DC United To Move To PG, No One Cares

This is going to piss off a lot of readers, because people who read blogs most likely enjoy soccer. Or, I'm sorry, "fútbol." I know I'm pissing off about 80% of the world population by hating on soccer, but we're America and that gives us some of that "American exceptionalism" charm. Supposedly we have some sort of local soccer team, that plays in something called "Major League Soccer." (Sounds like serious business). Now I couldn't tell you the difference between Manchester United and Oxford Comma, but I can tell you that I'm not upset whatsoever that the DC United are leaving town for "greener" pastures in PG.

"I bear no ill will toward the process in D.C. But it's over," [DC United Owner Victor] MacFarlane said. "We want to be in Prince George's County and we're going to be in Prince George's County."

Team officials met with local politicians, who have introduced a bill that would build a new stadium in suburban Prince George's County.

The bill, if approved by the Maryland legislature, would authorize a 24,000-seat stadium at a cost of $180 million to $195 million.

Pictured: Prince George's County

See, if we had attempted to keep this team here, we would have probably ended up dropping a good $300-400 million on developing a site somewhere stupid. Marion Barry kept lobbying for Anacostia, and Mayor Fenty made it clear he doesn't give a shit about soccer.
When reports first surfaced last week that the team was close to a deal with Prince George's County, Fenty would not comment except to say he was still interested in keeping the team, but could not remember the last time he spoke with team officials.
Barry is totally up in arms and writing letters about this. For a man on dialysis who can't even file his taxes, he sure really likes soccer.

I know we'll hear some whining about how the DC United are the best sporting team this city has ever had, blahblahblah, etc, etc. Who cares? PG County are the suckers here who are financing a single purpose soccer stadium. I know that a lot of yuppies in this town will groan about how DC United is leaving, and how they won't want to venture into scary PG County to watch their "matches." I'm sure you'll find solace at home watching your European soccer on your plasma arguing about which squadron from a city you backpacked through is superior.


  1. The DC gov't fucked this one up just like they do with most things. If you don't care about soccer, that's fine, but Fenty really screwed around with the company that was trying to develop the stadium development. Oh well. I do think that the DC United organization will be negatively impacted by this move. DC was a more central location for fans to go. Now, Poplar Point will stay like it is now for another couple decades and we have to figure out what to do with that piece of shit RFK Stadium.

  2. It would have gotten even more fucked up had they actually attempted to build a stadium in DC.

    And just imagine when soccer in the US isn't trendy anymore and we're stuck with a $300 million soccer stadium.

  3. Dave, just like when the Nats leave town we'll be stuck with a $700 million stadium that nobody can use.

    Fenty fucked this one up big time, but just wait, very soon Danny is going to ask DC taxpayers to pay $1 billion to build Danny Dome and Fenty will bend over and take it. It would have killed Fenty to give DC's real Champions a little money for infrastructure to build a stadium and provide jobs for people in Ward 8?

    Oh well.

  4. Well, maybe some little leaguers can use the nationals stadium when they move to Portland.

  5. Oh, yeah PG county will be taking it in the butt for this... but hey in this economic climate someone should create jobs.. even if it is a waste of money. Go Barry, go Barry... and keep avoiding your accountant and those taxes. They have infirmaries in prison providing dialysis every day.

  6. PG has Fedex Field; why build another staduim?

    Does anyone even use RFK anymore?

  7. PG United!

  8. soccer is a trend? Oh yeah, that's the same thing they were saying when I was playing soccer 15 years ago not in some yuppie hell hole, mind you, but indiana. and i'm not talking about indianapolis indiana, i'm talking about what many people would classify as middle of nowhere, indiana.

    the stadium would have been great for ward 8. sure we can talk about fiscal responsibility, but this project actually had merit unlike 99% of the garbage dc throws money at in that ithis project actually promotes economic development. i hope that the next time people in ward 8 are complaining about the man they are complaining about fenty and not dick cheney or whoever, because he screwed this up.

  9. oh and dave, i can't see portland ever getting a baseball team. the metro area is half the size of dc's. i think the nationals will eventually move but it won't be for awhile and it won't be to portland.

