Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
United sets its sights on Maryland
by Ridge Mahoney, February 17th, 2009 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

D.C. United rolled out a few political backers and ambitious plans for a stadium in Prince George's County, Md., at a press conference on Monday.

Majority owner Victor MacFarlane and club president Kevin Payne unveiled plans for a 24,000-seat facility to be built somewhere in the county that borders the District of Columbia on the north and east and is home to approximately 850,000 residents as well as FedEx Field, home of the NFL Washington Redskins.

"I'm knocking on wood a lot," said Payne of this latest turn in a long path to get the four-time MLS Cup champion a home of its own. "In this business, you try not to get too up or too down, so I'm trying not to get too up. When we put a shovel in the ground and break ground, I'll probably drink some champagne that day.

"But right now we just see this as a great step forward. We're incredibly enthusiastic about the reception we've had from Prince George's County and the state, and we're eager to get to work."

Whether D.C. United will follow the 'Skins out of RFK Stadium, which they shared during the inaugural MLS season in 1996, won't be known until late this year at the earliest. A few local politicians were on hand for the official release of the plan, which will be submitted to the Maryland State Assembly later this year. It mandates that the team pay 25 percent of the projected $195 million cost and the remaining 75 percent come from tax revenues generated by the facility.

"This is a new day for D.C. United," said MacFarlane. "We now see a new, permanent home for our club and our fans, and we think it will bring the kind of opportunity to Prince George's County, and for Maryland, that is so important right now and in the future."

D.C. fans have heard such optimistic rhetoric before, when team and city officials began mapping out a project to be built on federal land adjacent to the Anacostia River. MacFarlane envisioned the multi-use development, with a stadium as a centerpiece, as a way to revive a swath of fenced-off wasteland, but the Poplar Point project stalled repeatedly and on Jan. 30 Mayor Adrian Fenty and developer Clark Realty Capital LLC, which had been hired by the city a year earlier, severed their agreement at the city's behest.

Instead, the city will take on the costs and tasks of preparing the 110-acre site for development and completing transfer of ownership from the National Park District to the District of Columbia, after which the District can select another developer. There is no timeline for his process, and that open-ended arrangement prompted D.C. United to follow up with Prince George's County officials who'd expressed interest in a project.

"We have to grow our economy, no matter what the circumstances," said County Executive Jack Johnson, who oversees the Executive Branch of the county's government operations. "We are not using any tax revenues. We are not using any education revenues. None of the funds that are slated for education and other vital programs will be shifted. This project will stand on its own, and when you examine it on its own, you will find tremendous economic opportunities for the future of Prince George's County."

Seven possible sites are under consideration. County and team officials believe construction could begin late this year, with possible completion in time for late in the 2011 season.

A more realistic opening date would be at the start of the 2012 season but regardless, MacFarlane emphasized the team has left prospects in D.C. behind.

"Please know that our team is committed to working with Prince George's County to build a stadium," said MacFarlane. "We have no communication, we have no other process going on. We want to be in Prince George's County."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Top U.S. youth star signs with Schalke 04    
FC Dallas, regarded as having MLS's best youth development program, lost out on Weston McKennie, the ...
What They're Saying: Hope Solo    
"Seventeen f****** years, and it's over!" -- Hope Solo, with her reaction to her husband, former ...
Video Pick: Sportsmanship from Barca boys    
After Barcelona U-13s' 1-0 win over Omiya at the World Challenge Cup in Tokyo left the ...
MLS Injury Report: Zardes out for regular season    
The LA Galaxy confirmed that U.S. national team forward Gyasi Zardes will miss the remainder of ...
Klinsmann: 'We have a lot of attacking options'    
Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes, the USA's top two contributors in 2016 with seven goals and ...
USL Rewind: Kickers, FC Cincinnati claim playoff spots    
Two more Eastern Conference teams nailed down postseason berths last weekend. A 1-0 defeat of Orlando ...
MLS Power Rankings: Eastern leaders swap spots    
The FIFA break follows a crazy-busy week in MLS, with 16 league matches - including several ...
MLS: Quakes fire GM John Doyle, San Jose original    
John Doyle, San Jose Earthquakes general manager since the club returned to MLS in 2008, has ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klopp    
"I know nearly all the clubs, but I had no idea where they are. So if ...
NASL Rewind: Cosmos make a statement    
Defending champion New York Cosmos returned to first place with a 6-1 win over the Carolina ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives