MLS- D.C. United

Ready for D.C. United to leave D.C.?


The long and torturous quest to land a soccer-specific stadium in the Washington D.C. area has hit a brick wall and has left D.C. United with no choice but to look elsewhere for a future home. As a result, D.C. United could soon become Maryland United. Not in name, but certainly in location.

The Washington Post reported today that D.C. United is committed to moving the club to Prince Georges County, Maryland in order to help United land a 24,000 "Urban Soccer Stadium."

The declaration came just a day after MLS commissioner Don Garber had some stern words about the inability to land a stadium in the D.C. area. Garber stated rather emphatically that the process had "Gone on too long" and that the club needed to resolve its stadium issue soon.

It appears that resolution will take D.C. to Maryland, a move that might not go over well with all D.C. fans, and probably isn't going to make visiting fans very happy either.

What do you think of this development? As a D.C. fan, do you just want a stadium already, or are you ready to keep D.C. United at RFK until a home can be found in the District? Are you an opposing fan who used to look forward to road trips to D.C.? Think this is just another threat by D.C. ownership to get D.C. officials to finally put together a concrete stadium plan together?

Share your thoughts on the D.C. United stadium situation in the comments section below.

  • Eugene

    This is no different than having a NY Red Bulls stadium in Harrison *NJ*.

    This is part of the DC metro area and it’s on a metro stop. I think it’s right for the team ownership and the league to play hardball in order to get this resolved, especially for one of the most storied teams in the league, so the district will either have to get serious (and get real) about making DCU a proposal to stay, or lose it’s team and the revenue from them to the burbs.


  • kebzach

    I enjoy reading the musings of soccer fans who have failed to notice how other sports leagues have struggled to build downtown stadiums, until just in the last 20 years. For every Camden Yards, for example, there was a Joe Robbie stadium built out in the middle of nowhere. For a more current example, ask yourself where the new “Dallas” Cowboy stadium is going? Or, where they think a new NFL stadium would go in “Los Angeles”?

    It is what it is and until soccer fans pony up to 3-5X the price for land in the city, that teams are paying in the burbs, it will stay that way.

    Be happy you’re getting a stadium, DC fans. And to those of you who won’t follow the team out to PG County…you will be missed, but also replaced in time.


  • kebzach

    Why don’t they just renovate/remodel RFK? The Nats don’t play there anymore and as far as I know DC doesn’t have any other outdoor sports teams.

    Posted by: Brett


    You’ve never been to RFK I see. For one, it would be literally a $ 200-300M project to re-do the stadium and second, just because it’s in the district already doesn’t guarantee that DC officials would be any more willing to work with DCU on that possibility.


  • Aljarov

    Suburban Stadia are white elephants.

    They are more likely to be the end of MLS than the foundation for it’s future.


  • kebzach

    Suburban Stadia are white elephants.

    They are more likely to be the end of MLS than the foundation for it’s future.

    Posted by: Aljarov


    Why? You act like any of these stadiums will still be viable, prime choices in 20-30 years when in fact, in 20-30 years MLS teams will be doing exactly what all other pro sports teams do these days- asking for newer facilities. Those newer facilities can be located anywhere (in theory).


  • j1m

    So, what you are saying Ives, is that, unlike the past, they will FINALLY have a legitimate claim to an “English” team moniker:

    The DC Rovers…


  • Matt Mathai

    So long as there’s Metro access, it’s fine. If DC didn’t care enough to try and keep the team, they can go pound sand.

    The name will stay the same, much as it has for the NY Giants, Manchester United, etc.

    Let’s get a stadium anywhere in the metro area and start making some money.

    Selfishly, my drive to games will be 20 minutes shorter.


  • Paul

    I am a little concerned about people saying that the Metro is a viable option to get to a PG stadium. The Redskins play in PG, and how many people take the metro to the Skins? None. Its a joke, the metro is almost empty after the Skins. I agree that RFK isn’t viable, and the Poplar Point thing is a disaster, but I worry moving to PG is effectively shutting out the VA suburbs. As far as pubs go, good luck with that in PG. New development, if any ever occurs, would take years. Just look at Nats Park. With the current economic environment, everything is on hold. And unlike an MLB team, United doesn’t have the resources to move to PG and sit for 10 years until development might show up.


  • Oranje Mike

    One day I hope MLS gets respect. How many clubs are turned away from the city they are supposed to represent? Bridgeview isn’t Chicago, Carson isn’t LA and Maryland isnt DC.


  • Kevin

    Wouldnt it be funny if they move to the burbs and then they’re attendance tanks and then all the sniping they’ve done about MLS NY attendance comes back to bite them in the ass.

    Posted by: RedBULLsfan

    When exactly did NY get an MLS team? That’s funny, because I swear I heard that there is a team in New Jersey, but I’ve never heard about anything in New York.