  10. there was some moderately serious discussion of portland getting the expos before they moved here.

    soccer as a sport played by children and youths, or as a recreational activity for adults is not the same as it being a money maker on the national stage as a spectator sport.

    we can barely manage to run a stadium for a sport that's supposedly still popular (or at least more popular than soccer).

  11. I think Fenty did exactly the right thing, for once.

    DC residents (not you fuckers - I'm talking about real DC residents who live in Wards 5-8) couldn't afford the ass raping they got from the lilly-livered, slobbering DC Council, Mayoral Administration and MLB. All so they could have a nice, new stadium that only tards from Clarendon could afford to go to.

    I'm glad they won't have to be burdened with a tax debt to pay for MLS hijinx.

  12. "All so they could have a nice, new stadium that only tards from Clarendon could afford to go to."

    Oh, and jobs. Whoops. Nice one, idiot.

    This does more for poor people than raising the fees at parking meters (you would be surprised of how many people in the hood have a car) or raising Metro fares. It actually gives them something valuable. Sure, soup kitchens are nice and necessary too, but no one ever paid me $9.50 an hour to eat at one.

  13. I'll be happy to see the end of publicly financed stadiums in this country.

  14. Dave, soccer is a sport on the rise in the United States. Yes, it is a recreational activity as well, but there is a reason that owners are stepping forward for professional soccer league franchises and no professional kickball league franchises. We are in a recession and the MLS is still expanding. It has been in existence for 13 years. This is not the XFL.

    DC United already have proven to have a substantial fanbase, which is different from the Nationals whose attendance will inevitably decline this year. It was an off year for United this year and their attendance is still 3,000 or so better per match than that of the Wizards of the NBA. Yes, I know United play a lot less games but still that is impressive. Plus from my understanding soccer stadiums seat way less people than MLB stadiums and there are way less home games. It is an easier sport for a market to sustain good attendance than MLB. And for all those who think this is a whitey sport only if any of you had ever actually been to a game you would know that the team actually has a lot of backing from DC's Latin American community.

  15. Isn't the United PG stadium not taxpayer funded?

  16. cg, i get it. possibly it would be a good thing for them to have stayed in dc, i won't argue.

    i'll even go out on a limb and say it would have been much better for dc to have spent $611 million on a stadium for the redskins than on a stadium for the nationals. but, i digress.

    please note that while most posts i make are rather sarcastic, and while i hate on soccer here, i'm mostly also hating on silly outrage echoing across the blogosphere.

    if soccer is so profitable than dc united should have offered to build their own stadium in dc.

  17. no problem dave, love your posts and love this site, i just like to ramble about these kinds of things.

    the nationals stadium was a suicidal deal and will kill this city in the future. it was clear from the outset dc cannot sustain an mlb team and a move is inevitable. and this is coming from someone who likes the nationals even with their cheap owner and overpriced beer.

    i dont know if the soccer stadium is profitable, but it sure as hell creates more jobs and is more of an assist to business than anything else DC's council of the proletariat does. and these created jobs were most likely a huge net gain for the people that would actually hold them, since these people are paying pretty minimal taxes anyway and there is no way that is going to substantially change.

    im not mad that it went to pg though, dc's government is so incompetant they probably deserve to lose it and the pg taxpayers got a great deal on this stadium. never thought i would say it, but good job pg county government.

  18. Columbus Crew: 2008 MLS Cup Champions! Woo!

    Also, with the addition of Adam Dunn, the Nats are projected to finish the season at 79-83. A couple of breaks here and there (and some live pitching arms) and the team might be just interesting enough to attract 20,000 people per game.

  19. The problem is exactly that everyone was looking at the DC United stadium through the lens of the baseball stadium, when it's a totally different equation, that should have been judged on its own merits.

    1 The baseball stadium cost three and a half times as much. It was so damn expensive that the projections needed to make it viable were pure comedy, unless the team won 90 games a year. DC United's projections are based on what they have *actually* drawn (16k in a bad year, 20k in a good one) for the last 13 years in this town.

