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Payne adds to D.C. United stadium discussion

After reading MLS Commissioner Don Garber's exasperated comments about D.C. United's search for a new stadium, club president Kevin Payne provided the Insider with this written statement:

"We understand and share the commissioner's frustration. When it comes to our long and arduous journey toward an appropriate, permanent home for our club, we continue to pursue discussions with several jurisdictions and developers, and hope to advance those talks over the next several months."

To the best of my knowledge, DCU is exploring opportunities in D.C., Northern Virginia and Baltimore -- although it's probably accurate to say that Baltimore is more interested in attracting United than United is in moving an hour (on a good traffic day) from its fan base.

By Steve Goff  |  March 23, 2010; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Garber fumes about United stadium situation
Next: D.C. United welcomes Andy Najar


See? Papa Payne has it in the works.....

Posted by: Smitty68 | March 23, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Money talks, bs walks, Mr. Payne.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 23, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Bad cop, good cop.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 23, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

If I'm not mistaken aren't elections being held this year.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | March 23, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Yeah but Fenty broke a mayoral fund raising record already which is scaring off any real competition.

Posted by: rockotodd | March 23, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what Payne's opinion really is. How annoyed must he get when someone asks him a question, knowing that everything he's done has led to nothing?

Posted by: TCompton | March 23, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

talk is cheap... We need to put down the money to make it work-so let's do it and get the stadium up

Posted by: abrown1662 | March 23, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I love how quick some people are to spend other people's (mainly Chang's) money.

It's pretty obvious to nearly everyone now, that Fenty has absolutely no interest in a stadium for United in the District, even if United were to foot 100% of the cost for everything.

Posted by: alecw81 | March 23, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm always shocked when anything is successfully developed and built in the District. It just seems harder...

Posted by: JkR- | March 23, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Why can't DCU partner with American, Gallaudet, Howard, etc... for a new stadium?

Posted by: jleppig | March 23, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

NOVA sounds good to me...

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 23, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

As long as DC isn't willing to foot the majority of the bill for a stadium, the only thing interesting in Payne's statement is where he says "and developers."

Posted by: Juan-John1 | March 23, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I spotted a typo in your post, Goff. You left out the "nothing" in the title "Payne adds to D.C. United stadium discussion".

Posted by: tailwagger | March 23, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Honestly...single-use stadiums have never made sense to me. Football? 8 games a year?

Posted by: Reignking | March 23, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 23, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse


Somebody had to say it.

Posted by: benonthehill | March 23, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The economy is a *little* more stable now than the last go 'round. If the NYRB stadium starts to look successful (for the city) maybe DC will get jealous?

For me, Baltimore would be better than NOVA (purely by travel-time). Either would suck.

In any case, we've been yanked around enough times that I doubt we'll hear anything at all until there's a deal signed.

Posted by: -rke- | March 23, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

2016 completion date of the Silver Line out to Eastern Loudoun County, where there is industrial park land and a county that is favorable to business development.

The new DC United stadium at Ashburn is only six years away. Takes at least half that time to get all the permissions signed and sealed, and that leaves plenty of time for construction.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 23, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Thought it might be alright to mention the Argy Bargy Insiders league that I set up on in this thread.
If anyone is interested in joining go pick a team, search for Argy Bargy Insiders, the pass code is: united.
Looks like fun. I've never done a fantasy league but we've already surpassed the entrants we got for our UEFA Champions League fantasy league.

And oh yeah, I'll still go to games in Baltimore, but I'd much rather keep United IN DC or at least within the belt way, or at the very least on the metro line somewhere.
Doesn't Garber have big money contacts in the NFL? Shouldn't he be lending a hand to Chang in the search for more Investors in the club?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 23, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

That ought to get some folks going... :-)

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 23, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Never mind...I'm not re-posting what I was referring to.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 23, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Northern Virginia sounds great but is there any space for a stadium that isn't far away? There is space right by the Springfield, Franconia blueline stop but that is a long metro ride for folks from the north (It takes nearly 30 minutes to get into DC from there). Also, has anyone ever tried to negotiate the 495-95 Franconia Parkway exit? It's not fun in traffic. Also, there is also a bunch of construction from the bridge to PG county through Alexandria. Plus Van Dorn Street is often a parking lot.

I would love a DC stadium but Fenty really appears to have zero interests.

A stadium in Northern VA would be sweet if it was in Alexandria or Arlington and right on the water. That way the DC skyline could be captured. (I know there is no space.)

I apologize for offering no good ideas or anything thing of value in this post.

Posted by: grubbsbl | March 23, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The "fan base" Payne refers to are the drunks in lot 8 who are too impared by game time to see that the once great United team is now a rag-tag collection of 3rd stringers and a has been or 2. You gotta play real soccer with real players to have a real stadium with real fans. Move and improve Kevin, Baltimore is the only hope.

