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DCU Stadium Update

While the self-proclaimed "Night Owl" maintains his unwavering support for keeping "The United" in Washington, the Insider is hearing that another local jurisdiction has stepped forward in recent days with an interest in a possible stadium partnership with D.C. United.

We know that Montgomery County in Maryland is curious, and in fact, according to sources, has proposed two potential sites. We also know there's some buzz in Loudoun County, where land around Dulles International Airport is available and will be accessible by new Silver Line Metro stations by 2016. (Considering a new stadium couldn't possibly open until 2012 at the earliest, it's not that far off.) Amazingly, the Poplar Point project in D.C., the cause of so much DCU heartache over the past two years, remains on the table, I'm told.

Who is the latest player in the interminable stadium game? We don't know for sure, but we're guessing Fairfax County. (Prince George's had its chance, Prince William is too far and, as far as we know, Prince Harry has royal responsibilities -- haha.)

United executives declined comment.

Commence wild speculation.

By Steve Goff  |  June 22, 2009; 2:20 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

I'm not sure I can take much more of this.

Posted by: sitruc | June 22, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the aliens that control the sky directly over the District of Columbia are interested? With the proper space elevator to help us tailgate, I'm all for it :D

Is that speculation rampant enough?

Posted by: dcufan | June 22, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

si se puede!

Posted by: Pedalada | June 22, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

How can I convey the combination of anger, hope, putting down locations that are not one's own, flailing, hyperventilating, and occasional cheeky joke/song reference that will make up the comments here?

Fairfax would definitely be the best location in Virginia (provided it's near a Metro stop, obviously), but I have a hard time believing it won't be NIMBY-ed to death.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 22, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Steve, you're a Prince of a reporter.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 22, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The Tysons VW Arena, anybody?

Posted by: TheAMT | June 22, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Five years ago I heard there was a possibility of putting the Nats stadium in Arlington at one point--where the RiverPlace is in Rosslyn. I also heard the Arlington Prime Minister said he might be interested in a DCU stadium deal in that very spot...

Posted by: Rosslynite | June 22, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

That's actually a common mistake, dcufan. The aliens actually have air rights above Arlington, VA. The federal government controls DC's air rights although VA and MD operate them. There have been reports of a space elevator already being built in New Carrollton to replace the one at the EPG site in Springfield.

Posted by: sitruc | June 22, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Actually VW Arena at Tysons makes a lot of sense - with the redevelopment of that area and increased density to welcome the arrival of Metrorail, this is a win-win.

Posted by: Pedalada | June 22, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Wherever it is, it's too far for me and I'm never spending another dime there, but it's nice to be so close to a public transportation in a lively area.
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You're gonna hate me for that one.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 22, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Any idea what the two sites in MoCo are? Shady Grove and Germantown?

Posted by: littles_ | June 22, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Still pulling for the converted garbage barge in the middle of the Potomac. But Arlington would be fine too!

(Actually, Poplar Point is my dark horse bet in the end. That's the one place where Chang can offer a very different proposal to the one MacFarlane wanted. Maybe after the big hoopla when Real Madrid come to FedEx, the politics will be ripe for a fresh negotiation.)

Posted by: -rke- | June 22, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"Wherever it is, it's too far for me and I'm never spending another dime there"


Don't forget to rend your garments, then "zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...."

Posted by: JkR- | June 22, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@Pedalada - I agree, especially since the first leg of the Silver Line (through Tysons) will be opening by 2013 (the full extension to Dulles and beyond will be 2016). That seems a reasonable timeframe for a new stadium at this point. (Granted, any timeframe short of "never" seems reasonable at this point.)

Posted by: TheAMT | June 22, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"We also know there's some buzz in Loudoun County..."

At the risk of getting yelled at, what substantial buzz is there, other than it's on the DCU survey?

Posted by: Section117 | June 22, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

well, if we can still get the poplar point stadium i am all for it. if not, FAIRFAX COUNTY!!!!!!

"The Tysons VW Arena, anybody?" - HAHA i like it

Posted by: bryangirkins | June 22, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Any stadium outside the Beltway (or not near a Metro station) would be very disappointing, even if it keeps the team in the D.C. metro area. Let's hope Mr. Chang can renegotiate a deal for Poplar Point.

