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United Stadium Update

D.C. United has engaged in serious talks with a Virginia jurisdiction about a new stadium, club president Kevin Payne told the Insider. He declined to identify the city or county but said -- no surprise -- that the stadium site would be outside the Capital Beltway. "Where are we going to find [affordable and available] land inside the Beltway?" he said.

Earlier this month, Baltimore entered the stadium discussion by expressing interest in a possible project near Camden Yards and I-95. "The location is very attractive," Payne said.

But by moving to Baltimore, wouldn't DCU have to rebuild its fan base?

"We probably would," he said. "But we have to get an answer to a stadium."

As for the prospects of remaining in the city, Payne said: "We are quietly looking in D.C. We have a couple ideas about how to go about it, but nothing close to going public about. ... The Poplar Point [land] transfer process is very fluid. We're not sure when we could get it. ... There's some discussion about [the RFK Stadium] campus, but we've always had that in the hopper. ... There are other locations [in D.C.] that people have brought to our attention that we don't know enough about yet. Some people [developers] have approached us with ideas. I think the city is waiting for us to come to them and say: 'Here's our thought.' "

By Steve Goff  |  October 26, 2009; 10:35 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Ah, it's a great time to be a DCU fan..

Posted by: the_slammer | October 26, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

but baltimore is not metro dc

Posted by: KG118 | October 26, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: bonghits4gomez | October 26, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

DCU to VA. I'll be out. Coming out of Bel Air MD. I'll make the trip up to Philly for 1/2 the season.

Posted by: dculoyal | October 26, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

whats new. i dont even have opinions about stadium updates like this anymore

Posted by: totalfootballer | October 26, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

What, no St. Louis? It is still and always was a bluff.

Now, all of a sudden we have "other locations in DC" and outside the Beltway in VA and in Baltimore . . . where were these last year?

Posted by: delantero | October 26, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like KP would rather us talk about something (anything) other than the 09 season.

Posted by: -rke- | October 26, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Though I think we'd all rather have the team outside the Beltway than outside St. Louis. I can't get season tickets outside the Beltway, but I can catch 4 or 5 games a year.

Posted by: eadc | October 26, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

So in the Immediate Long Term, we might get a stadium.

Posted by: VamosUnited1 | October 26, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Ill be remixing NWA's classic "F*** the Police" and ill substitute Police with the annoying Mac voice saying either Fenty or DC Council..then at the end, PAYNE repeating on a 16-loop...over, over, and over...

get my drift!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | October 26, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: chemweapon | October 26, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

This news of something maybe happening in or around DC some time in the future could be promising.

Posted by: sitruc | October 26, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Perfect timing, to help me catch my zzz's.

Posted by: Reignking | October 26, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Last year, Victor M was watching the DC gov't and developers peel apart what had been a done deal at Poplar Point deal. Then, Maryland officials approached him with a solid plan to build in PG County. There was no reason to look for other sites in DC and elsewhere. They went from one firm location to another. Now, they have to cast the net wider.

Also, the public collapse of those negotiations has also helped bring other suitors out of the woodwork. If you've been reading the info on this page over the last few months, you have a pretty good idea where those other sites in DC are (Southwest Waterfront, North of Union Station, RFK, Barry Farms and Poplar Point), and you have a good idea where they're looking in Virginia. Let's not forget the team has also indicated that they're looking at a few locations in Montgomery County.

I continue to say the "RFK campus" makes the most sense, especially if it can be pitched as a two-stadium deal that brings back to DC the NFL team which I hope will be forced to change its barbaric name in the next couple of years. Of course, with the way that team is going under its current owner, the city might not want them back. Also, the way Mayor Fenty is alienating the City Council, it's becoming almost impossible to imagine how they could find agreement on something like a soccer stadium, or as outrageously expensive as a football stadium.

Posted by: fischy | October 27, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I just hope it's not Loudoun. I prefer Loudoun to St. Louis but that is about it. Loudoun is too far out to be a successful model. Learn from Frisco.

Posted by: croftonpost | October 27, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Man I dont think the Skins will leave FedEx field. That is just wishful thinking of the Mayor. Why would an owner leave an expensive stadium for another stadium thats probably going to cost him a fortune. But knowing Fenty, he will try some scheme to get it his way.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | October 27, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse


Perhaps you're right.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | October 27, 2009 5:01 AM | Report abuse

Harrisonburg United!

Posted by: Section117 | October 27, 2009 5:11 AM | Report abuse

Driving to NoVA/66/Nissan pavilion from near Baltimore is going to be a disaster and I really have no desire to ever do that commute again. I can guarantee that I wont ever make a weeknight game and most likely I wont make weekend games either.

Until something is finalized though...zzzzz...zzzz..

Posted by: strago | October 27, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse


it wouldn't be a stupid idea, if you incorporated Fairfax co into a city it'd be like 7th largest in the country.

plus theres a huuuuge parkinglot/woodedlot across the street from the metro that I imagine would be a perfect place to build a soccer stadium.

Posted by: crocken | October 27, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

If they build it, I will go. VA, Baltimore, DC, whatever.

Posted by: J_S_F | October 27, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Virginia is too far to drive.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 27, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Listen it is pretty simple, the DC government is corrupt. Just bribe someone already and get a stadium.

Posted by: no_recess | October 27, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse


I agree with your point. How long have we been going through this?

Posted by: sire1 | October 27, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing the level of cynicism of some people. Anyone with ANY understanding of real estate would know that in a flush economy, there are sites that if DC United approached someone on, they'd just laugh in the faces of Payne and Chung because they can get more cash building condos or office space on the site. But in a down economy, land that was supposed to be built on is suddenly fallow. Deals fall apart. Financing dries up. That means some developers are looking at DCU as a possible way to piggy-back on to get financing for their own deal (they make some land available, the infrastructure DCU gets for the stadium helps drive their own commercial deal). It means other plots of land that were going to get the latest strip mall or condo are suddenly available. It means that jurisdictions that are suddenly in the red and cash-strapped start looking at selling off land to make the County budget or as a way of bringing in a few jobs during an election year.

