6.18.2009

Say hello to the "Dulles United"

The Post is reporting that the DC United is continuing its quest for a stadium in the area. Months ago the deal for a stadium in the District fell apart, and it looked like they would become the Prince George's County United. Sadly, that deal fell apart too, and now the team is considering Montgomery County as well as Loudoun County.

The team is circulating a survey amongst fans asking for their preference in location. Montgomery County seems to be the front-runner here, since they apparently have some sort of "Soccerplex" in Wheaton or Silver Spring. The sleeper entry here is Loudoun County, which continues to delude itself into some sort of relevence within the DC Metro area. They lay claim to about half of Dulles International Airport, plus a whole lot of home foreclosures. Located 40+ miles away from the District, it would be stretch to call the team the DC United if they build a stadium out past the airport.

However, why not move this out to Virginia? Apparently soccer is very popular out there.
"There's no doubt that Loudoun County would be a fantastic place for a soccer club. It's ground zero here for soccer on the youth level," said David D'Onofrio, a Leesburg communications consultant and soccer fan who has pushed for a D.C. United move to Loudoun. "If you take a look at where Major League Soccer is finding success, it's in suburban areas as opposed to urban areas."
Fans clamor for 'boarding passes' to see the Dulles United square off in a 'match'

Public financing is probably out, as Loudoun County is struggling and can't drop a few hundred million on a stadium no one will want to go to. So why not explore corporate sponsorship. Given the team's name and the close proximity to the airport, why not team up with United. They are out of bankruptcy so they are probably looking to waste money again, right?

Wait, no, how about we keep them in DC. We aren't good at keeping anything around, and pretty soon the Nats will probably move to Portland. However, instead of dropping another near billion dollars on a stadium for the Redskins, why don't we just make RFK the permanent home of the DC United. It's already got public transportation connections, supposedly there'a some people here who enjoy the games, and it's working fine for now. Sure, it's not 'OMG' new development at Poplar Point but it's in the District. Someone out there in Internet land, tell me why RFK is an unacceptable option.

8 comments:

  1. Then give them dibs on the National's stadium for whenever they move their sorry butts out of here.

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  2. The nationals aren't going anywhere. They're actually a fairly profitable team.

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/111384

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  3. AnonymousJune 18, 2009

    When the Nats built the stadium, that pretty much cemented them to be in DC for a while to the dismay of the WIHDC. When they are successful, whenever that is, they'll have more money than what they'll be able to do in Portland.

    And the United should stay in DC. The reason why they need to be out of RFK is b/c they don't own it. They pay rent and that is expensive. Also, the MLS wants teams to be in soccer-specific stadiums. A decrepit RFK doesn't fit this description. The best place for them is in DC somewhere along the Anacostia, either Poplar Point or near RFK. But people want DC teams in DC. And that's despite most of the fans being from outside DC, mainly in the VA burbs.

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  4. Why not work out a deal to renovate RFK with some sort of transfer of ownership?

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  5. I think the ownership is some gordian knot of local/federal ownership. DCSEC owns (or runs, anyway) the stadium, but I think the feds own the land. So if RFK is torn down (say, to make a new stadium) then the land goes back to the feds to decide what to do with it.

    Even though replacement of RFK on site is the most glaringly obvious plan, the logistics must be nightmarish for the team to never consider it.

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  6. AnonymousJune 18, 2009

    When barrels of light, sweet crude oil are priced above $60 each; all airlines face certain death.

    Crude was trading at over $110 per barrel last year. It is over $65 now. Those numbers just don't work within the parameters of modern airlines' business plans.

    Any bets as to how long United survives? Fly now, or forever hold your peace.

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  7. Well, my main argument for them NOT staying in RFK is because RFK is a piece of shit and is falling apart. No matter how well soccer is currently working there, it really is in desperate need for a major renovation, which I would be all for. Then we could knock down Fedex Field and move the skins to RFK. Fedex sucks as a football stadium.

    To the ass hat above me, DC United has a small, yet passionate fan base. Have you ever been to one of their games. Wait, do you even live in the DC area????

    I think United would also do well in the Wheaton/Silver Spring area, given the large Hispanic population. Not being stereotypical, but they make up a large part of the crowd at United games.

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  8. I am so not likely to trek out to Dulles in rush hour traffic or even weekend traffic to see a game. If its not on the metro, its not likely that I am going to game. And who the fuck called Loudon the hot bed of DC area soccer? 20 years ago there wasn't even a soccer ball in the state of Virginia. Montgomery Co is the DC soccer hotbed and I wouldn't trek out to Rockville or Gaithersburg for a game either.

    Someone @ DCU needs to sack up and build a stadium, because no municipality is paying for the free parking square, let alone a whole stadium. Why not start building in the RFK parking lots and demolish that turd as the new stadium is built and the space is needed? Sort of how NY built Citi Field in the Shea Stadium parking lot.

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