5.30.2008

More Free Money

Nationals Park will remain, until the beginning of next season, the most expensive stadium in the history of Major League Baseball. That's $100 million more than the second most expensive stadium,. Safeco Field in Seattle. What did it get the city? The threat of a $100,000 a day lawsuit from the beneficiaries of our generosity, the Lerner family.

Now we're offering the owners of our soccer team, DC United, $150 million to build a soccer stadium just east of the Anacostia River. Dead man walking Natwar Gandhi claims that the giveaway would put the city over our recommended Wall Street debt ceiling.

You'd think that this would be the biggest hitch in the city's battle to build a soccer stadium, but, no. The biggest hitch is that the United's owner, Victor B. MacFarlane, who is being presented with $150 million of free money, wants more. He wants a cool $225 million.

This is outrageous. We can't afford our initial proposal and MacFarlane has the audacity to ask for more.

The DC City Council set the precedent that no amount of public money high enough that the city won't build a playground. It's pretty hard to blame MacFarlane when the city has Council has proven itself all too eager to throw money at team owners. That makes it hard to blame MacFarlane for holding out for more.

No, I can still find room for blame. Stop being such an asshole, Victor, and take the money that's (stupidly) being given to you.

All this money is for soccer for Christ's sake. I know there are soccer fans out there, but Major League Soccer is barely a blip on the national sports radar. It's not worth the money. This is like spending hundreds of millions of dollars on lacrosse or on the WNBA.

14 comments:

  1. Your characterization of soccer as a fringe sport on par with the WNBA and MLL is unfair. Check out the average attendance figures of American sports.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_attendance_figures_at_domestic_professional_sports_leagues

    NBA: 17,757
    NHL: 17,265
    MLS: 16,770
    WNBA: 7,746
    MLL: 4,429

    Please take this into consideration before summarily dismissing the idea of a new soccer-specific stadium.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Oh god, here we go...

    Soccer is somethign that you play when you're 12 and don't care about again until you're in your mid to late twenties when you're trying to appear more wordly to your other white friends. If we build a $250 million soccer stadium it will be because of the yuppies.

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  4. Have you ever been to a game? The crowds are incredibly diverse. They certainly aren't rife with stuffwhitepeoplelike style yuppies.

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  5. AnonymousMay 30, 2008

    So you only like soccer to appear more worldly huh? As the previous poster said, try going to a game and see how the seats are full of people just trying to impress their friends.... I dare you to find a more passionate and loyal set of fans in any other sport. I grew up loving football and hating soccer and have found that passion can be shared with both. They are very different sports with much to appreciate about both. I, in fact, now prefer soccer to any other sport.

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  6. Oh I've been [dragged] to a match at RFK stadium before. I brought a book to read. The fans didn't seem any more energetic than any other sport although maybe that's because under a quarter of the seats were filled. I'm just not buying the argument that it's an American main stream sport. And the people who make the case that it is remind me of Madonna speak when she speaks with that fake British accent and talks about kabbalah.

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  7. And by contrast, European football fans literally KILL each other during a match. I'll make you a deal, if DC United fans start doing that to each other, I'll be all for a new stadium.

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  8. AnonymousMay 31, 2008

    I'm not a huge sports fan at all. I've been to a nationals game and absolutely hated it. I do, however, like soccer. I actually rooted for a soccer stadium before a baseball stadium. And I'm excited about it being in SE, like myself. But thats my opinion. Opinions differ. Please dont treat your opinions like the end all be all. Some people like baseball. Some like soccer.

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  9. Look, the question isn't whether individuals prefer soccer, or some other sport, or no sport at all. The question is whether DC can afford this sort of soccer stadium, and whether it would be financially sound for DC. I'm really not sure about the details, but I'd have to guess it would not be a financial win, at the end of the day, for DC.

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  10. mradequateJune 02, 2008

    I'm a huge DCU fan. But seriously, 225 million would be the most expensive soccer stadium in the US and the overwhelmingly largest public contribution. I despise the sweetheart deal the nats got, and the soccer team should be treated no differently. 150 mil is MORE THAN ENOUGH. No need to get greedy

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  11. "Look, the question isn't whether individuals prefer soccer, or some other sport, or no sport at all. The question is whether DC can afford this sort of soccer stadium, and whether it would be financially sound for DC. "

    THANK YOU!

    Jesus, people. DC has a compartively small population (under a million), many of them poor.

    And you expect them to pay over $100 a piece for a fricking soccer stadium?!?!?

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  12. AnonymousJune 04, 2008

    I think HRH KF XIII was at a rainy day game and really doesn't know how insane some of the true DC United Fans are sometimes!
    -ADZ

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  13. i'm still pissed that they closed down nation (the greatest club ever) to build the fucking nationals stadium. strip clubs too... whats more american? strippers, beer, drugs and dancing? or fucking baseball?

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