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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.
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