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Posted at 11:36 AM ET, 01/11/2011

D.C. United owner Will Chang cites 'sense of urgency' in pursuit of new stadium

By Steve Goff

Citing a growing sense of urgency to find a new home for his MLS club, D.C. United owner Will Chang said he will become more involved in the search for a facility.

"It has gone from a relatively minor endeavor to a very high-priority endeavor on my part," Chang said Tuesday after participating in a sports business forum hosted by The Washington Post. "It became important for me to get personally involved."

Until now, the San Francisco-based Chang had relied on his former partner, Victor MacFarlane, and club president Kevin Payne to oversee the stadium project.

"I am looking, and I am looking very hard," Chang said.

For more.....

Since its inception in 1996, United has played at RFK Stadium, which doesn't offer the amenities and revenue-generating channels necessary to sustain the club, Chang said. Most MLS teams have moved into new facilities in recent years.

"It is very, very difficult for us to continue to play at RFK because the economics don't work, the stadium is in disrepair, and quite frankly, the fan experience is really not the ultimate for a soccer experience," he said.

Chang's increased role comes at a time when Baltimore and the Maryland Stadium Authority have made overtures about building a stadium for United near Interstate 95 and Camden Yards. The MSA released a economic feasibility study last month concerning a stadium project.

"It is intriguing, no question about it," Chang said. "They have been actively pursuing us. Having said that, it's my sincere desire to stay here and I am looking very hard to find a home for D.C. United in the District."

In recent years, promising negotiations with both the District (about the Poplar Point land adjacent to the Anacostia River) and Prince George's County failed.

Building a new stadium on the RFK campus is "not out of the realm of possibility, but it's not as simple as it sounds," Payne said, citing the numerous government agencies that oversee the land, including the Department of the Interior and U.S. Park Service.

"It has been discussed at various times, but whether that is what ends up ever happening, I don't know. I would prefer it to be in a setting where there is more commerce around the stadium. If there was a plan to build an appropriate stadium at the RFK campus and the city said let's probe it further, we would do that. But if you are going to spend your time [on a stadium project], you probably want to spend your time first on what you think is the best solution."

Payne said he expects to meet with District officials in the coming weeks.

By Steve Goff  | January 11, 2011; 11:36 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags:  D.C. United  
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Comments

Baltimore.

Posted by: uac1530 | January 11, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Having a stadium around a bunch of "commerce" such as the Verizon Center would be cool but that is a lot of dough. Making that happen would be my dream but I won't get my hopes up. In fact, I am not even sure that kind of space exist anymore in DC. As we talked about earlier, the Tyson's area is cool but it would cost a lot of money and while it is easily accessible for both NVA and MD residents it does not have the cultural factors such as the Verizon Center (not even sure it is necessary, I just enjoy urban things). Basically, my comments is just a useless rant.

Posted by: grubbsbl | January 11, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Yawn.
DC United will get a new stadium about the same time that Verizon gets the iPhone.
Oh, wait...

Posted by: icehippo | January 11, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The "fan experience" wasn't bad when we were winning.

Posted by: granadoskerry | January 11, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

didn't the developer Fenty picked abandon the Poplar Point plans? Can't we go back there again?

Posted by: fedssocr | January 11, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The "fan experience" wasn't bad when we were winning.

Posted by: granadoskerry | January 11, 2011 11:58 AM

+1

Posted by: Matte | January 11, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

DC is welcome to play at my house, on the foosball table. One of the handles is broken, so the defense is slow to react, but a really solid midfield can compensate.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 11, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

@granadoskerry: Agreed...to be fair though, a lot of it was (and is) fan-created.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | January 11, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Wait, didn't he just say he was leaving the stadium search to Kevin Payne...seemed like it was only one blog post ago

Posted by: rockotodd | January 11, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

new sense of urgenzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Kev29 | January 11, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@I-270Exit1,

Do the forwards on that table kinda get stuck in one spot and tend to shoot the ball over the edge of the table? Cuz that'd be more realistic.

Posted by: benonthehill | January 11, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, let's see, here's a novel idea- build your own frickin' stadium! I like D.C. United, but come on, it's not like they are an economic engine driving the District. And thank god I don't live in Maryland anymore. If keeping D.C. United in the area involves my tax dollars, no thanks. See ya. Go extort someone else.

