Maryland stadium battle begins

Tuesday is a big day in D.C. United's efforts to obtain funding to build a stadium in Prince George's County, Md.

The MLS club is urging fans to gather at noon at Annapolis' City Dock to show support for public financing of the stadium and then pack the hearing rooms of the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, where state lawmakers will hear testimony on the proposal to float bonds for the construction of the stadium near FedEx Field in Landover by 2010.

The club's get-out-the-voters effort includes organizing a caravan that will leave RFK Stadium at 11:00 a.m.

The bill allowing the Maryland Stadium Authority to sell bonds to build the potentially $195 million venue is not without its opponents. According to the Washington Post's Maryland Moment, local anti-tax groups are also organizing efforts to sway legislators.

Last week, soccer fans flooded Annapolis lawmakers with emails -- more than 28,000 -- in support of the stadium, but lawmakers were not impressed.

"I have, let me see, 880 unread e-mails. And 1,800 others," Senate Minority Leader David R. Brinkley told the Gazette the day after the campaign began. "It's obnoxious."

Some lawmakers said most of those involved in the email campaign were from outside Maryland.

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