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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.


  1. For everyone asking why they can’t stay in RFK: THEY LOSE MONEY EVERY YEAR THEY PLAY THERE. RFK is not a financially viable option.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. This sucks. I’m a DC resident, don’t want the tax hike for a new stadium, and don’t want to see them leave the city. Wish we could have had some sort of public private partnership to renovate/redo RFK. Its def. a let down. Fenty even announced at a DC United game that we were getting a new stadium, but I don’t blame him for not wanting to raise taxes for it in this climate.

  5. Never been to a DC United home game, but I love the way the atmosphere comes across on televison. I genuinely hope that United fans are well served by any new stadium and that the atmoshpere only gets better.

  6. How does the new Lyon stadium cost 100mil euros and the dc stadium cost $250mil?

    For a possible 20 games a year does it have to be state of the art…. it would be nice but not neccesary.

    avg attendance 20K (approx) new stadium 24k ie 20k fans are going there no matter what, so costing another $100mil (throwing that # out there) to be state of the art in order to attract another 4k fans, honestly i dont think its worth it.

    my $.02…. and let me know if i’m talking aout of my ass

  7. @J

    The three sites (apparently they are looking at 7 in the County) mentioned were around the Morgan Avenue and Largo Town Center metro stations. Essentially either 4 or 5 stops past the current station for RFK. That’s about 15 minutes more on the train.

    Driving is a little more complicated because, depending on where one is coming from, these locations are either a minor change in driving time, or they are a major addition to driving time. It all depends on exactly where someone might be coming from.

    You might think that moving the stadium to Maryland would make it a more convenient trip for Marylanders, but in some cases these locations will be less convenient.

    In the end though, it doesn’t matter. These are growing pains. United has to get out of RFK for financial reasons, and DC was simply unwilling to help broker a deal, so it was time to tell them to piss off and go where the team was wanted. Maryland.

  8. Relocation, Relocation, Relocation! Maryland United (although I’m still trying to figure out what exactly did they unite). Ha, ha! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch, eh. Actually, I was hoping DCs move would be to Baltimore. The closer to NJ the better for road trips. Now we’ll see how many DC dbags bail on their team.

  9. Martha, what on EARTH did that commissioner wait till today to object?

    Hokie–agreed, this was not because of the economic crisis.

    I would be all for scrubbin’ “DC” from the name, except it sounds so cool. I can’t imagine it being anything else. Maryland United? Right now, though it is DC Untied, unless they get something done somewhere. (no, that is not a typo)

  10. Dave b…you’re right they should stay at RFK…its better than most MLS stadiums. In the city, on the metro line, not enormous, and its THEIR stadium….there are no other tenants. Yes its a little two big, but its not worth rushing a new stadium.

  11. DC United just needs a new stadium, a soccer stadium! Who cares whether it is in the district or not. If it is just outside the district, it is not that much further away from their original plans of Anacostia.

    Seeing the stadium plans before, fans have to be stoked. First, Home Depot Center, then Red Bull Arena and DC United’s stadium. Three quality “soccer” stadiums in MLS with capacities 24,000 and over.

  12. How can Don Garber say this has gone on long enough but award Seattle a new team and next Miami who will play in a college football stadium?

    Its all a cash grab for the commish these days…disappointing

  13. Win:

    DC will probably demolish RFK to either make room for Dan Snyder’s wet dream stadium or for something else.

    For visiting fans, a trip to RFK is totally reliant on Metro for pre- and post-game festivities. It’s not like you can walk out of RFK and 5 minutes later you’re at a pub. None of the east coast teams would take a scenic route through DC to RFK; it’s all 95, Beltway, and 295. Thus, I’m really not sure why opposing fans who looked forward to coming to RFK would suddenly be turned off. I love RFK, but that’s because of all that I’ve experienced there. If I were a visiting fan, I would probably think the place is deplorable. Considering the improvement in amenities and the likely development that would be around the stadium (which would have to mean at least one bar), this should make road trips that much more attractive.

    I don’t think this is posturing for United. I don’t think there’s anyone attached to the team that has more patience for dealing with the city government, and the economy basically was the last nail in the coffin. The District might come up with a surprise in the 2-3 years DC would have to remain at RFK, but I expect that about as much as the CBA negotiations resulting in the salary cap going into the double digits.