    And DC fans are not the lazy bums NYC fans are; they will go an extra 20 minutes to see their team play. Hell, the DCU supporters always vastly outnumber ESC at the Swamp, so I doubt that attendance will suffer more than 1,000 per game.
    That’s cute, though, that you even thought that NJ might gain some advantage of any kind over DC United.


  • joel

    i am sure everyone prefers to stay in dc but the club needs its own stadium. its a few metro stops further so all in all its positive step…hopefully its gets sorted out soon and we have a home.


  • Shmenge

    If it’s on the Metro line, what’s the difference?

    Nobody stayed near RFK and walked a couple blocks or drank near RFK and walked a couple blocks anyway.

    Besides, by the time you rounded the corner by the Armory and walked up to the stadium, it was 10 minutes from the Metro stop to RFK anyway.


  • Gary

    “So, are we going to start calling it the Red Bull New Jersey now?”

    so you mean like they were originally named?


  • onionsack

    Hey Kevin, just because Ricardo Montalb├ín died recently it doesn’t mean you can take over as overseer of Fantasy Island.

    Your “tradition” is over Maryland United. When Obama said he was gonna clean up Washington..he meant it.


  • silverrey

    Right now RFK and the land surrounding it are all federally owned and DC United pays rent. Mayor Fenty ~really~ wants the Redskins to move back and build a new stadium there, and may have the land turned over similar to Poplar Point. He’s already approached Snyder about it. So no go for DC United there.

    As hokieunited stated earlier, the Nats really screwed the pooch for DCU. Fenty was against paying for Nats Stadium from the get go. Now he’s totally gun shy as has been shown by his wishy-washy Poplar Point stand (even after promising DCU new digs right before he got elected). Although, the more I read about it, MacFarlane might have been overly greedy in his clauses to develop Poplar Point and may have used DCU in that respect (he did get his dinero from developing after all). I’m pretty angry at all sides that the ball was dropped for Poplar Point.

    DC United truly deserves its stadium. If it needs to be another ten minutes out, so be it, as long as it still has a connection to the Metro. My bad feelings for Fenty aside, It really should be closer to downtown – the fans truly deserve that!


  • the_slammer


    Tons of people, myself included, take the Metro to Redskins games, get off at Morgan Blvd, and make the 20+ minute walk to FedEx. If the new DC stadium is within a 10 minute walk of Metro there will be no excuse for not taking it to games. People are right when they say there’s nothing near or around RFK aside from the stadium and some rowhouses…all this means to the metro rider is just an extra 10 minutes out from the downtown drinking establishments.


  • cb

    DC should besiege RFK and lay waste to the lands around it, but sparing the white house. this from a red bulls fan.


  • Fredo

    This is my gripe:

    MLS is its infancy, is doing great for such a young league with its TV deals, stadium-building and slowly-increasing attendance.

    Why the hell are we bytching about stadiums being built just outside all of our respective cities? We have a lotta balls….


  • dealer2

    For those not from DC, PG is the worst place in the entire region for a soccer stadium, that is still serviceable by Metro.

    And I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Maryland legislature give a big NO to the proposal anyway.

    So don’t give up hope just yet for a SSS in DC.


  • rdg

    We are Washington DC, and we hate all of the teams that brand our name.

    That’s why we push them to Maryland.

    The Wizards got lucky, they can play where Georgetown plays.

    DC ?United won’t get to keep RFK because they’ll destroy it for the Redskins to build a dome.


  • DC Josh

    I have lived in DC my entire life and have supported DC United since their inception.

    -RFK (60,000+ capacity) is the oldest and crummiest stadium I’ve ever been to.
    -It’s over 30 years old with no updates.
    -No other sports or events are held in the stadium.
    -It’s falling apart, remember the lighting fiasco last season?
    -Although we routinely bring 18,000+ to games, DC United loses money every game because the lease is so expensive.
    -Worst concessions ever, you get to pick from chicken fingers, hot dogs, brats, nachos, and I don’t even think they have burgers.
    -It is still painted in the Redskins burgundy and gold.

    They HAVE to get out of that stadium and into a soccer specific stadium. As the best team in the history of MLS, we deserve a stadium of our own. DC doesn’t want us in there because they want a baseball team (we averaged better attendance than the Nats), so we will take our team wherever we can.

    It’s not that big of a deal that it might be in PG county, except the bad areas. It will only be minutes from the DC border, and a short walk from metro. The virginians can handle if they are really fans.


  • briank

    I have not read all of the posts so apologies if this has been mentioned,…DCU has been trying to get a stadium built for how long? And yet the Nationals show up and have a stadium thrown up like nobodies business. I don’t blame Garber for speaking out. This is a joke. Move to Maryland.