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | January 11, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

You're right redhotCAPSaicin, I love how verizon Center got built with no public money...

Posted by: bspence11 | January 11, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

So (per Goff) this is KP's position:

Building a new stadium on the RFK campus is "not out of the realm of possibility, but it's not as simple as it sounds," Payne said, citing the numerous government agencies that oversee the land, including the Department of the Interior and U.S. Park Service.

"It has been discussed at various times, but whether that is what ends up ever happening, I don't know. I would prefer it to be in a setting where there is more commerce around the stadium. If there was a plan to build an appropriate stadium at the RFK campus and the city said let's probe it further, we would do that. But if you are going to spend your time [on a stadium project], you probably want to spend your time first on what you think is the best solution."

Let me now ask - Kevin:

1. You have said it's difficult to build at RFK, but is that where you have stopped? Are there any current discussions with DC, Interior, etc. to move the ball?

2. Unless there is some concerted movement, you are stating - by default - that RFK in its current situation is currently the "best solution." Given that the team is losing money, how do you justify that statement? I think you're confusing "best" with "optimal." And, correct me if I'm wrong, but FC Dallas plays near commerce and their attendance stinks.

3. For my two cents, most people attend the games for the game and game atmosphere. Aren't you at risk for over over-complicating the matter? Give them a reason to come to the stadium, and they will.

4. To borrow from last year's theme: "It takes more . . . than lip service. It takes a vision. Do you have one? Or are you simply waiting for a bluebird to land on your shoulder and whisper a solution? From where I sit as a long-term season ticket holder, it appears to be the latter.

5. Following that thought, they are apparently building a(nother)minor league baseball stadium near Dulles airport . . . which will have Metro in the next couple of years. Considering there are already minor league stadiums in Frederick, Bowie, and Prince William, how is it that we can't find a place to build a modest soccer stadium?

EB

Posted by: edmundburke247 | January 11, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Colorado plays in Commerce...not Dallas

Posted by: fedssocr | January 11, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"Pack up all my cares and woes...."
Bye, Bye United

Posted by: rcdwriting | January 11, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Dallas' stadium is moderately far out in the sticks. There's like a pretty big Target nearby and some golf courses but not much else.

Posted by: DixonTheDog | January 11, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Dulles baseball stadium is completely privately financed as I understand it. Also, it seats 5-6K rather than 25K.

Posted by: Pedalada | January 11, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Send all of the MSI sportsmanship award winning kids soccer teams to Cap Hill instead of RFK. Send them to Boehner's office to talk about a stadium, he'll start crying like the doorman in the Wizard of Oz, then have Hoyer slip an earmark under his nose, and presto bingo, . . . . we got us some shovel-ready pork.

What? It's at least as good an idea as "I'm looking very hard".

Posted by: OWNTF | January 11, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The "fan experience" wasn't bad when we were winning.

Posted by: granadoskerry | January 11, 2011 11:58 AM

+1

Posted by: Matte | January 11, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

==========================================

Boy, do we have short memories.

The fan experience when we were winning wasn't so bad not because we were winning, but because the stadium hadn't deteriorated to the point of becoming the complete dump that it is now.

The Stadium-Armory Board kept RFK alive when the Senators left in 1971 with a much smaller number of dates per year because of the expectation that at least at some time in the future baseball would return. That approach continued after the Redskins left in 1996 and with DCU's arrival (and would have continued had there been no DCU or MLS).

That approach paid off with the return of baseball in 2005. We should recall that the Expos coming to Washington was merely the last attempt of many to bring baseball to DC since 1971 - the Padres in 1974 and the Astros in 1993 come to mind. There was also talk that the Orioles would move to DC when EBW bought the team in 1979.

The incentive to keep RFK up to the pre-Nationals standard (1971 - 2005) evaporated when baseball left RFK for a second time in 2008. The present number of dates at that facility, with baseball not returning ever, simply does not justify in the mind of the Washington Convention and Sports Authority, the successor organization to the Stadium-Armory Complex, the commitment of resourses or revenue to make this dump a positive "fan experience."

Posted by: lgm6986 | January 11, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

This is how I envision the city calculating DCU's rent for RFK each year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5Km59YlcJg

Posted by: Pedalada | January 11, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Just build it in Baltimore already. The DC and VA fans lost will be made up by more MD fans making games. It's the only option and the only place serious about moving forward.

