC proper (my preference) or very close in we would have heard it by now. Folks can moan all they want, but Garber has made it pretty clear: get a stadium or we're moving. Did anyone hear anything from one of the DC politicians after the rally?

Posted by: nairbsod | May 18, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Does someone in DC have a big enough backyard for the team to play in?

Posted by: DonDraper | May 18, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse
================

Yeah. But they put up a swing set for their daughters and planted a vegetable garden. Maybe we can convince him that a stadium in his backyard would really show FIFA the courage of his written convictions.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 18, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"Garber has made it pretty clear: get a stadium or we're moving."

Garber will be gone before DCU is. Just a prediction, and nothing against the man, but his bluster is WAY out of place.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 18, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Garber is just playing hardball, which is what he should be doing.

Posted by: Reignking | May 18, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

After Gorber expands MLS to 18 or 20, there'll be nothing to accomplish on that scale and any bad thing that happens would only tarnish his reputation. So I agree that he'll be gone - albeit for a different reason.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 18, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

RFK is in the middle third of MLS stadia (maybe higher if you account for playing surfaces), and DCU, I believe, is in the top third in attendance. Can DCU do better? Sure. Does Garber have bigger issues to confront? Absolutely, no question about it.

They play hardball in Little League too.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 18, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Garber has done a lot for the MLS. I think he could do more, but overall he has done a good job. The teams are no longer owned by three companies, there are ties vs. the shoot out, successful expansion, and big name players have been signed.

I wish he would add a relegation system, but I don't see how it is possible with our sports structure in the US and get get rid of the salary cap and profit sharing. The Beckham Rule was a good first step. However leaving the teams to live and die on their own would work better with the relegation system. If a team folds now it would look as though the league was going with it.

Posted by: bighungry | May 18, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse


Wow, Gramps can still kick it!!!

I'm with Ashburn > St. Louis...

Posted by: cray | May 18, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Does Garber have bigger issues to confront? Absolutely, no question about it.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals

What is bigger than increasing revenues and profits?

Posted by: Reignking | May 18, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

What is bigger than increasing revenues and profits?

Posted by: Reignking

Why, satisfying the personal whims of each and every Soccer Insider and Big Soccer poster, of course! Especially ones like relegation that make no sense in a country as large and with as few viable soccer stadiums as the USA.

Posted by: ashleybone | May 18, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Let's make this clear...any area in the DC metro region would happily accept a stadium, as long as they don't have to pay for it. We've blamed so many people for the lack of a stadium...Fenty, DC Council, PG county Council, etc., but it's not time to put the blame where it belongs...DC United's owners. It's up to them to finance and build a stadium...and they have failed. Granted, they've had some hard times with the economy, but they have to adapt to the current climate. If they can't deliver a stadium, then they should sell the team. MLS should force the issue if necessary.

Posted by: icehippo | May 18, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@Godfather_of_Goals,

DCU right now is averaging 7th out of 15 in attendance for league games only.

14,561

They trail:

Real Salt Lake at 14,629
Chivas USA at 14,833
LA Galaxy at 19,139
Toronto FC at 20,151
and
Seattle Sounders FC at 29,537

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | May 18, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Just make a stadium please! I live in Ashburn, I'm Barra so I would drive to PG county for games unless it was a weeknight. I never had a problem with it.

Ashburn is 5-10 minutes from Sterling & Leesburg. 10-15 minutes from Reston, Herdon, & Chantilly. 30-35 minutes from Fredrick MD, Bethesda, Tysons, Manassas, Centreville, Burke, & most parts for Faifax County. It will be far for most MD folk living in PG or further up 95 and maybe a 10 minute diffrence for the Richmond crew and down south folk. Its not the end of the world. Dont let United leave the area!

Posted by: francisco_11 | May 18, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@icehippo - you are seriously underestimating the hurdles you'd have to clear anywhere in Virginia with respect to community opposition. Unless I am mistaken, both the 'Skins Stadium at Potomac Yards and the Nats Stadium at Pentagon City were torpedoed not because of a disagreement over public financing, but because the local residents organized and got the projects shot down. And that was with the GOVERNOR pushing the case in favor of construction. I fail to see how the well-heeled residents of Cashburn would be any more welcoming.