Posted by: SSMD1 | June 22, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Plenty of land at the old DC jail...but just imagine getting there on 95. Fun!

Posted by: Reignking | June 22, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Raze the Springfield Mall!

Posted by: mason08 | June 22, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

land aplenty for development in S. Arlington. And while its not directly metro accessible, its a 5 minute bus ride from the metro... which is just as well.

More importantly, its walking distance from my house.

Cmon Arlington...

Posted by: me_ahogo | June 22, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Springfield Mall is becoming Springfield Town Center. I think there's just a little hold up with Target at this point.

Posted by: sitruc | June 22, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Raze the Springfield Mall!
Posted by: mason08

Raze Springfield . .

Geez, I thought we'd been told over and over that NOVA has no place for a stadium. Interesting that with McF out of the picture, things have opened up.

Poplar Point has to be in the discussion. It's the only way we'll stay cooler than Seattle's 30K. A stadium in suburban America just can't live up to that.

Posted by: delantero | June 22, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Raze the Springfield Town Center!

(Because what NoVa needs is another completely fake "Town Center".)

Posted by: mason08 | June 22, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Dulles would not be ideal because it's still pretty far and loads of traffic, plus it's not urban at all. (although it'd beat St. Louis)

The overall corridor between Tysons and Dulles might work---plop it at Reston Towne Center. I'm sure the locals will love it.

Posted by: delantero | June 22, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Prince William Co is too far?! Never!

The Grounds at Haymarket. It's got a nice ring to it, don't you think? We can put it right next to the 84 Lumber -- assuming Farmer Bob doesn't mind moving his cattle.

Although the moving barge on the Potomac has a nice sound to it as well...

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 22, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the barge would be great!! There's only 2 reasons I come to the District. 1- To see United play and 2- To fish for monster Blue Cats in the Potomac. Being able to combine the two would be epic!

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | June 22, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Way back when, in the glory days of Virginia Baseball (aren't you happy you didn't win the franchise now, Mr. Collins), I think the Springfield area was one of the prime targets for a baseball stadium. There's a fair amount of undeveloped land near Belvoir (although plans for that may have changed thanks to BRAC), and there's already a Yellow line stop that dumps you out right behind the mall. I don't know if the NIMBY types are circling the wagons yet but I have to believe it'd be easier to get something done there than in Tysons.

Posted by: jburksva | June 22, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

There's room next to the CIA.

Wo, look at the google maps of the Beltway / Woodrow Wilson Bridge. They have different images up...

Posted by: Reignking | June 22, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

There is no way anything in MoCo around shady grove.

They had a hard enough time getting the ICC in there.

And being at the end of a line has its disadvantages...

Posted by: Zeebs | June 22, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

RE: Barge United:
They could petition DC or MD for riverboat gambling as well!

Posted by: mason08 | June 22, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

. . . . there's a reason those cats grow to be monsters bottom feeding in the potomac . . . . found it incredible that world class triathletes were swimming in there yesterday . . . after a week-long monsoon who knows what else was floating around in there with them . . . . .


if we go with the barge, I say sign fat Ronaldo so he can tilt the field our way, no matter which end we're attacking . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | June 22, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

What is going to happen with RFK when DCU leaves? Is DCU rebuilding at RFK still in the running? That all-expensive infrastructure spending that no city/county wants to pay for would not be nearly as much because it's mostly all there already.

Posted by: SeanWG | June 22, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

mason08, it actually would be very useful to Springfield. The size of the property and proximity to transportation make it a good destination that is needed for that portion of the region.

Posted by: sitruc | June 22, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"(Actually, Poplar Point is my dark horse bet in the end. That's the one place where Chang can offer a very different proposal to the one MacFarlane wanted. Maybe after the big hoopla when Real Madrid come to FedEx, the politics will be ripe for a fresh negotiation.)"
----------------

@rke: The *only* way the politics will be ripe for *any* stadium being built in DC is if the DC government pays *less than half* of the total construction cost. So Chang's gonna have to bring in some outside investors who'll help pay for the stadium but won't want anything in return from the city.

