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D.C. United Probe Fans on Stadium Dilemma
Loudoun Extra/Washington Post, June 18th, 2009 3:03PM

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As part of its epic search to find a new stadium, D.C. United has provided a survey that asks fans to rank their preferred location for construction. Available on the club's website, http://www.dcunited.com, the survey provides three options: lower Montgomery, Loudoun, and the District. "We're engaging fans for some thoughts on a few different municipalities," Doug Hicks, a D.C. United spokesman, said. "We're working toward a continued conversation with a few of those municipalities in the coming weeks."

He emphasized that the discussions are preliminary and that no decisions have been made. Senior officials in Montgomery and Loudoun were similarly tight-lipped, saying they would not comment on ongoing business discussions. But people close to the negotiations, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the team and majority owner Will Chang, a San Mateo, Calif., businessman, are also considering options in Maryland and Virginia.

Any new stadium in the Washington area, with a possible need for hundreds of millions of dollars in public financing, is expected to face intense scrutiny. County governments are grappling with shrinking budgets and layoffs, and voters might be unwilling to support an effort to bankroll a new stadium. For years, D.C. United officials have tried unsuccessfully to find a new home for its franchise. The team has played in the District's 48-year-old RFK Stadium since the team was founded in 1996. In February, plans for a stadium in the developing Poplar Point area along the Anacostia River fell through and, in April, Prince George's County officials scuttled a plan to build a 24,000-seat stadium as part of a larger, mixed-use development.

 

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