MLS- D.C. United

Report: D.C. United stadium could face delays over design disagreement


Just a week after being granted land by Washington D.C. for their new stadium, D.C. United are already facing issues that may cause significant delays.

The Washington Post has reported that an escalating feud over the design of the stadium between the team and developers with land south of the stadium site on Buzzard Point, led by D.C.-based Akridge, could cause the stadium to be delayed beyond its anticipated 2018 opening date.

DCU planned on seeking approval on November 2 from the D.C. Zoning Commission, a major final obstacle before construction can begin. But hampering this plan are complaints from the group of developers that the poor design of the stadium site will stifle economic development, and they appear to be ready to fight.

“Unless further changes to the plans are made in advance of the November 2nd Zoning Commission hearing, we will have no choice except to actively contest the zoning application and seek to have the Zoning Commission compel the team to make changes,” the developers stated.

DCU is contesting the complaints, stating that expensive changes, including adding new storefronts, connecting First Street SW through the site and relocating access to a loading dock, have already been implemented. Further changes are complicated by Pepco utilities that run through the site.

“We’ve done all these things and they’ve cost us millions and millions of dollars. They want us to move the trucks, they want us to move more buildings around and now they want to control the retail,” DCU owner Jason Levien said, “I think what they’re trying to say is they can appeal and delay this development for a year, and yet they haven’t done anything down there in a decade.”

The delay beyond the anticipated 2018 opening date comes with its own set of problems, as the team could lose several sponsorship and promotional deals planned upon the expected opening date, potentially costing tens of millions of dollars.

  • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

    judging by the US game and DC United games’ attendance…they can play on the field close by after the high school games.

    Liked by 1 person

  • bottlcaps

    As a former city planner, I’ve seen these scenario’s before. The Akridge developers are hoping to gain an advantage in defining the surroundings by threatening to “muddying up the pond” should they not get favorable alternatives. It all depends on if and when the Akridge group presented their concerns and complaints in prior hearings concerning the stadium. Then, if those complaints and concerns are met or have been discussed, they may have some leverage although apparently there have been changes made already, but were not “good enough”

    It will now be up to the Zoning Commission to decide if those changes have merit and have, or at least tried, to meet the concerns. As the changes sought are most likely not codified or defined in design or land use regulations, they are highly subjective. If there has been a preliminary approval by a design committee, or any other adjudicative body, then the ship, as they say, has pretty much sailed.

    Most likely, if some concerns can be met without a major redesign,the Zoning Commission, will probably ask for the changes. If not, I think there will be more pressure on them to proceed as is.

    Akrige, could of course sue, but it would be counterproductive as there is really little chance they could prevail unless they could convince a judge that they are materially harmed. They have not (to my knowledge) tabled any current or future plans before DC planning or zoning, concerning the future use of their property, the chance the judge would rule in their favor on speculation is ridiculous. But it could hold up construction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SilverRey

      Given the history between Akridge and the DC Zoning Commision, does anyone know what his standing with them is right now? How seriously would they take his position?


  • MiamiAl

    DC United and USA will be sorry when they are gone from RFK. Both teams were extremely dominant in that stadium. It has been a true home field advantage over the years. Visiting teams are hard pressed to walk out of there with a victory.


    • Lost in Space

      The financial benefits associated with owning their stadium is huge for MLS clubs as they can use the revenue to increase funding of their development programs and control of maintaining the facility. RFK is a s-hole that is falling apart. It’s past time that DC United moved out.

      Liked by 2 people

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