Posted by: jburksva | May 18, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Garber has been awesome, and I'd love to see a new facility anywhere in the DC metro.

Here's my beef: the USA does not have many monuments to world football. Like it or not, RFK stadium is one of them. It's hosted professional soccer for four decades, the men's and women's world cups, and has long been a favorite home and neutral site for CONCACAF matches of all kinds. The number of amazing players, performances, and crowds that have filled that place is ridiculous.

The fact that you can walk in there today and not sense any of this reflects poorly on a lot of people, MLS included, and is the result of a lot of unfortunate decisions. But to point at the stadium as the reason your soccer league can't make money just doesn't make sense to me.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 18, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The closest thing the US has to a "monument" in the soccer world would be Giants Stadium. Look at the Red Bulls attendance. The fact is that stadium hurts them. RFK hurts United, though perhaps not as much. The MLS is swimming against a difficult tide, where people have many entertainment choices. United needs a modern facility, with everything that means, to make the money they'll need to bring in real talent.

Posted by: fischy | May 18, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"@icehippo - you are seriously underestimating the hurdles you'd have to clear anywhere in Virginia with respect to community opposition. Unless I am mistaken, both the 'Skins Stadium at Potomac Yards and the Nats Stadium at Pentagon City were torpedoed not because of a disagreement over public financing, but because the local residents organized and got the projects shot down. And that was with the GOVERNOR pushing the case in favor of construction. I fail to see how the well-heeled residents of Cashburn would be any more welcoming."

Not underestimating...just downplaying it for dramatic effect. :)
Seriously though, If DC United decided to fund their own stadium, there'd be dozens of sites in the area to choose from...maybe not the prime spots you mentioned, but they'd certainly find a bunch of options on existing metro routes.

Posted by: icehippo | May 18, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Another thing to consider about an Ashburn site. With its proximity to Nissan Pavillion, it just about squashes any notion of a concert venue. The two facilities would be way too close to one another for a realistic existence of both simultaneously.

Posted by: blackandred777 | May 18, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"RFK hurts United"

Maybe so. Maybe not.

The team says it doesn't control enougn of the revenue streams (parking $, concessions $) to be profitable. That might be true but it's not like fans have access to the actual data to know.

Maybe DC United's owners can get the Stadium Authority to agree to a better deal. Maybe one day brilliant Don Garber will find out a way for teams to make money off television like they do in the rest of the world. Maybe sponsors like Volkswagen can help the team turn a profit. Everyone seems fixated on soccer specific stadiums as the only way to make money but by the time they finally get built who knows what will be best for the teams?

I participated in the march for a new stadium last game but I can't say I fully trust any of the principals involved (team ownership, league commissioner, city officials, other local officials, Redskins future pipedreams, neighborhood pressure groups...).

I've enjoyed soccer games at RFK since before the '94 World Cup. I doubt a new stadium anywhere will improve upon MY gameday experience and enjoyment.

Ashburn has one benefit. It's closer than St. Louis.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 18, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

icehippo -- you keep making the same point, but it is entirely fanciful. There is no way to privately finance such a project, profitably -- not without some public involvement. Look at the Yankees and Mets -- they needed tax-free bonds. Private borrowing is just too expensive, even when it is available. And, right now, it is not available. Plus, the reality is that any project of such size will require significant public infrastructure. And, then, there's the economic reality that any land that is relatively close to a city is going to be expensive.

There is no way that United could do this without public involvement. They have proposed a mechanism that will direct much of the revenue stream from the facility to the locality/government, to recoup the investment without resort to any additional tax to generate revenue. Hard to imagine a more realistic method. It's really just a question of whether the District leaders (or other local politicians) can agree to finance a soccer stadium.

Posted by: fischy | May 18, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Fischy, you're saying that if MLS/DC United announced that they will sell their flagship team to anyone that will build them a stadium, that they'd get no takers?

Posted by: icehippo | May 18, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I-270 Dont be jealous I get paid to surf Bundesliga websites and use the data in my dissertation :)

Posted by: strago | May 18, 2009 11:51 AM |===========

Is this for your Master's? For your PhD, will you surf porn sites? I am envious.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 18, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Sup. I currently live in Ashburn, it takes me 45 minutes to drive to rfk on a good day. The silver line will make it to old ox road and ryan road, those are closer to dulles and belmont respectively.