    2 They were asking for construction, whereas DC United was mostly asking DC to build roads, sewers, power lines, etc. Aka, a government's freakin' job. Now, they probably wanted a tax break, too, like every IKEA that ever got built, so you can whine about that, but it ain't like the baseball deal.

    3 The Nats stadium was just for the Nats, where the DC United stadium had legit other uses. For instance, it will have an integrated, permanent concert stage to help draw outdoor events away from far-away Nissan and Merriweather. Also, it had a community use (HS football, black college marching band shows, the ACC soccer tournament, youth soccer tourneys), since it doesn't cost thousands just to pay the electric bill like the monstrosity on the other side of the river. They're talking about 60 events a year, of which United will only be 15 or 20. It's like the mere fact that a professional soccer team was *included* was so intolerable that it killed a whole community centerpiece.


    And hell, even the Nats stadium would have been a good deal for the city if they'd only done one thing first--buy the team. When MLB bailed out the Montreal Expos, they paid the current owner $130 Million. When they sold it at auction after the deal, the team fetched $450 Million. If the District had gotten in on that dough, they'd be sitting pretty right now.

  20. "Jobs" at stadiums? Please. That lie has long been thoroughly debunked. At best we're taking part-time, seasonal, low-paying hourly jobs selling crap food. It would be way better just to pay people not to work (as we pay the millions of unemployable people in the military and Heimat Security).

    Anyway, sports are for children. For diversions from their sorry lives, children need to learn to pay for themselves.

  21. Wow. I didn't realize we had a Queer Studies professor from Swarthmore on the blog.

  22. Aww crap, hating on sports AND the military?

    By chance, were you my waiting on me at Bourbon last week?

    You: rather pale, slightly emaciated, sort of an angry vibe.

    Me: Really wanted one final Bass after dinner, but you took your sweet ass time with everything so I just asked for the check.

  23. That's what you get for ordering light beer at Bourbon. Anyway, sounds like maybe you wanna meet up at Tryst for a chai tea. So very DC. Leaves me just giddy.

    You got it--but let's say "gender studies." That way, we can discuss superannuated boys who like to pal around, drunk enough to enjoy one another, while they watch men play in the grass. Or join the Marines.

  24. its okay, it is obvious that this person doesn't have any idea how the administration of a multi purpose sports stadium works, and even if she did, she'd be too aloof to acknowledge the benefits of such a place.

    nothing to see here. just another dolt who somehow thinks they're above the rest of society. i'm still trying to figure out the best way to get away from my "pathetic" life...oh, wait, its posting on this message board.

  25. Second best, actually.

  26. I'm confused by the pic of PG County....since its predominately african american. Seems like it should have read georgetown or gwu....can you explain?

  27. Anonymous said...

    "Jobs" at stadiums? Please. That lie has long been thoroughly debunked.

    It would certainly generate construction jobs at a time when those jobs are sorely needed, as a stopgap until the economy rebounds.

    But the stadium proposal doesn't hinge on jobs. Maryland's 11% Amusement Tax that the venue would pay for everything that goes on at the stadium would foot the largest portion of the bill. DC United's rent would foot the next greatest portion.

  28. Mayor Fenty made it clear he doesn't give a shit about soccer

    But the snake didn't do this until AFTER he was elected, with votes from DC United fans that he heavily courted by saying that the DC team should stay in DC.

  29. I didn't vote for the man and I never will.

  30. DC clearly screwed this up. It appears that the experience with the baseball stadium made the soccer stadium politically unpopular, which is sad because, as pointed out above, it would have been a much better deal for the city than the ballpark.

    If the new stadium is on the Metro in PGC only a few stops further from RFK, it should work out ok. I think most of DCU's current fans will find going a little further for a much better ground will be worth it.

    Some fans might be "scared" of PG county, but they said the same about MCI Center and it seems like suburbanites managed to eventually get over it once the Caps, Wizards and G'Town managed to generate some excitement.

    PG County is not the horrible, blighted wasteland that so many Virginians and Montgomery County folks think it is, but for whatever reason, it always feels like getting anywhere there takes longer than it should. If it's not on the Metro, it will be a white elephant, just like FedEx Field.