[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Washington D.C. mayor Vincent Gray, who has championed D.C. United's proposed soccer stadium project on Buzzard Point, was defeated in Tuesday's Democratic primary by city council member Muriel Bowser, who publicly questioned some of the terms of the complicated deal. But the stunning defeat for Gray doesn't change much about the dynamics of the stadium process.
Gray still is mayor for nine more months -- a long lame-duck session -- and any
proposal for the stadium, which includes a land swap involving the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center, will need Bowser's support as she currently chairs the council’s economic development
committee through which any legislation must go.
United has said it will pay for the stadium but needs for the city to acquire the land on which it will build the stadium. According to
the proposed deal, the city will swap the Reeves Center for the land currently owned by a local development firm.
In February, Bowser expressed opposition to some of the terms of the deal, saying
the city needs to get fair value for the Reeves Center and her priority would be funding middle school education.
On Wednesday, Bowser said in a press event at the National Press Club
that as chair of the economic development committee she would not hold up Gray projects.
"It’s not my position in government to hold anything up,” Bowser said.
Bowser is expected to defeat Councilman David Catania, an independent, in the general election for mayor.