Posted by: NICKYNUNYA | March 23, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Tysons Corner would be perfect. Not that bad for Montgomery County people, soon will be Metro accessible, near the Beltway, Toll Road, and 66 for Virginia. Fairfax County is hard at work making this an urban city and is looking for nightlife activities. Lots of car lots that are going to eventually make way for something else. Change just needs to find a developer who sees the benefit of having developing nightlife for the Tysons area and is willing to help with a stadium as part of the deal

Posted by: QuietSide | March 23, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

You gotta play real soccer with real players to have a real stadium with real fans. Move and improve Kevin, Baltimore is the only hope.

And our first troll of the day. Go away.

Posted by: rockotodd | March 23, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse


"The "fan base" Payne refers to are the drunks in lot 8 who are too impared by game time to see that the once great United team is now a rag-tag collection of 3rd stringers and a has been or 2. You gotta play real soccer with real players to have a real stadium with real fans."

Er, yeah. My counter-argument is simple. New York Red Bulls.

Posted by: mmathai | March 23, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Pete803 | March 23, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Partnering with Howard would be a great fit - never thought of that before. Right in the center of the city. Further shot in the arm to the 9th and U street area, they need infrastructure and a stadium. A couple blocks from U Street Metro. And a short bike ride from my house ;)

Posted by: dsheon1 | March 23, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Garber or Chang need to get one of their 'friends' hired into Fenty's office, dig up a little dirt on "hizonner II" and then they'll finally have some leverage for a stadium deal in the district! That's the way stuff gets done in DC.

Posted by: soccerman | March 23, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

"It's pretty obvious to nearly everyone now, that Fenty has absolutely no interest in a stadium for United in the District, even if United were to foot 100% of the cost for everything."

Alec, I can tell from everything you write that you think DCU does no wrong, but I assure you that if the District wasn't on the hook for a dime, a stadium would be built. They would love to have a stadium and ancillary development on the tax rolls.

But the problem is that marginal increase in tax revenue from future ancillary development has failed as an incentive to get cities to give tax breaks and other support to sports teams.

The only way this worked for NY is that Red Bull doesn't expect the MLS team to be profitable. It's a marketing expense, which means we're talking about a different business model, so they didn't have to cut costs, and as a result they built a palace for their team.

But what you wrote is misguided and seems crazy. Fentyay be an ass, but at this point he's thinking about District taxpayers. That may not mean much to you, living a couple states away, but it speaks to DC voters.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | March 23, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

What happens whenever DC United is close to a deal or on the right path? A fun loving local writer from the Post (name reminds you of Fish) brings back an article per day on how dumb soccer is and how we can't use public money on a useless sport. Quickly every elected person backs far far away from the project.

Goff needs to do his part and after the next announcement kidnap Marc and throw him (back) in the closet and lock the door.

Posted by: Southeasterner | March 23, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Mastodon_Juan is dead on. I think the city would even go for a small subsidy along the lines of what Houston is doing for the Dynamo. The stadium in San Jose is privately funded as well. DCU has their hand out right now.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | March 23, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

@MJ -- Actually, that's not true. Fenty basically killed the Poplar Point stadium because his chosen developers weren't sold on the idea of a stadium stuck on land they'd like to develop.

Posted by: fischy | March 23, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Southeasterner - Fisher doesn't work for the Post anymore.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 23, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse


Not walking distance for me (at the previously discussed location), but a nice Light Rail ride away. Hellooo Baltimore X (call them what you want, _besides_ United, and I'll be there).

I'll even hand out directions to Slainte to NoVa fans before the first match. Or better yet, lead a takeover of Max's.

Posted by: Modibo | March 23, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

mbyrd28 and Mastadon_ Juan are right, United does have "it's hand out right now" but the problem is that right now, they have no other position to be in financially. When Victor and the other investors were around we at least had a sufficient amount of collected capital behind our demands for the District pick up the tab on the infrastructure fees. But now that it's just Chang and Payne, we have no other option. We simply don't have the money. Chang is loaded, but he's no that loaded. It hurts me to say it... again, but I'll say it: United is a sinking ship. If our roster this season isn't any sort of topical evidence of this point then I don't know what is. Payne needs to retire and transform his role into something more along the lines of a "club father" and Chang needs to attract new investors, and what better a time to attract new investors? The league and union just inked a new CBA, and league for the moment looks to have a bright future. Loosing United would be a major failure on the league's behalf, and personally I feel that if they were going to drop the axe on United they probably would've already done it. In some strange way the league for so long has banked it's success on United, and now (even though they no longer need United) they still against their best interest make a vague and suspiciously empty threat to "do something about it". This season is the make or break period for United. After this year I'd bet all bets are off. If they don't have a decision made by November, then we're in Baltimore (or Montreal).

Posted by: pittmancb | March 23, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Damn, can't sleep on the insider...argy bargy closed already.

Posted by: Brian76 | March 23, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Great post pittmancb and I totally agree. As the months pass we will see what direction DCU is going in, on and off the field. We have been living off our past glory for years now.

Posted by: uknowmeas-GQ | March 23, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey Brian76, now that ESPN has a game up and running, and maybe will be up and running tomorrow? Maybe another league could get started? Just in case one or the other ends up sucking? I'm game to get into another league if anyone else feels like they've got the gumption.