Which means it'll never happen while Fenty is mayor.

Posted by: Juan-John | June 22, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I just said I fished for the blues, definately don't eat them! Strictly catch and release. There's nothing like catching those cats, though. Fat like Tony Meola with the fight of Ben Olsen.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | June 22, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

sitruc-

I know. I just hate the appropriation of the term "Town Center" to mean "mixed-use development" or "shopping center".

Anything that gets rid of that dump of a mall is A-OK by me.

Posted by: mason08 | June 22, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

A barge would make tailgating really hard. We'd have to wear floaties and sit in inner tubes.

Posted by: delantero | June 22, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

A barge would make tailgating really hard. We'd have to wear floaties and sit in inner tubes.

===

Redneck United?

Posted by: mason08 | June 22, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

The United will buy Landmark Mall in Alexandria, tear it down, and build there.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | June 22, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

the straight up thug town called arlington?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T1RMuoQnKo&feature=fvst

i hear they have dudes in brown flip flops.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | June 22, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Raze White Flint!

Aside from the restaurants and Dave & Busters, do any of the stores have patrons? Does Upper Bethesda (or whatever the residents call it) really need a mall so close to Montgomery Mall?

Raze anything within 1,000 yards of the 355/Nicholson intersection - which will align nicely with MoCo's 30 year plan to make that a walkable area. They can then call it the North Bethesda Town Center.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 22, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I meant to add that a couple towers are going up fast on the EPG site right now for BRAC.

Landmark Mall has gone through a few rounds of proposals for the future. United doesn't have a chance there. Plus there is no way traffic could handle it.

Posted by: sitruc | June 22, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

ahhh. was wondering when powerboater would chime in.

hey all -- since PB69 continues to say "The United." we should become very childish and think of an alternate name for him. Ideas?

Posted by: torrey151 | June 22, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

If The United goes with the barge idea, should it not be called The Barge at Argie Bargie?

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 22, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Eh, I just report PB69 for abuse whenever he/she/it posts. Obviously just a troll.

How about "PeanutButter69 - be sure to keep your dogs far away..." ?

Posted by: alecw81 | June 22, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

building a stadium in walking distance of shady grove metro would be perfect!!!

the roads there aren't very congested on weekends. there's an I-270 exit right there making the commute from N. VA probably better than it currently is to RFK. the ICC will start right there and will probably be completed by the time a stadium is built so fans in the Baltimore area can drive there easily. the parking garages at the metro station are relatively empty on weekends so lots of parking spaces for weekend games. (weekday games don't get that much attendance so they won't need as much parking.) and Montgomery county has proven its huge demand for soccer. even the women's professional team is averaging close to 5,000 fans a game at the soccerplex in germantown and that's without a metro station close by.

Posted by: metoolazy | June 22, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, I can think of one problem from playing football on a barge, something similar to this:

http://cesallent.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/football4620copie.jpg

Tailgating, though, would be something similar to fishing for Barry Bonds home run balls in McCovey Cove...

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 22, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

There was a WPL interview last week with Mayor Fenty where he basically stated that Poplar Point and the RFK lot were in the mix as possible DCU stadium locations. In addition, he stated very assertively that DCU wasn't leaving the District as something will get done eventually.

Posted by: blackandred777 | June 22, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Metoolazy: Freedom are also drawing from an entirely different demographic than United would like to target. United has figured out that the Male 18-35 demographic is will consistently turn out far more than Soccer Mom's, Dad's, etc.

Yes, I know there are families that go to games and have season tickets. But when you look around the Barra, Eagles, and La Norte, the largest demographic featured is male and 18-35 (really 18-60+). I don't mean to exclude the Barra/Eagles/La Norte women, but I'd say it's really 80%-20% M-F.

Build a stadium inside the beltway, with walkable metro access, room for the Supporters Groups to tailgate, and United will be hard-pressed to draw fewer than 20k for weekend home matches. Make the Supporters sections be convertible terraces as you see in Germany as well.

Posted by: alecw81 | June 22, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@Juan-John: The *only* way the politics will be ripe for *any* stadium being built in DC is if the DC government pays *less than half* of the total construction cost. So Chang's gonna have to bring in some outside investors who'll help pay for the stadium but won't want anything in return from the city.