  14. Real Salt Lake plays in Sandy…

    They could have put the stadium on the Utah State Fairgrounds near downtown SLC, to continue nico’s thought, but instead the stadium is in Sandy, 10 miles south of downtown. Nice stadium, though.

    At least they didn’t put it down in Utah County on the Geneva Steel property like was being floated around.

  15. loser dc fans???

    those were your boys that got crapped on back in november, wasn’t it??

    at least we won’t be in New Jersey….

  16. OOOOFFFFFFF! You had to mention my Marlins saga…and I cried when they tore down that beloved Orange Bowl, with beloved Gator/Fusion briefly in 2001/ International Soccer memories! However, they SAID the rectractable roof design would go over the adjacent (SSS)stadium to be built for the new/returned MLS team (formerly Fusion soon to be FCB Miami or some form of Barca)…and AM WAITING…they are a mess at best and a disaster at worst!!!

  17. Boo! blame the Nationals. From what I’ve heard the DC District Council was going to help United build but went with a baseball stadium when the Expos decided to move. The Poplat Point mock-ups looked awesome too bad that’s been scrapped.

    The root of the blame is really MLS owners that are looking for a handout when it comes to building stadiums though as if soccer in the US where on the same level as these other sports. They need to just fork up the cash and build it themselves.

  18. I have always wanted the stadium to be in the city, but this has been brought about by the city’s refusal to get the ball rolling on getting our stadium built.

    And it can’t be blamed on the economic crisis. This has been ongoing for years, and in fact, Fenty made it one of his promises, pre-election.

    But the city put all their marbles into National Park, which was a terrible choice. The citizens fronted most of the $700 million for the stadium, and they (Lerners) still struggle to pay the rent on the stadium (but continue to get a free pass).

    Whereas United was offering to pay 50% of the $250 million it would have cost to build the stadium in the city.

    But, I think its the right choice by United. For too long we have been getting screwed by the city, and its time we get a stadium, and stop paying rent at a run down joint, where they can’t even guarantee that the lights stay on.

    As for me, it won’t affect the amount of games I go to, provided it is nearby to a metro station (which it appears it will).

    And though I doubt it will happen, I really wish that we would drop the name DC. Don’t want to be associated with them if we are not going to be playing in the city. Simple as.

    As for the future of RFK, it is rumoured that Daniel Synder wants it torn down, so that he can rebuild a new stadium there, and move the Redskins in, within the next 20 years or so. Would not surprise me if the city bent over backwards for that, immediately.

  19. Stupid move. RFK is their stadium alone, is a fairly good size and has a perfect location. No reason not to stay there and wait out the economic slump until they can do something in the district.

  20. Any DC fan will tell you that if you dont play in the same state or city as your name it needs to change. So i expect to see loser DC fans advocating a change to Maryland United or PG United soon.

    Hope your stadium is a a cookie cutter piece of crap.

  21. NY plays in NJ
    Dallas plays in Frisco
    Chicago plays in Bridgeview
    LA plays in Carson
    Colorado plays in Commerce City

    I always hoped MLS would focus on the urban core. I’m sure some stadium sites have some density surrounding them, but nothing beats having your team be part of the central district’s fabric. oh well, I guess as Americans we are supposed to embrace sprawl.

  22. So what happens to RFK when United leaves? Does the stadium simply cease to exist?

    I know United doesn’t add much but DC certainly couldn’t pull a profit on the stadium with just the Eagle Bank Bowl and 2 or 3 concerts a year.

  23. Blake: This is not Garber’s issue. If anything he is doing the right thing by pushing the issue.

    Look, United has been in the league since 1996. They have always had great fan support from the beginning. United has lost a ton of money during those years because they are leasing RFK every freaking season.

    When United plays, I want all my money to go to United!

  24. Having a stadium right off the Metro stop is sweet…however, the politics of building a stadium, and aquiring the land allocation, let alone the High Caliber Design costs…yikes, says the Architect whom went to high school in P.G. County…of course my best DC game was on June 10th on a Thursday, my DC fan pals flew me up as it was my actual birthdate, and treated me as the FUSION played there…was fantastic to be there, and I was on the field at the half, for a special b day salute…but RFK is a cave compared to the intamacy we created at Lockhart in the first SSS in the MLS. So trust me with the original rabid fans in the MLS, an SSS will enhance them greatly…they do deserve it says the Metro/Fusion/Redbulls fan.