Posted by: hacksaw | January 11, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

H Street NE above the railyards is the place to go. Prolly costs a good amount of money, but it would have the kind of impact on an emerging H Street corridor that the MCI center had.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | January 11, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

This is long, LONG, LOOOOONNNGGG overdue. Our lack of a suitable stadium is the prime reason that we have not had the funds to put a good product on the field and bring MLS Cup back, along with the revenues that come with that.

DC United brought a wonderful plan to the table to "pretty-up" the Anacostia waterfront, only to be turned down by Adrian Fenty. I ask this...what stands there today? This would have been a boon for that area and Fenty just turned a cheek and showed again that he doesn't care about the people of his town.

I would welcome DC United in the Northern Virginia market; preferably in the Dulles area. I think there's plenty of room and hope they recognize that most of their fan-base is located in this market.

Vamos United! May you stay in DC forever!

Posted by: crich0333 | January 11, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure United would love to finance their own stadium - in fact, that was their plan in Poplar Point. The problem is that contiguous lots big enough to fit a soccer stadium - even one as compact as the New Den in London (Millwall FC, 20,000 all-seater, very small footprint) are owned by the city, the feds, or a developer holding out to build Class A office space to lease to the GSA. It's tough just to find a suitable spot to drop a stadium, let alone the thousands of people who will descend on it all at once a few times a month.

I'd love to see a stadium be part of the air-rights development at Union Station, but the decking is likely to be so expensive to build that the build-up will be primarily office space. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Posted by: TheAMT | January 11, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Payne gives me pain. Perhaps by getting involved in the stadium search Mr. Chang comes to realize the same.

Posted by: getanewnumber10 | January 11, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure United would love to finance their own stadium - in fact, that was their plan in Poplar Point. The problem is that contiguous lots big enough to fit a soccer stadium - even one as compact as the New Den in London (Millwall FC, 20,000 all-seater, very small footprint) are owned by the city, the feds, or a developer holding out to build Class A office space to lease to the GSA. It's tough just to find a suitable spot to drop a stadium, let alone the thousands of people who will descend on it all at once a few times a month.

I'd love to see a stadium be part of the air-rights development at Union Station, but the decking is likely to be so expensive to build that the build-up will be primarily office space. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Posted by: TheAMT | January 11, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sure United would love to finance their own stadium - in fact, that was their plan in Poplar Point."

OWNTF, want to respond to that?

Posted by: fallschurch1 | January 11, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

sorry but let them go. they are a private business. if they think thy can sustain better in Baltimore based on a facility so be it. i lean to the side that they are a business they should be self sustaining and not need government assistance too. frankly, the Inner harbor area is well planned and is a good fit for a stadium along side Camden yards and M&T stadium.

Posted by: oknow1 | January 11, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Spector went the full 90 in a 2-1 Carling Cup win over Bumminham, assisting on Cole's matchwinner. The Soccernet report described the American midfielder as "marauding."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 11, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

keep DCU in DC; make sure that the seats bounce in the new stadium; and have it somewhere that supports a tailgate where I can drink my own beer vs supporting local development and "commerce"

go to Balto and plan to lose half the DC fan base - where the economics in that?

Posted by: billszy | January 11, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

1. It's not just about DC United paying for their own stadium. It's about zoning, it's about infrastructure, it's about parking and egress. Those are all things outside of the stadium and in control of local government. I tell you know, if it weren't for community opposition, DC United would have had a stadium built in Northern Virginia many years ago.

2. The fan experience at RFK as always been terrible and it's getting worse (and no, not b/c of losing). Did you know there's a sink-hole problem with the field? Or that even on dry days you get leaks inside the stadium (it appears to be from a leaking sewer system)? That the staff/office situation there is crappy? Food selection and amenities have always been bad. And let's face it, as much as we like RFK, imagine a stadium where the seats are closer to the field--wouldn't that be a better experience?

Posted by: JoeW1 | January 11, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

67 days until United's first league match of 2011!

Posted by: Curious99 | January 11, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Some of us like the fan experience at RFK.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 11, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

the fan experience at RFK is unmatched . .

take for instance the endless game against Houston in Superliga or Champions somethin' or other . . .