--

I did say "dark horse" -- not a likely outcome, but I don't think it's a total lost cause. Perception is reality in politics. Some good soccer PR, tactful negotiating, and a little spin to make Fenty look good in the process, and we'll be all smiles.

Mr. Chang, if you're listening -- how bout a tour of Seattle's downtown stadium for the DC Council. Follow-up with a nice blueprint of

Posted by: -rke- | June 22, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@ -rke- "with a nice blueprint of .."


Was that a stroke? Are you OK? Can you Twitter the rest?

Posted by: JkR- | June 22, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

[Oops, premature submit there. Anyhow, point is, I'm an optimist.]

Hey, glad to see the barge idea picking up steam. We could also bring in extra cash by hosting annual Jimmy Buffett concerts. DCU inner-tubes for the first 1000 ticket-holders!

Posted by: -rke- | June 22, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say "Argie Bargie"?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO8bpbv0LGM

OI!

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 22, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. DrBeaker has been saying this for months - Merrifield!!! It's being torn up and redesigned. There's a huge chunk of land where the theater/parking lot/equipment rental buildings were. It's about 1/2 mile from a Metro station. It's at the convergence of Rts 50/29/Gallows and 66 is very close.

Oh, yeah, and we could walk there from our house. Not with the cooler, though. OK, so we'll drive to get the food and drinks there, but let's just say it's close.

Posted by: DrBeaker | June 22, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey, glad to see the barge idea picking up steam. We could also bring in extra cash by hosting annual Jimmy Buffett concerts. DCU inner-tubes for the first 1000 ticket-holders!

Posted by: -rke- | June 22, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Margaritaville Arena? LandShark Stadium? Oh wait, the latter is taken.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 22, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. DrBeaker has been saying this for months - Merrifield!!! It's being torn up and redesigned. There's a huge chunk of land where the theater/parking lot/equipment rental buildings were. It's about 1/2 mile from a Metro station. It's at the convergence of Rts 50/29/Gallows and 66 is very close.

Oh, yeah, and we could walk there from our house. Not with the cooler, though. OK, so we'll drive to get the food and drinks there, but let's just say it's close.

Posted by: DrBeaker | June 22, 2009 5:33 PM


I had the same thought--this is a perfect location. And not only because I could walk to the games.

Posted by: geoffhsimpson1 | June 22, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Instead of the Float at Marina Bay, the Float on Potomac River?

Posted by: sitruc | June 22, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

A stadium at Gallows Road? We have a theme song for that.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 22, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

A stadium at Gallows Road? We have a theme song for that.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 22, 2009 6:25 PM

The last thing we need is gallows humor when discussing a potential DCU stadium project.

Posted by: DrBeaker | June 22, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so, the Blackberry curse strikes again by being beaten to the Argy Bargy line, but I can provide a bit of precidence to the Barge Pitch Idea, halfway, at least:

http://www.worldstadiums.com/stadium_pictures/asia/singapore/floating_stadium.shtml

One of my favorite stadiums in the world, and probably the only reason I'd go to Singapore.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 22, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

One likely Loudoun County site is directly off the Greenway around exit 5/6. There is enough land not just for a VW Stadium (apprx 6 miles from VW's Herndon North American HQ) but for other "business" of the team, like the youth academy and business offices. Who knows if this will actually go through, I don't understand the politics. Imagine the suits at VW would be quite proud to be able to host customers/partners/employees at their Herndon HQ, swing by VW stadium and get to Dulles airport, all within minutes. The drive to this location is exactly 24 minutes from Tysons Corner when you get on the Toll road. Very rarely any traffic on weeknights once you are in Tyson's. For us VA fans, this would be ideal. I'm just sayin'....

Posted by: sevnshvn | June 22, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Just Curious.

Why not build it at I-270, Exit 1? The existing development seems to have stopped. Highway access already exists and the site is designated for a mass transit station.

Posted by: Curious99 | June 22, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Poplar Point makes the most sense. Doesn't it?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 22, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Of course Popular Point makes the most sense -- that's why it hasn't happened. And probably won't; atleast until either DC or DC United has a management change.