  • Andy

    Let’s be real. The proposed locations are only four and five stops down the blue line from RFK Stadium. People getting worked up over the “not in DC” thing aren’t going to be happy no matter what.


  • Don

    Positive steps by the ownership group to get this done, one way or another. As a point of reference, here is the approximate distance the stadium would be from the center of downtown compared to some other stadiums.

    Seattle: 1 mile
    Toronto: 2.5 miles
    Harrison: 8 miles (to Manhattan)
    DC (new location): 8 miles
    RSL: 12 miles
    Chicago: 12 miles
    Philadelphia: 14 miles

    All in all, not too bad. And most importantly, it’s on the same subway line RFK is on, so just a five more stops.


  • dealer2

    Sure, a SSS in PGC isn’t apocalyptic. Just ordinary.

    Think about beautiful it would be… a well-designed, brightly lit SSS across the short bridge to National Park on a summer night. Wow.

    DCU’s stadium could become a national sports icon, instead of another suburban soccer compound. Nothing against RSL, Dallas or the rest, but they only functional. DCU’s stadium could become a shrine.

    If only Fenty stops being a jerkoff and the Nats correct the “$700 million tax boondoggle” meme, it could still happen.

    If DCU can hold out for a year or more, maybe things will change.


  • flowmo33

    why does every dc team have toooooooo go into maryland? im a dc fan of every sport, but damnit i live in virginia. pretty sure theres more land and more than half the fans are from va. are the taxes better or something. put the stadium near dulles cus leesburg is blowin up. dc will never leave the area, but screw maryland, va is right next door(plenty of room, very wealthy area). whatev im goin to rfk to beat the hell out of costa rica no matter what.


  • flowmo33

    the metro goes everywhere in va! mad space for a new stadium. vienna, springfield? good spots people, va is the most supportive state without a pro team stadium. and damnit we deserve it. maryland is an awful state if u havent been. worst drivers ever……..everr!!! springfield is perfect for a stadium, mad room, metro close, latino influence. theyll still be dc but finally makin a smart decision to go to va.


  • Gary

    “Hell, the DCU supporters always vastly outnumber ESC at the Swamp”

    hmmm i guess i missed every single game that DC came up 95 for, cuz every game i’ve been to there was maybe 50-100 united scum and as per usual 250+ in 101.


  • Red Card

    Although DCU has been very tough on the pitch against its opponents, their owners have been very weak dealing with the local politicians. Reality is what this decision is all about. I strongly congratulate DCU, its fans and MLS on this important decision.


  • newyorker

    I’m not a DC fan but it sucks that it has to come down to this where DC United will likely move out of the district. I wouldn’t blame the ownership of DC as they worked hard to place a stadium in a underdeveloped area and repeately offered to pay as much of the cost of construction as they possibly could afford.

    That said, I think if the new DC stadium is at or near a Metro line and other mass transit it will still be just as viable if not more so.

    As for the changing the name of the team I think that is ridiculous. DC United has been one of the best MLS teams in attendance and has a rich history of winning, despite the results of the last two seasons. I mean DC united is one of the most recognized names in the MLS and has marketing value. I’m glad that the RedBull Arena is under construction and I hope you DC fans get your stadium built soon.


  • Manndibles

    The idea of moving DC United, a team with such a rabid core of fans, to a car-only accessible dump in PG County???? Truly depressing.

    There is plenty of good real estate within the District for them to get started on. Further, the key to DC United’s ‘survival’ as a top team is keeping it an urban team. There is nothing like being able to get a few beers in ya, get on the metro with fellow fans all moving in the same direction, and head into the stadium….all without driving. Alas, but MLS is only focused on the family. Which is why Beckham should leave and go to AC Milan. Pathetic.


  • stoked

    It’s a business decision, nothing personal. These are tough economic times for lots of businesses in the U.S., not just pro sports leagues. DC United will live on, and so will the Screaming Eagles, and so will MLS. We have to bend, not break. Change can seem scary, but, things will be alright. I say kudos to the MLS execs with the balls to make these tough decisions during these tough economic times.


  • Brian

    I’m glad the folly of building new half-billion dollar stadiums has fallen on the New Yorkers foolish enough to replace existing structures that were fine but did not have enough cup-holders, jungle gyms or luxury boxes. May the same ruin fall on DC for replacing viable structures for greedy ends.

    Garber is an accountant, not a commissioner.


  • Binks

    Who cares. They suck anyway. Them getting a new stadium down here is like repackaging a turd in shiny new wrapping.

    They’ll move, lose fans because they can’t be bothered to leave District (good riddens) and lose more fans when they fail.

    It’s a short drive to Philly. The sons of ben have already used some of your names to inflate their 1000 strong claim anyway, so start driving.


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