MLS- D.C. United

D.C. city council passes resolution in effort to keep D.C. United put


Photo by ISIphotos.com

For D.C. United, the resolution passed Tuesday by the D.C. city council is a small step, but a step in the right direction nonetheless toward keeping the club in the nation's capital for the long haul.

The Council of the District of Columbia passed a resolution, signed by council chairman Kwame Brown and councilmember Tommy Wells, calling on local goverment officials to find a long-term solution to prevent D.C. United from relocating.

D.C. United president and CEO Kevin Payne alluded to the resolution being passed at the club's kickoff luncheon on Monday, where he also added that an announcement regarding a new lease with RFK Stadium operator Events D.C. was imminent.

The council based its resolution on a number of factors, including the amount of revenue the club can generate for the city and it's commitment to local youth and charities. Recent developments of potential relocation to Baltimore or elsewhere have made the situation and effort to keep the club put more dire.

"The presence of the D.C. United team within the District of Columbia creates a beneficial experience for the city — both as a source of civic pride, as a true community partner working with youth and underserved neighborhoods and as a successful business that contributes to the tax base of the city," the council wrote in its resolution.

"It is the sense of the Council that the District of Columbia should take active steps to create strategies and solutions that keep D.C. United as a professional soccer team located within the District of Columbia."

The resolution itself does not guarantee a thing, but it puts pressure on local officials to come up with solutions to ensure United does not leave — solutions that include finding a location for and the means to build a soccer-specific stadium. As it stands, D.C. will enter its 17th season at the aged RFK Stadium, which it must continue to lease in order to use as its home venue.


What do you think about this development? Feeling optomistic about D.C. United's stadium chances? 

Share your thoughts below. 

  • Matt Mathai

    Shovels in the ground. That’s when I’ll be optimistic. Until then, it’s all political posturing so far as I’m concerned.


  • Tyler

    Coming from the DC Council this doesnt mean much.. And that’s just the sad reality of the situation.


  • RedStateJim

    I don’t understand why they can not tear down RFK and put a new stadium there? It most cost a fortune to keep the old place up and running. I was at a Dead show there about 20 years ago and it was a piece of crap then.


  • M

    Good News !! Now i won’t have to worry about getting STD shots in lieu of a move to Baltimore


  • N

    They don’t even have to do that. there’s enough room in the parking lot to build a new stadium next to RFK


  • mighty!`

    RFK is Fed Land and only managed by the city. If RFK is razed, land goes to the Fed, and the Fed has plans for it. It is in the city’s best interest to not do anything to RFK and be a “slum lord” of sorts (more income for the city).


  • Münster

    glad to see Kwame Brown found a career in politics after a failed one in the NBA


  • Jack Jones

    Too bad most the DC councilman are shady and semi-corrupt. I dont trust most of what they say.


  • KevDC

    Also, a tweet from the mayor (@mayorvincegray):

    “Thanks to @CouncilOfDC for passing resolution supporting DC United staying in District. Glad they are finalizing new lease at RFK.”

    While in and of itself this and the resolution from the Council doesn’t mean all that much, it actually IS significant that DCU is finally on our local politicians radar (stunning that it took this long, I know). A couple months ago I emailed my city councilman and he DIDN’T EVEN KNOW that DC United was seriously considering moving to Baltimore.

    We’re tired of the long wait, but a new two-year lease at the lovable dump that is RFK is important. It means DCU isn’t fleeing anytime soon, and assuming they got more favorable terms, they might be able to at least break even and stem the $ losses.

    True, it’s all talk until there are shovels in the ground, but for the first time in a long time there is a sense of momentum — on and off the field — for our beloved Black and Red.

    Vamos United!


  • PD

    was not aware of that situation regarding ownership. means that neighborhood will continue to languish even after DCU gets a stadium and pigs fly… yet another example of how money can cause more problems than it can solve…


  • Rich in DC

    I think the 2 year lease also represents the clock ticking on whether to stay or leave the District. There must be a decision either way by the time this new lease expires.


  • CJ

    If DCU was a baseball team, the city would be falling over themselves to whatever it was the team wanted. Are Jim Rome and Frank Deford on the DC city council?


  • TBrodie

    Could they get around that by doing a Soldier-Field-style gutting of RFK and building a soccer stadium inside the shell of the old stadium? The place is truly a slum. It would be nice to get the National Team involved so they could share the new stadium with DCU.


  • elgringorico

    Am I the only one that still loves RFK? There’s nothign wrong with it! It’s home! Ahhhhhhhh


  • fischy

    Not really so. If they tore it down to build a new stadium, they would still be within the terms of the federal land-grant.

    The reason it isn’t being torn down is probably two-fold — lack of money and the city’s dream of replacing it with a gleaming new 80-100,000 seat palace for the Redskins. When the Redskins are ready to come back to DC, the wrecking balls will fly.