Posted by: Curious99 | June 22, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

DC United did have a management change. Victor "Developtment Deal" McFarlane sold his stake after he couldn't get a sweetheart real estate deal.

If Chang is honest about primarily looking for a stadium site, than there are a lot more viable options than there were with McFarlane leading the efforts.

Posted by: noptov | June 22, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I could've sworn I had a link to that stadium in my last comment, JacobfromAtlanta-ish. I don't know what happened.

Posted by: sitruc | June 22, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Owings Mills Mall would be perfect. Right next to the Metro. A huge amount of space. Urban redevelopment potential all over it.

Okay, so it's in Baltimore - but it would be a great site.

Goffer covered this in the chat the other day, but I think RFK / DC Armory / DC General would make the perfect DCU site. They could share parking with the new Redskins stadium there.

Posted by: diego_r | June 22, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Any idea what the two sites in MoCo are? Shady Grove and Germantown?

Posted by: littles_ | June 22, 2009 2:43 PM
----------------------------------------------


Just Curious.

Why not build it at I-270, Exit 1? The existing development seems to have stopped. Highway access already exists and the site is designated for a mass transit station.

Posted by: Curious99 | June 22, 2009 9:27 PM |
--------------------------------

Poplar Point makes the most sense. Doesn't it?

Posted by: DadRyan | June 22, 2009 9:42 PM
----------------------------------------------

DCU stadium survey mentions 3 MoCo choices. Silver Spring (whether that is downtown or Forest Glen is unclear), Wheaton, or Rockville (best guess would be Shady Grove). With respect to the other comment that calls Shady Grove ideal -- while traffic would be fairly light on Saturday night, weeknights would be an abomination, and it is a long Metro ride from anywhere. It is hardly ideal. Still, if it is the only option....

I have no idea what land you mean -- there is no plot there really big enough, and there is no planned mass transit station there. That is a couple miles west of the Red Line route.

Poplar Point -- anyone who calls it Popular Point is disqualified -- is a nice location for those in Alexandria, and not too bad for DC residents on the other side of the river. There is no fan base on that side of the river -- and it is not especially convenient for people coming from any other location.

Dulles only seems inconvenient. While it would not be a short drive or Metro ride (when Metro finally gets there), it would be really convenient for fans flying into Dulles. This would allow United to be like the Nats, whose games are attended primarily by out-of-towners rooting for the visiting team. Since Dulles is an international airport, perhaps United would seek to join a foreign league, or just schedule a lot of games against foreign teams.

Though I live in Bethesda, I think the best site remains the current one. Poplar Point would be a second choice. However, if they wind up in MoCo, I would be thrilled. Tysons -- I could live with....

Posted by: fischy | June 23, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

@fischy - I think you're selling Poplar Point a little short. True, United's largest fanbase isn't in Wards 7 & 8. But the proposed site is just a short walk from the Anacostia station, only one stop past Nats Park on the Green Line. For anybody who doesn't already live on Blue/Orange, it's not any less convenient than RFK. Either location is equally ideal, in my mind. My first through hundredth choice is pretty much "anywhere in the District." Barring that, as long as it's Metro accessible, I'll complain a lot, but I'll live.

I think "Tysons -- I could live with...." is exactly right.

Posted by: TheAMT | June 23, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I think the stadium should stay in the District -- central to both Maryland and Virginia and those of us who live farther out in the metropolitan area have opportunities to get there. But Steve, c'mon!! LOUDOUN is "close" but PRINCE WILLIAM is "too far"??? Is it the part of Prince William just below Lorton that's too far? Is it the part of Prince William that's just beyond Centreville that's too far? We're closer to the center city than Loudoun or Stafford/Spotsylvania and you can get here via I-95, Route 1, Route 28 or I-66. Whassup??

Posted by: SharonRichardson | June 23, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

As much as a stadium in NoVa would be nice (no farther than Tysons please), I want a stadium that rocks and draws fans. In the end, the District is the best option for pulling a consistent crowd. RFK, Poplar Point, or the convention center neighborhood (NY Ave/North Capitol would be great) make the most sense.

Posted by: jnel | June 23, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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