Anyways, it rained for hours. The game was delayed, restarted, delayed.

Round about 11:30 or so, "my friend" noticed the beer taps were unmanned, but the kegs were live and the cups were aplenty.

The "Fan Experience" then ensued. Try that at some fancy pantsy new park.

Posted by: delantero | January 11, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot of clueless people commenting here. Why don't one of you show us where Chang says he wants government money for a new stadium?

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | January 11, 2011 11:55 PM | Report abuse

@princebust

Considering that Kevin Payne has predicated all discussion of a new stadium on the willingness of local/state governments to be involved with a "partnership"'with DCU, if Chang intends to completely finance a new stadium, that would be huge, huge news.

Payne has played around with different euphemisms for "taxpayer-funded," but that's what has driven the team to play footsie with PGC. Baltimore, etc. While there's some amount of NIMBYism (especially in NoVa), the key issue is who pays.

Of course Chang isn't going to explicitly state that he wants tax money to build a new stadium, but if that requirement has changed, Chang surely would have advertised that he was willing to privately fund construction. That would have been the lede. Do you really think that's what he meant?

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | January 12, 2011 1:18 AM | Report abuse

@ Mastadon: Payne also said Ben Olsen will not be United's head coach, at least not for many years until after he gains the experience we need from a head coach.

Posted by: dsheon1 | January 12, 2011 1:54 AM | Report abuse

True, but irrelevant.

Do you think they were/are planing to finance a stadium with no public funds at all?

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | January 12, 2011 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Being that the fanbase would come from Virginia's suburbs, lobby VA to put a stadium there in the metro area. Only makes sense. You put a soccor stadium in Baltimore and you will lose the DC metro revenue. Baltimore and DC areas are two different places. Nobody wants to travel to Baltimore to see a soccer game. I would imagine, more of those from Baltimore would travel to DC then the other way around. Face the facts, much more appealing and more to do in the DC region then in Baltimore.

Posted by: hoganincharge | January 12, 2011 6:50 AM | Report abuse

KP and Kasper both have very high regard for the truth. Look no further the parsimonious manner by which they dispense it.

Posted by: lgm6986 | January 12, 2011 6:53 AM | Report abuse

1. I'm sure that if manna were to drop from heaven, I'm sure that DC United would love to take advantage of it. That said, Chang and Payne have never insisted "build us a stadium." While I"m sure they wouldn't mind getting that kind of support, the reality instead is that some folks just don't understand what is involved in building a stadium. I used to consult for HOK--they're the same folks that designed Camden Yards for the Orioles (and have a "sports facilities" division). Stadiums do not happen without government spending money...even if none of it is for the stadium. The Wilder-Cooke stadium proposal in Alexandria was killed over issues like: congestion on the roads (and Alexandria's unwillingness to expand and pay for the roads), the cost of more police officers, loss in possible tax revenue by having a stadium vs. retail stores and multiple businesses, cost of clean up the site from hazardous waste, cost to put in water and sewer throughout the area.

2. The "commerce" comment comes from Chang, not Payne. And frankly, it makes sense. Some SSS work beautifully and some are...mistakes. Dallas is a mistake. That's why MLS now pushes teams to focus more on location...it's not just getting a stadium but location matters tremendously. If it didn't, DCU could get cheap land in West Virginia and we could all drive there for games...a deal? Plus, you take less of a beating politically if there is more in the area. If it's a stadium and nothing else, the local politicians get to claim about how all the costs go JUST to support the stadium or how the area is "blighted"--only a stadium when instead we could have built a hospital or library or something. Put a stadium in there and its got stuff around it (and it doesn't have to be a mall or bunch of condos and offices) and it's a different story. You also have traffic coming to the site naturally and a compelling reason for continual police presence and other voices who will scream if sewer/water/roads aren't maintained. Putting a stadium out in the middle of nowhere is usually a really dumb idea.

3. Stadium out by Dulles? Yep, DCU has actually considered a stadium out by Loudon (about a decade ago the team had 3 sites in Virginia it was quietly pursuing) and all 3 got shot down for political reasons. Goff reported on it. I wouldn't say Dulles is "dead" as an option, only that it was basically community opposition that shot it down.