  25. yeah, that really sucks about the marlins… but they’ll figure it out, that team isn’t leaving.

    dont the redskins play out in prince george county? they draw more than 90k per game. dc has always been snooty when it comes to stadium negotiations. get it over with and move to maryland. man united plays just outside of manchester, kinda like dc would. didn’t really seem to hurt them.

  26. This stadium issue has been going on for too long. DC government drop the ball on this. Great job Mayor Fenty!

    I just want United to have their own stadium period! It can be in VA,MD,or DC. As long as United can stop playing in the run down RFK. Where lights go out in the middle of a match.

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

    Assuming the metro stops they are talking about, this stadium would be a most a mile or 2 farther from downtown DC than downtown NY to their new stadium or from Toyota Park to downtown Chicago.

    Would it be nice to have a downtown location? Yes, but this is no different than many of the other MLS teams.

  28. True, Dave, but I am also thinking about how the Marlins would be required to change from Florida to “Miami Marlins”, etc. Sometimes there are stipulations, depending on the make-up of the money trail.

  29. The sky is not falling. They are talking about a stadium that is on a Metro line just outside of the district. The only real negative I see is that it will be a worse drive for most fans from Virginia.

    Otherwise it is only a few stops on the Metro farther for some people. We are talking an average increase in peoples trip by maybe 10 minutes. With the forever discussed possibility of a purple line (talk about political feet dragging gone bad) and options for running the yellow line further on game days it is even possible that this would lead to less travel time for the average United fan.

    The new Stadium would be less than 2 hours drive from Philly and easier to get lodging near by. It is shame that the Anacostia sight didn’t work out, but this location is fine.

  30. Other teams whose names should change according to the logic of “they don’t play in the city so they can’t have the name” even though they still play in the metro area.


    San Jose


    Salt Lake


  31. Garber should STFU. What is that, a threat? What if DCU doesn’t get a new stadium? He’ll move them Ottawa and call them Club America Canada?

    I’m sick of Garber. I wish Gazidis had stayed and taken over.

  32. Let’s have it come to Maryland. If DC lacks the intelligence to allow United a new stadium, that’s DC’s fault.

    @ BlueWhiteLion: I’m sure they’d stay DCU. (The Redskins are still the Washington Redskins). I’ve heard rumors that the ‘Skins owner would want to build a new stadium, with a dome, on RFK’s site so he can host a superbowl.

  33. DC United (and MLS for that matter) are victims of the worlds economic crisis. The D.C. government cannot justify a 200 million dollar major public appropriation, especially in these bad economic times.

    As long as it stays on the metro line what difference does it make to a tourist if they have to a P.G County metro stop as opposed to the RFK metro stop?

  34. as a DC resident… I am super stoked that United is finally making moves to get a stadium…

    Fenty and the commissioners can rot in hell for all I care… none of them will get my vote in the future…

  35. DCU fans only rival baseball’s Marlins in their quest for a new stadium . . . (look at today’s commissioner’s fiasco that brought a vote to a screeching halt)

    DCU is likely hoping this will force the mayor and city to make a deal, or lose out forever. If the city continues to stonewall progress on a stadium deal, I would fully expect DC to move on. The team needs to.

    Questions: what would this do to their name? What is the likelihood of blowing up RFK and building there?

    I would hate to see them move, but a stadium in Maryland is better than a thankless quagmire in an ineptly run city.

  36. As a Revs fan who would who has been to DCU games before, I hope it doesnt kill the feeling at those games. Having been to DC, NE, and NJRB there is no way to compare NE/NJ to a DC game.

    But as long as the new stadium is still on the metro line it will be fine, i just hope they start their games 15-30 min earlier in order to get back into the city, or for VA fans to get back to their houses at a decent time(for saturday & sunday games).

  37. As a fan who commutes from Montgomery County, MD to DC for the games, I really could care less. As long as the new stadium is walking distance to a metro and a pub I am all good. This will be a good indicator to find out who really loves United and who doesn’t. If you are really a fan of the team, you will travel to see them wherever their home games are. I am happy they are getting stadium, that will make the Red Bulls stadium look amateur (lol!!!)

  38. It just is what it is. Wish it were different, but the team’s gotta do what the team’s gotta do. As long as it’s near a metro station, I’ll be there week in and week out. Otherwise, well, I love the team and all, but I’ve never had to budget the purchase of a car into my season ticket package…why, that’d be worth almost half a season at the Dan Snyder Experience at FedEx Field!


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