Friday, September 26, 2008

DC United Stadium Quest

The hunt by DC United to get their own stadium built continues. However, earlier this week, the Maryland Stadium Authority issued a report which said that the stadium would add some $6 million in revenue to the state and Prince Georges' County Maryland if the 20,000-25,000 seat stadium is built in the county east of DC. The report assumed some 60-70 events a year at the stadium.

In addition to DC United games, the Washington Freedom could potentially use the facility as well as larger games for the University of Maryland soccer teams, concerts and other sporting events could be held there.

Here is DC United's Statement (Courtesy of Goff):
D.C. United would like to thank Prince George's County for requesting and the Maryland Stadium Authority for its efforts in analyzing the potential economic impact of a new home for our club in Prince George's County. The comprehensive report, compiled on behalf of the MSA, substantiates what D.C. United has always believed: our new stadium will be a strong economic catalyst providing significant benefits -- which will promote and enliven additional mixed-use development around the county.
I think DC United still want to build a stadium in the District, but I am not sure that the DC owners are willing to continue to jump through hoops. I think PG County would quickly jump on the bandwagon.

As for me, PG county wouldn't be so bad, although I would hope the stadium is closer to Greenbelt than Largo (just a little less farther to drive). But so long as the facility is Metro accessible and convenient to the highways, I wouldn't argue.

DC United is the most decorated club in MLS and it is quite honestly a travesty that they continue to play in RFK, a stadium that is too big for their needs and one which they don't own and lose a majority of the revenue from hosting games there. DC United pulls in around 20,000 fans a game and a 25,000 seat stadium (with decently priced tickets) will probably sell out just about every game. The atmosphere at a soccer specific stadium, with Barra Brava and Screaming Eagles supporters club in full force, would be tremendous.

The Maryland Stadium Authority report will put pressure on the DC political leadership to get their head out and take steps to make sure the most successful sports franchise in the DC area has a home in DC. But if not, their loss.

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