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D.C. United owners to get out machete
by Paul Kennedy, July 11th, 2012 3:09AM
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TAGS:  d.c. united, mls


[MLS SPOTLIGHT] D.C. United has two new owners -- both are co-owners of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers.  One is an Indonesian businessman, Erick Thohir. The other, Jason Levein, has a long history of working in pro sports as an attorney. D.C. United's remaining owner, Will Chang, says they will boost the MLS club's chances of finally getting a stadium deal done.

"In terms of the financial resources with Eric and Jason, we’re so much stronger financially and Jason has a clear mandate from Eric and I to pursue opportunities on that basis," Chang said in introducing Thohor and Levein on Tuesday. "That we are much stronger financially to be able to find a permanent home for ourselves."

Chang originally purchased D.C. United with Victor MacFarlane in 2007 from Anschutz Entertainment Group. Chang purchased full control of the team in 2009 after MacFarlane lost heavily in the financial collapse of 2008.

Efforts to find a new home for D.C. United, which plays in RFK Stadium, began before Chang became involved, but they remain stalled.

“We see a pathway and we also know we’re going to have to use our machete to get there,” said Levein. “We know there are going to be some hurdles along the way and we’re excited and energized to take them on.”

Before working as a sports agent, Levein was a Democratic strategist. He attended Georgetown University, worked at the Williams & Connolly law firm in Washington, D.C., and lived in the D.C. area for a decade.

Thohir is heavily involved in sports in Indonesia. He serves as the vice president of the Indonesian Olympic Committee and as its chief of mission for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Emphasizing the efforts to be D.C. insiders, United hosted the press conference to introduce its new owners at the famous W Hotel, located only a block from the White House.

  1. Kenneth Barr
    commented on: July 11, 2012 at 7:26 p.m.
    I would suggest a redevelopment of RFK, downsizing the capacity and improving the amenities. The location is good and its public transit friendly (bus and Metro). DC United needs to stay within DC as it has fantastic fan support.
  1. Dennis Parces
    commented on: July 12, 2012 at 10:46 a.m.
    I agree with Kenneth. I've taken my son to DCUnited's Summer Camp just outside RFK and it's quite the sight--with the stadium in the background (we're from Puerto Rico). The fan base in DC is great--don't think you'll get the same feeling in Maryland. And I hope the new owners realize that the key to the future is in developing the junior ranks--and maybe establishing a full-time residential academy (like RSL's Grande Sports Academy).
  1. Dennis Parces
    commented on: July 12, 2012 at 10:51 a.m.
    The new owners are very lucky to have an excellent academy staff--Kendra Hansen, Nolan Sheldon, Tom Torres and the rest of their outstanding staff. My son Fernando (14 yrs old) is not there this Summer (first time in 5 years) as he's headed for the Club Union de Santa Fe in Argentina for an entire semester of training and development. We need to have that kind of program available for our juniors.

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