4. Here's what we need to get as fans and supporters: the biggest issues with getting a stadium built are political. It's the inability of local politicians to build a consensus and overcome NIMBY issues or be farsighted. If you doubt that, just look at how many local government infrastructure successes we've had? It's either been Federal (and few of those I might add) or totally private with a much smaller scale than a stadium (new Arena Stage). That's why Baltimore could make something happen.

Posted by: JoeW1 | January 12, 2011 7:31 AM | Report abuse

That's great stuff, JoeW1. You covered all the relevant points very well.

I would add that there is the unique dynamic in the District of stadium fatigue due to the massive give-away that MLB got for the new Nationals Park. There is just no political will to support with funds from the city's treasury any more stadium projects on any level.

Couple that with the high degree of NIMBYism in Northern Virginia, DCU is left with Maryland as the only option. That is a very attractive option given that the state has a vibrant and forward-looking state agency empowered to promote sports stadium development. From that angle it lines up very well for DCU in Maryland, Baltimore specifically where the infrstructure and commercial elements are already in place.

Posted by: lgm6986 | January 12, 2011 7:46 AM | Report abuse

How about knock down RFK, build a new RFK at the same site, which will be a multi-purpose stadium for football, soccer, lacrosse, concerts, etc. and eventually bring the 'skins back to town. Show me the money! It's a perfect spot with parking and metro.

Posted by: DontGetIt | January 12, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

1. DC's bond rating is in constant jeopardy, Maryland's is AAA. Whether O'Malley can sustain that is an open question, but DC United is seeking "credit enhancements," and therefore for now Maryland is the more able (and, apparently, willing) suitor. Maybe the only suitor.

2. "Nobody wants to travel to Baltimore to see a soccer game." That's not true, because I wouldn't mind going to Baltimore. Once the ICC is built (Thanks, Governor Ehrlich!), my soccer trip would probably be 15 additional minutes on either end, maybe less.

3. "Face the facts, [DC is] much more appealing and more to do in the DC region then in Baltimore." That has nothing to do with the stadium issue. RFK is literally a dump, in a relatively high crime area with nothing close to it other than a metro stop and a fetid river. Lot 8 has its charms, but you can't compare RFK to the Inner Harbor and the establishments surrounding Camden Yards and M&T. I'm not sure exactly where they propose to put the United stadium relative to those stadia and existing bars and restaurants, but it can't be any less appealing than RFK.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 12, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

You really DontGetIt....;)

Posted by: DadRyan | January 12, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

How about knock down RFK, build a new RFK at the same site, which will be a multi-purpose stadium for football, soccer, lacrosse, concerts, etc. and eventually bring the 'skins back to town. Show me the money! It's a perfect spot with parking and metro.

Posted by: DontGetIt | January 12, 2011 8:36 AM
________________________________________

The site is owned by the National Park Service. Neither the Disrict government nor United nor anyone else has carte blanche to do what they want with the site. Any proposal for a new stadium would have to start with approaching NPS. Assuming that the continued use of the site for a stadium (or two, under some scenarios), as opposed to some other use, is consistent with NPS' priorities, there would be a process of public input, environmental impact assessments, and whatever else NPS' regs require, before the first shovelful of dirt is moved.

Further, United would need an interim home ground while the old stadium is torn down and the new one is built, and there is no guarantee that they could come to terms with the owners of any of the possible candidates (FedEx, Annapolis, etc.).

Posted by: universityandpark | January 12, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Rockville (not Germantown or Gaithersburg):
Metro, I-270 (not SI's, the other one), ICC, some interesting thinking about urban development, variety of places to have a beer in Rockville Town Center, land cheaper than prime DC locations (though not cheap in absolute terms), strong local interest in soccer in MoCo. Yes, there are hurdles, but no more than elsewhere.

Posted by: assocfoot | January 12, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

MoCo already considered a stadium/concert venue in Rockville and dismissed it. With layoffs to the police force and other municipal workers, salary freezes for teachers, and capital improvements needed for a proposed hospital in Germantown, I don't see where MoCo would get the funds. Chang can build it in my backyard, just not at the expense of my childrens' education or safety.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 12, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

OWNTF: "Lot 8 has its charms, but you can't compare RFK to the Inner Harbor and the establishments surrounding Camden Yards and M&T"

So you're saying that RFK can't compete with Hooters, Hard Rock and a Phillips Seafood Restaurant? I guess then if the B'More Inner Harbor opens a Fuddruckers it will be the final nail in the coffin for RFK.