I'd be down.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 23, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

What, No Montgomery County sites?
Build a Stadium somewhere up the Pike(Rockville Town Center). The new zoning laws allow this type of facility and there's easy access on the Red Line.

Posted by: timmy6 | March 23, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Thats fine with me DadRyan. Had to laugh at the ESPN game, it had Cronin on DC and Jakovic as a midfielder. Didn't even bother looking at the rest, who knows what else is wrong.

Posted by: Brian76 | March 23, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

"Argy Bargy Outsiders" for those left out of the "Argy Bargy Insiders" league

password: united

Posted by: Brian76 | March 23, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

eh, an hour to Baltimore, an hour and a half to Alexandria...

...wherever they can get a home, I'll visit.

Posted by: teo_68 | March 23, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

@timmy - Montgomery legislators and DCU have discussed sites -- according to DCU there were3 sites, in Rockville and Wheaton. The problem is that northern stretch of the Beltway, from Rte 50 in Arlington all the way to PG County can be miserable, and it's especially bad between Bethesda and Silver Spring. These stadiums would be largely Metro-based, which brings up how miserable it is to rely on the Red Line these days. I know -- I live right off it. Half hour waits for trains. I know everyone has their hand out now, but Metro really needs it.

As for the comments by Payne and Garber -- I'm pretty sure we've read the exact same posts from Goff before..... I think it's awfully optimistic to be predicting announcements later this year. It's an election year, after all....

Posted by: fischy | March 24, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm so sick and tired of this. It has been a black cloud over this franchise for way too long now. Some of you may disagree with me but I honestly think the stadium issue is one of the reasons for the recent decline in attendance. In fact, I feel extremely confident in statng such opinion.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 24, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Some of you may disagree with me but I honestly think the stadium issue is one of the reasons for the recent decline in attendance. In fact, I feel extremely confident in statng such opinion.

Posted by: croftonpost
I completely disagree.

I believe the drop in attendance has more to do with economic forces (people getting laid off, being prudent saving up ca$h, in case they get laid off and having less disposable income for entertainnment).

Oh. Winnning would probably help, as well.

Posted by: yankiboy | March 24, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I say again that rebuilding RFK makes the most sense. If DC United pays to build a new stadium, perhaps the city will be willing to let them control gate revenues. The city wouldn't have to pay anything for improved infrastructure. We all know that site works and the city is going to have to do something about RFK soon anyway.

Posted by: SeanWG | March 24, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

If DC United wants a stadium in DC, they're going to have to suck it up and play Mayor Fenty's game. That means the construction contracts go to the Mayor's friends, the concessions to the Mayor's friends, parking to the Mayor's friends, and just about anything else. Just read the last month's worth of stories about Fenty and it's clear how the guy operates. You can get things accomplished in DC, just play by his rules. If not, it's Baltimore or Loudoun County!

Posted by: harkes4ever | March 24, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse


I don't disagree with your comment about the economy at all. In fact, I wholeheartedly agree. My post stated one of the reasons not the primary reason. My point is that the whole issue has been a downer and to some fans attending RFK it is not a pleasant experience. I personally have a lot of love for the place but I know people that have just decided they don't want to go there anymore. They think the condition of the stadium inside and out detracts from their experience. It doesn't bother me but it does bother some particularly those that don't have any fond experiences to draw from (ie new fans). I'm quite certain I have a valid point here and I would be willing to bet that KP agrees with me.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 24, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"Southeasterner - Fisher doesn't work for the Post anymore."

@Kev29, I think you need a subscription or something. Tell us, who the Biden wrote this article? And when was it written?

Fisher doesn't do his column, blog, or chat anymore, but he's still on staff. He was on the team that redesigned the Post appearance in print last year. (And perhaps the Post magazine redesign as well?)

Posted by: prokaryote | March 24, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

If NY can work out a stadium, DC has no excuses. I just dont think the front office actually wants anything to change.

And, if United moved to Baltimore, they would double their fan base. There are lots of folks in baltimore who are great soccer fans; and most of the DC faithful would commute to matches in Baltimore. Either way; its really a joke that such a great team can't get its own stadium.

Posted by: hacksaw | March 24, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

KP severely miscalculated the DC political dynamics, hiring a PR/lobbying firm and spending bags of Victor's and Will's cash to get a new stadium. Nothing came out of that effort but a job for his daughter. Along with that, DCU decided to direct attention and effort at THE NIGHT OWL! How's that working out for them?

Bottom line: DC is not an option for DCU. The city has stadium fatigue and is pissed because it is not receiving a penny of rent from the Nats because the Nats are claiming that the city hasn't fulfilled its obligations under the lease. Something about the color of the faucets in the bathrooms.

DC has two choices: The provinces of NOVA where, yes, maybe in 7 years the subway will serve a stadium stop, or Baltimore where it will be hosted by a diverse and energetic urban center and housed by a stadium authority that knows a thing or two about building and managing stadia.

Posted by: lgm6986 | March 24, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

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