  • fischy

    Interesting post, Kev. I didn’t realize the council was so so ignorant of the team’s current circumstances. I’m ticked off by Gray’s tweet which suggests the new lease is in keeping with the directive to keep the team in DC — but, maybe the council’s vote will put this on some folks radar. It’s been a question on Kojo’s Nnamdi’s Friday politics show for the last couple of weeks — so, maybe this does represent some move forward. The only problem is the same people crowing about this — notably Jack Evans — are also saying there is no way for the city to borrow money for a new stadium, even if the city was so inclined.


  • DC United Fan

    Dan Snyder could take some lessons from Kevin. He’s an owner that really cares about the community and the city. We should reward his positive behavior. Until Danny boy sells or the Redskins get better, they can suck it. Vamos united!


  • Dancy

    The owner is a Will Chang, Kevin Payne is president. The rest I agree with. DC United really does a lot of great things in the community.


  • irishapple21

    Why don’t they just knock down some of those boarded up tenements I see everywhere I go in DC? Haven’t they ever heard of eminent domain? Baltimore United still rolls off the tongue, I guess.


  • Eurosnob

    Here are some things that are wrong with RFK. First, the rent is by far the highest among MLS teams, which puts a strain on DCU’s finances and negatively affects their competitiveness. Second, it is not soccer specific and is falling apart. Third, the team cannot make money of parking and concessions. If you were to build a new soccer specific stadium with a capacity around 30,000 in DC or even Northern Virginia, it will sell out for every game.


  • kfly

    I don’t know if you understand what the term “in lieu of” means…or what humor is.


  • BamaMan

    You got it. The federal land issues can all easily be solved with political will. Just call the new venue “New RFK Stadium.” The problem is the pipe dream of bringing the Redskins back to DC proper. I don’t think it will happen but some in DC do. But it would be 10-15 years from now. More likely is DC United gets more favorable lease terms and maybe a few million for improvements to RFK. But the city council is going to sit on RFK until they know that they know that the Redskins are never coming back.


  • quen47

    Totally. Since poor people have no political power, let’s knock down their houses for a soccer team!



  • DCUPedro

    And I’m not aware of many STD’s that one can get vaccinated for. And DC’s HIV rate is one of the highest in America. But other than that, this post makes sense.


  • DCUPedro

    Not to mention, as most DC residents will tell you, there aren’t that many large public housing tenements left. Everything is being redeveloped. Even lower income neighborhoods of single family homes are vein gentrified.


  • Angel of LA

    oop I mean You took my punch away, I was going to say something similiar.


  • Cavan

    No. It’s more that the elected officials are old and out of touch. They think like it’s still the early ’90s and the ‘skins are still Super Bowl champs, the city is a mess of blight and red ink, and no one wants to live here.

    They don’t get that it’s 2012, the ‘skins are a laughing stock/hated due to their owner, the city is vibrant, growing, (relatively) fiscally sound, and a very culturally important and desirable place to live.

    They also live in the past before DC United was founded. It legitimately wasn’t on their radar. Look at Mayor Gray’s initiative to built a fenced-in ‘skins practice facility on extremely valuable land that is next to a Metro station. That’s valuable land that could be used for new neighborhoods and businesses that would improve the tax base. People would pay good money to buy and rent real estate there. However, back in the early ’90s, a ‘skins practice facility was the best they could hope for because of all the factors I mentioned above. Again, it’s just that it’s 2012, not 1992.


  • Cavan

    Except Northern Virginia is both the most NIMBY-friendly place ever and has a state legislature that won’t pay for small infrastructure upgrades (the state controls all roads except in Arlington County). It’s Maryland or D.C. We’re all hoping D.C. (including those of us who live in Maryland).


  • Cavan

    What boarded up tenaments? Except east of the river, the city is either revitalizing around existing housing stock or is getting new housing stock built.


  • bryan

    exactly. the truth behind all of it is that they want the Redskins back at that site. so they are holding out as long as they can. luckily for them, they have DC United to lease it and keep it (barely) running.

    i seriously hate the Redskins. it’s their fault we can’t tear down RFK and it’s their fault we can’t get approval right across the river in MD. the local community governments are still mad at the Redskins for saying they would pay back tax payer money used on FedEx, which the Redskins haven’t done. i hate Dan Snyder. He ruins everything.


  • bryan

    while i do kind of agree, i think if DCU were serious about moving out to the Herndon/Sterling/Ashburn area, they would find a lot of support. there is SO much land out there and they are trying to build build build. especially since the Metro is going to be all the way out there by 2018 (2013 for Reston).

    but DCU probably does not want to go out that far (still not as far as FC Dallas or the Revs). instead, they are looking for a place in MD that is closer because Arlington/Alexandria, VA don’t have any extra room and those are the closest spots to DC that are in VA.


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