Friday, April 10, 2009

Garber: DC United Future Uncertain

In an interview with MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Steven Goff notes that the collapse of a stadium deal in Prince George's County and the failure of the DC City Council and Mayor's office to get off the dime for a stadium deal, the Commissioner was pretty blunt:
"We don't seem to be able to get a deal done and it could be that, if something can't be resolved, we will move the team."
Move the team!!!!

This is rediculous. DC United is by far the most successful professional sports team in the area, with four MLS Cup wins, multiple playoff appearances, and a rabid fan base that supports the club through everything. But the failure of the club to get a stadium deal, and the fact that RFK is a hole, oversized and crumbling, means that MLS may not have a choice but to move the club---probably to St. Louis. Garber said further:
"I am both confused and shocked by what took place in Prince George's County. I am confused because the county very formally reached out to the team to see if they would engage in discussions about moving the team to the area. [United] dropped everything in D.C. and began negotiations, had a press conference and talked about their mutual desire to pursue the concept. And then I read that the council won't even support a bill with the state to look at the project. I certainly hope other businesses that are interested in bringing jobs and economic development to that county have a better experience with them than we did. It's not something I have ever experienced in any other city I have worked in in this country, and for the last 10 years, I have been personally involved with 10 stadium projects and this region of the country has been the single most-difficult area to try to get something finalized. It has me very concerned."
Garber mentioned other cities in Maryland and Virginia have interest but did not specify any particular ones.

Personally, I would like to see a large stadium built at the Montgomery County Soccerplex (where the Washington Freedom now play). But that would take some real infrastructure work in the form of roads and access to the highways as the Soccerplex is a bit of a pain to get out of after matches.

I don't want to see the team moved out of DC altogether, but the local governments surely aren't making this any easier.


Anonymous said...

Yes, fly off the handle at the prospect of a phone call. That's how we know a NIMBY knee-jerk when we hear one.

Anonymous said...

Living in Germantown for decades, Traffic is already a nightmare! Adding a stadium will push it over the edge! This is not a NIMBY reaction its more like "This isn't what we signed up for!!" That area was originally baseball fields & park, then it was to be cleaned up & become soccer fields and baseball fields but! Since it was going to be soccer fields why not a soccerplex, Now why not a stadium since its already a big soccerplex.....where does it stop!