This is a good time for DCU to put together a deal. Tough time to get local govt. financing--nearly impossible given everyone's budgets. But office space and residential housing isn't happening. And if you're government and want to produce jobs RIGHT NOW than a partner like DCU who wants to start building immediately is a great fit. The original Poplar Point buyer had deferred construction for 7 years (b/c of the economy and condo glut)--how many jobs does that produce in the next 3-4 years?

Posted by: JoeW1 | October 27, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Here's MY thought. Hurry the f*#% up!

Posted by: Hoost | October 27, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Why can't they do what the Giants/Jets did and build it right next to RFK Stadium?

Posted by: DJTruco28 | October 27, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't the District get to keep using the Federally owned RFK 'campus' as long as a stadium is in operation? If so, building a soccer stadium alongside RFK while United plays there keeps the land for District use and doesn't thereby preclude the Redskins then building on the RFK footprint.

Posted by: seahawkdad | October 27, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

DC United is caught in an awful situation. It's no longer possible to deal with the DC Government - even if they could get a "deal" they'd throw up new road blocks and demand new concessions as soon as they broke ground. So, now United has to build a stadium in Virginia, and alienate the Maryland fans. Or build one in Maryland, and alienate the Virginia fans.

The point made about development in a boom economy versus development in a recession is a very good one. I pass by the vacant land of Potomac Yeards every day - still waiting to see the development that's been planned for 15 years now (and the metro station as well) and it's not happening. I'd love to see a small stadium there - it would practically be in my back yard, but I know it's not going to happen. The old money in Alexandria would never allow it. Wherever United ends up, I'll be there - unless it's Kansas City!

Posted by: harkes4ever | October 27, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

errr... - I meant St. Louis. I need another cup of coffee!

Posted by: harkes4ever | October 27, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Until I see a few people in suits, posing in hard hats, and scratching the dirt with ceremonial shovels bearing the DC United logo, I won't take any of this seriously.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 27, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I will go to a lot fewer United games if the team moves off the Metro line. You could have a really sweet deal down in VA, and that is not going to change the reality of me having to establish a carpool with a designated driver willing to suffer all that traffic for a game. When the game is on the metro line, you can meet up with any number of friends, lot 8 to your hearts content, then metro home.

Posted by: Wiggan | October 27, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Vamos Rockville United!!!

Posted by: timmy6 | October 27, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I drive 1 /12 hours each way to games from NoVa (Front Royal/Winchester). Anywhere west of RFK is okay with me!!!!!

Posted by: boda-united | October 27, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I meant 1 1/2 hours. (Stubby fingers)

Posted by: boda-united | October 27, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Build a winning team first. That priority is Number One, and Two and Three. Then we can go after the stadium, or why not try to renegotiate the RFK rent? DCU is the only tennant.
RFK is a good venue until we get a winning team again.

Posted by: lemovs1 | October 27, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Interesting race here...which falls apart first? The stadium or the team?

Oh, wait...

Posted by: seahawkdad | October 27, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

This news of something maybe happening in or around DC some time in the future could be promising.

Posted by: sitruc | October 26, 2009 11:47 PM

Okay, but I might qualify that a bit.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | October 27, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

" Some people [developers] have approached us with ideas. I think the city is waiting for us to come to them and say: 'Here's our thought.' "

--"And so that's what we're gonna do." I hope he intended to add that??

I read something that didn't seem completely insane about a partnership with Howard U -- they need 25,000 seats for their Fighting Hislops, or whatever they're called, right?

Posted by: fallschurch1 | October 27, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Its understandable that people who live north and east of DC would resist a new stadium being built in No Va. But the reality is thats probably the best area given population density and demographics. And land availability. I think most would agree keeping the (new) stadium right where the (old) stadium is would be best given overall convenience and Metro access. But its a shame the forthcoming Kinkora site in Loudoun (at the intersection of Rt28 and Rt7) wasnt in play for a DC United stadium. Access is decent by car, and in the future when Metro runs to Dulles there could be a shuttle system. Unfortunately baseball has been incorporated into the Kinkora development plans - like Loudoun needs another freekin' baseball field/facility. Thousands of soccer players (of all ages) continue to suffer on rock-hard, rock-strewn scraps of land.

Posted by: csh1 | October 27, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute! DC United has a financially viable team already in DC, with a loyal fan base and multiple championships, and can't get a stadium. Meanwhile, some businessman in Loudoun county can move so far forward with plans to build a baseball stadium WITHOUT a team, that when he finally gets a team, it takes just a month to approve the project??

I'm beginning to think maybe United doesn't have the right guy negotiating for them!

Posted by: harkes4ever | October 27, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I want a stadium in DC first, but outside of the city, I could live with a location at the beltway w/ metro access like Wheaton or Springfield. Springfield seems like a good location for a stadium. There's lots of land that could be redeveloped, good highway access, although traffic-choked, and metro access.

Either in DC, or at or inside the beltway with metro access. Baltimore is too far and that's essentially the DC market losing its team.

Posted by: michigannn | October 28, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

this is from an outsiders perspective (i live in San Diego and pray for our own team soon), but doesn't United draw more than the Nats??

There's gotta be some land near the Potomac to get a world class place a la Chester PA, Harrison, NJ and (soon to come) Vancouver, WA.

You've got a great following and think how much better it'll be when cavernous RFK is an afterthought.

Make it happen!

Posted by: cho_kettie | October 29, 2009 2:35 AM | Report abuse

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