D.C. United is lobbying the District of Columbia government for $225 million in public money for a new stadium at Poplar Point, east of the Anacostia River in an area of poverty and high unemployment. But the long-discussed project, first mooted almost a decade ago, is still several obstacles away from receiving any kind of public cash in the politically charged city.
The Post reported Wednesday that a group of councilors is set to table legislation next week that would propose a $150 million city subsidy for the stadium. This would be financed by excess tax revenue being collected to pay for Nationals Park, D.C.'s baseball stadium that opened this past spring. Thursday, though, the paper quoted city government sources as saying that the "political fallout from the publicity over the stadium plan was making some council members skittish."
One of the city's 13 council members said he will support a "fiscally responsible" bill. Another said he would have to see the numbers. "Let's build it," declared a third, while another said he wants to do more research about stadium financing. In the background stands mayor Adrian Fenty, who opposed the baseball stadium and is, the paper says, "reluctant to take the lead on the soccer deal." And with an eye on the city's purse is Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi, whose office said a soccer stadium would push the city's debt ceiling above Gandhi's recommended limit.