The only construction project I can think of they could latch onto would be one loudoun.

But as people have pointed out, the elderly and awful of nova always oppose any construction anywhere. These people don't even want A HOSPITAL.

Posted by: AshburnUnited | May 18, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

RE:Ashburn? That's in Spotsylvania County right? Near Richmond?

Why don't they put a team here?"

you're thinking of Ashland which is in between Richmond & Frednecksburg. Now Goochland,that's west of Richmond. Kind like how Haymarket is to DC, not close at all! I think Ashburn is a terrible idea, its not even close if you're already in NoVa

Posted by: Pete803 | May 18, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

@icehippo -- not unless there is some public support for it. It doesn't make financial sense without it. If it's privately financed, there's no way of recouping that kind of money. Much cheaper with public financing.

Posted by: fischy | May 19, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

About the ties-as theorized earlier, just two of the 27 ties were 0-0. 18 were 1-1, five were 2-2, and two were 3-3.

In terms of percentage of games that ended in ties, the last seven seasons were at 31 percent or lower so this year's 40 percent rate is very high, and it's doubtful to continue.

Posted by: stoscarthegreat | May 19, 2009 5:43 AM | Report abuse

On a weekend, Ashburn takes approximately a half hour to get to from downtown DC. It's really not that bad. Weekday games might be worse, but Saturday/Sunday - not that bad at all.

There is no good location for all DC United fans besides DC. If you build in Maryland, you screw the Virginia fans. If you build in Virginia, you screw the Maryland fans. We might as well take what we can get. Virginia is closer than St. Louis, kids.

Posted by: vaindependent | May 19, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I agree that they should build it where they can and that Ashburn beats St Louis. However, Ashburn is more than a Virginia location it is a fringe location. Ashburn is not remotely comparable to the PG site. The PG site was within five miles of the DC line and was a much more central location for all fans whether DC, MD, or VA. Ashburn is over thirty miles from the DC line which places it on the fringes of the DC metropolitan area and is only convenient to a small percentage of the fan base.

Posted by: blackandred777 | May 19, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Not from the DC area so apologies if the question is common knowledge up there, but why not tear down RFK and put something new/soccer specific in it's place?

Redskins and Nats have both abandond it so it's not like your going to get a new tenant if United moves away. Seems centrally located for fans from DC, VA and MD.

In the US in the 80's we pretty muched proved that placing stadiums on the outsides of population centers hurt attendance in baseball. In the 90's and 00's we have seen the return to downtown specific stadiums seem to work. Notable soccer exceptions being Colorado and Dallas both of which don't exactly pack them in their so called soccer friendly suburbs.

What is it, no deep pockets in ownership? Not a neighborhood they want to revive?

Posted by: scap777 | May 19, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Scap777: Your question has indeed been discussed at length on thig blog in the past. There are two parts (at least) to your answer:

First, the National Park Service owns the underying land and leases it to the District. The current arrangement permits the District to operate the existing staidum so long as it is viable, period. Any alternative use of that real estate, such as building a new stadium, would have to be negotiated with the Park Service starting from scratch, which could be a lengthy process.

Second, your assumption that the Deadskins are gone from the District forever may be overstated. If the Park Service is amenable to a new stadium in that space (I don't know what other plans the NPS may have), the District is likely to propose a facility of FedEx proportions to lure the Deadskins back. It may be possible to fit two stadiums into that space, a large one for the Deadskins and a smaller one for United, but that would present its own set of challenges. It is unlikely that United can afford to wait for all of these issues to be sorted out.

Posted by: universityandpark | May 20, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Another thing to consider about an Ashburn site. With its proximity to Nissan Pavillion, it just about squashes any notion of a concert venue. The two facilities would be way too close to one another for a realistic existence of both simultaneously.

Posted by: blackandred777 | May 18, 2009 3:42 PM
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The Nissan Pavilion is near Gainesville, in the I-66 corridor, quite some distance from Ashburn and the Greenway corridor.

Posted by: universityandpark | May 20, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

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