Posted by: Twitch703 | January 12, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm not expert on urban planning but here's some ideas I like:

1) mbyrd28's suggestion about something along the H Street corridor. This could also help the District feel better about installing the rail cards up and down H St.

2) Building a soccer complex and training facility on or near the campus of U of M in a fashion to how the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA is on (or near?) the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills. Make it a world class facility that would entertain the likes of the USMNT and USWNT for training and games as well as collegiate and HS tourneys for soccer, football, field hockey, lacrosse, rugby, etc. Build 16k-18k seats.

3) Make it Metro accessible. Don't be Dan Snyder. FedEx is a LONG walk from the Metro.

4) Keep it urban; build in a residential and mixed-use neighborhood. Don't be like the Lerner's and build high-rise offices around the entire park. Those places are vacant after 5:00 pm. Help the neighborhood be a place that people want to gather before and after a game. Find a hybrid of Gallery Place/Chinatown and Capitol Hill. Have 12k-15k seats. **Before anyone pipes up with "no one in their right mind would want to live next to a stadium" I suggest you research college and professional stadiums around the country, and world for that matter, that are built exactly this way. Some of us would find that to be an exciting place to live.

Keep D.C. United in D.C.

Posted by: Twitch703 | January 12, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

OWNTF: "Lot 8 has its charms, but you can't compare RFK to the Inner Harbor and the establishments surrounding Camden Yards and M&T"

So you're saying that RFK can't compete with Hooters, Hard Rock and a Phillips Seafood Restaurant? I guess then if the B'More Inner Harbor opens a Fuddruckers it will be the final nail in the coffin for RFK.

Posted by: Twitch703 | January 12, 2011 10:54 AM

also, lot 8 has no Domino sugar factories.

JoeW1's post about all the other garbage that goes with a stadium should be all the explanation we need as to why its been 10 years or so and we still have no stadium in DC/MD/VA.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 12, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@Twitch703

1) Great idea. Now go convince DC residents that their taxes should be increased to pay for the infrastructure associated with a SOCCER stadium.
2) Might be a solution, but the goal of MLS is for teams to own and operate their own stadiums (so that they control revenue streams).
3) Dan Snyder didn't build FedEx, JKC did.
4) See #1 + the stadium can not have a capacity that small. It has to be home to the club for the next several decades, and that leaves no room for growth, especially considering the club already averages attendance in that range now.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 12, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Where's yankiboy when you need him?

Y'all are truly ignorant about Bal'mer.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 12, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Where's yankiboy when you need him?

Y'all are truly ignorant about Bal'mer.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 12, 2011 11:20 AM

I knoo that in Bal'mer you can go pick cray'abs down bouy the wuter. oh, and talk about Cal. hon.

but yes, I do claim ignorance of all things Baltimore. my personal prejudice against the city is completely unfounded, and I'm sure its actually a lovely place.

Posted by: VTUnited | January 12, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

3) Make it Metro accessible. Don't be Dan Snyder. FedEx is a LONG walk from the Metro.

Posted by: Twitch703 | January 12, 2011 11:05 AM

===========================================

Fact check. FedEx Field was built by Jack Kent Cooke (hence, Raljon MD) not Daniel Snyder. Snyder purchased the Redskins a couple years after the stadium was built. In fact, Snyder has significantly improved FedEx Field which was pretty bare boned at first due to the Squire's private financing.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | January 12, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I-270, I wouldn't want a soccer stadium at the expense of my children's education or safety either (3 kids in MoCo's very good public schools), but I am not convinced that a development like this has to be a sink hole for public funds in the medium to long term. Short term, this will be an issue anywhere given the current condition of states and municipalities all around the country and given the fact that there is always some cost to the public for infrastructure even if the stadium is 100% private financed. For my education, roughly when was this discussion about a venue in Rockville?

Posted by: assocfoot | January 12, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

270,

If DC United can't even count on it's supporters for local stadium support then they may as well just move to Baltimore.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | January 12, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

2) Building a soccer complex and training facility on or near the campus of U of M in a fashion to how the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA is on (or near?) the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills.

