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Levein: D.C. 'making real progress' on stadium
by Paul Kennedy, August 18th, 2014 7:37PM
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TAGS:  d.c. united, soccer business


[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Of the MLS clubs seeking to win support for an urban soccer stadium, D.C. United is the farthest along in the process. It has a site (Buzzard Point) and a plan, but recent progress has been slow as the process is tied up by election-year politics. But D.C. United managing partner Jason Levien says he's optimistic about the most advanced of the MLS club's soccer stadium projects.

Levien, who left the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies as CEO in March, hosted D.C. city councilmember Muriel Bowser, the favorite to become mayor, at Sunday's match against Colorado at RFK Stadium, and appeared at halftime on Comcast SportsNet, the club's local broadcaster.

"Last time I was on, I said I was cautiously optimistic about the stadium,” Levien said. “I am going to tell our fans out there we are ready to remove the ‘cautiously’ from that statement.”

Washington D.C. mayor Vincent Gray, who has championed D.C. United's proposed soccer stadium project on Buzzard Point, was defeated in the Democratic primary by Bowser, who publicly questioned some of the terms of the complicated deal. But the stunning defeat for Gray didn't change much about the dynamics of the stadium process.

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. Bowser's opposition has been based on making sure the city gets fair value for the Reeves Center.

Levein said Bowser is working with a consultant to evaluated the stadium project and he expects to see more movement in September when the city council comes back from recess.

“We’re feeling pretty optimistic," he said. "We’re working hard and we’re making real progress because of the leadership from members of the council and in the mayor’s office.”

Bowser is expected to defeat Councilperson David Catania, an independent, in November's general election for mayor.

  1. Garrett Isacco
    commented on: August 19, 2014 at 9:36 a.m.
    I watched Levien's interview on Sunday night. He'd better "watch his back" where Muriel Bowser is concerned. She is a liberal politican and she has a much different agenda from DC United and in reality does not care if this stadium gets built. She opposed the building of the baseball park for the Washington Nationals. I really doubt that the DC United Stadium will ever get built in DC.
  1. Keith R
    commented on: August 19, 2014 at 9:51 a.m.
    What does being a "liberal politician" have to do with anything? Lots of stadiums have been built in cities run by liberals. I mean, at least she's not an ugly, old, conservative, bean-counting white guy from the MD suburbs, right Garrett?
  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: August 19, 2014 at 9:58 a.m.
    Garrett, What does liberalism have to do with building a soccer stadium?
  1. Mark Buckley
    commented on: August 19, 2014 at 10:26 a.m.
    Garrett, relax, it's all liberals in DC. The agenda is to build a soccer stadium. Liberals built Nationals Park so this will get done too. (Of course there is her agenda - those special "camps" will be part of it - where the children can be taught liberalism!)
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: August 19, 2014 at 10:48 a.m.
    This is news? It's speculation which has been heard repeatedly. The issue is plain and simple; land development, entertainment, revenue for D.C.. It's not complicated, perhaps the politicians can't handle simplicity.
  1. G O
    commented on: August 20, 2014 at 3:39 p.m.
    Recently saw a few highlights of DC United at home versus what I think was Columbus Crew. DC United in their usual all black kit, tops and shorts. The problem is that Columbus was wearing an all blue kit. A darker blue. Is this normal? If DC United is going all black, why not for the visiting team then a more white kit? Or yellow? It was very difficult to do viewing and distinguish who is on what team on a TV screen. How often does this occur in MLS? It looked rather amateur both teams in all dark solid kit. Seriously: Somebody can't go a lighter color?

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