Posted by: Twitch703 | January 12, 2011 11:05 AM
________________________________________

I've never understood why a stadium could not have been incorporated into this development east of College Park:

http://www.newsdesk.umd.edu/uniini/release.cfm?ArticleID=1506

Posted by: universityandpark | January 12, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@assocfootball: I think the discussion was about two years ago and the location was N. Rockville/S. Gaithersburg. As I recall, the MoCo planners initially wanted something small-ish (

@hateisnotafamilyvalue: Maybe local stadium supporters can agree to have their individual taxes raised in exchange for a discount on season tickets.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 12, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I stand corrected: don't be a JKC.

Posted by: Twitch703 | January 12, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

What's new Mayor Gray's stance?


Posted by: delantero | January 12, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

What's new Mayor Gray's stance?

===================

Fakie.

Because he's going backwards.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 12, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

@I-270Exit1 DC is welcome to play at my house, on the foosball table. One of the handles is broken, so the defense is slow to react, but a really solid midfield can compensate.
-----------------------------------------
I created an account to just to +1, by the way screw DC Scum!!! NY Redbulls will wipe the floor with DC and your brother filthy union once again!!!

Posted by: pguy316 | January 12, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

chang was the biggest bozo on the dias. until he sells out and payne and kasper are sent packing, this francise is going nowhere

Posted by: bestmick1 | January 12, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Fact check. FedEx Field was built by Jack Kent Cooke (hence, Raljon MD) not Daniel Snyder. Snyder purchased the Redskins a couple years after the stadium was built. In fact, Snyder has significantly improved FedEx Field which was pretty bare boned at first due to the Squire's private financing.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | January 12, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse
----

Another fact check: FedEX was financed by the same mechanism as the one proposed for the DCU stadium in PG--public bonds, paid back by the Amusement Tax. But because profanum vulgum like football and hate soccer, the former gets called 'private' and the latter 'public.'

The debate has shifted on the issue of public involvement in stadiums to the point where there's now at least as much hooey coming from the anti- side as the pro-. (Such as that bonds are the same thing as a cash donation, or that building roads and power lines are corporate welfare.)

Posted by: stancollins | January 12, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

stan,

Per Dillon Development partners:

"In the early phases of the project, Dillon helped put in place $70.5 million in state grants for transportation improvements. The funds were used for parking lots, new Interstate 95 ramps, and upgrades to existing county roads to facilitate traffic.

As Vice President of Finance, Greg Dillon was part of the executive team involved in most every aspect of the stadium development project.

Dillon concentrated his initial efforts on the economic impact study, then on the important cash management issue, which allowed construction to begin one year before securing the loans. Based on a stadium business model, Dillon's team negotiated and secured a $155 million construction loan from the Bank Group, which included a complex set of financing documents — serving the competing interests of owner, banker and National Football League.

The $180-million stadium was completed in 17 ½ months

A later project added Club and Executive Suite level improvements, which required:
preparing the construction budget;
negotiating and closing $22.5 million bank financing;
selecting a development team and negotiating the contracts of architects, engineers and contractors;
managing all facets of construction (design approval, permit approval, inspector approval and completion); and settling contractor claims, saving $5 million of the proposed $13 million.

The bonds were for infrastructure not the stadium and were for improvements that were already on the books to be accomplished in the following decade. The stadium itself was privately financed. If there are those reading this that would have a problem with issuing bonds for infrastructure improvements already on the books to be done then I honestly have a problem with their position.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | January 12, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"Bonds already on the books to be done"?

Does that have any relevance to a DC United stadium?

AS DPM famously said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. You can argue whether public investment in stadiums is a good thing or not, but you can't argue the fact that DC United is looking for public investment. This is not a situation in which all they need are zoning approvals and the like.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 12, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

OWNTF,

The point of the other post is that there could be a location picked that would need infrastructure improvements. If the chosen location already had plans for infrastructure improvements around it down the road (as was the case with FedEx Field) then there should be no opposition to bond issues for the improvements and I agree. It would only speed up the process.

Posted by: croftonpost | January 13, 2011 1:07 AM | Report abuse

The DC General site is going to be mixed-use development. Put the Stadium there and we can still use Lot 8!

Posted by: manunot | January 13, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

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