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D.C. United inch closer to new stadium after D.C. council approves re-designed proposal

D.C.UnitedStadiumRendering3 (DCUnited)

By DAN KARELL

The possibility of having a soccer-specific stadium within the District of Columbia is inching closer to reality.

Washington D.C. city council approved a revamped stadium proposal in session on Tuesday, clearing the way for D.C. United to have a new home on Buzzard Point. The proposal, which was passed unanimously by all 13 members, will see the district covering half of the costs of the expected $300 million soccer-specific stadium project, including infrastructure upgrades, as well as offering D.C. United property tax abatements.

D.C. mayor-elect Muriel Bowser also took out a controversial piece of the proposal, which involved the district swapping the Reeves Center with property developer Akridge.

Instead, the re-designed proposal calls for the district to borrow $62 million and shuffle an additional $37 million in capital investments to acquire the property. The D.C. council still may even use eminent domain to acquire the parcel of land.

The D.C. Council is expected to put the proposal to a final vote on Dec. 16.

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What do you think of this news? Do you see the proposal being approved on Dec. 16? Do you think it’s good for both the district and team?

Share your thoughts below.

 

Comments

  1. “as well as offering D.C. United property tax abatements.”

    to be clear, the DC Council REMOVED many of these tax abatements which were not popular. so no, they did not offer tax abatements. they were already there and the DC Council removed a lot of them. something DCU won’t be happy about but is what it is. the last sentence of the article even points this out:

    “Levien remained displeased, however, that the council had removed a sales tax abatement worth an estimated $7 million.”

    in a previous WaPo article:

    “D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) said he will ask his colleagues to vote Tuesday on a revised deal to build a professional soccer stadium in Southwest Washington that removes some of the previously negotiated tax abatements and would require more than $60 million in new city borrowing.”

    Reply
  2. Several points: obviously this could all change b/c the final plans aren’t, well…final yet. But…
    1. The concept is to have several stands close to the field and steep, ala Bombonera. The idea is to put fans close to the field and create a literal wall of sound–very loud.
    2. DCU officials (especially Payne when he was still affiliated with the team) made it a point of there needed to be a way to capture the moveable/bouncing stands in the supporters’ section.
    3. The intention is to make this a true urban stadium…one with a lot of walk-up traffic. Or one where even if people drive, they then tail-gate or go to a bar or restaurant or play some pickup soccer first and then walk in to the stadium.

    Reply
    • 2. DCU officials (especially Payne when he was still affiliated with the team) made it a point of there needed to be a way to capture the moveable/bouncing stands in the supporters’ section.

      Nice. I love that!

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    • Key words in your post: “looks” and “drawing.”

      I’m sure it’ll be built for (relatively) easy expansion when the time comes. Until then, why not build for your max in recent years?

      Reply
    • for what it’s worth (not much at this point), i’ve heard 20k, expandable to 25k.

      also–and not in reference to anything you’ve said–this is not close to a done deal, in my opinion. akridge (the main developer involved here) really wanted the reeves center that bowser removed from the proposal. they’re p!ssed, and i think there’s going to be a long fight if dc tries to eminent domain their @sses.

      Reply
      • Akridge can fight it all they want, but the taking of the land is done quickly and very difficult to fight in court, What usually ends up in court is the price the city will pay, so Bowser has probably cost the city more money than necessary.

  3. So dc united will have their stadium latest 2017, just as Atlanta will join LA2 that year.
    Just stay away from stadium designs such as galaxy’s, rsl, union, Chicago and go for something urban and skc style.
    Why not even go back to their classic uniforms and modify their crest.

    Reply
    • Here is a map of the future stadium site: https://goo.gl/maps/Bgh8h

      It will clearly be urban and about a ten minute walk from the Navy Yard Metro Station. The crest is fine. People now recognize it as the logo for the pro soccer team around here. The uniforms are the same as the “classic” ones: solid black for home. They’re not getting the three stripes back on the front unless Adidas decides to be a jersey sponsor. That’s unlikely since Adidas is already on the jersey since they’re the league-wide sponsor. I do agree that the away uniform would look cool with red shorts rather than white shorts.

      I’ve been to the Union’s stadium and it’s a good facility. It’s right next to a SEPTA regional rail line and the intersection of major highways that connect to the whole Philadelphia region. RSL and the Galaxy seem to do very well in their stadiums. I don’t know much about Chicago’s stadium. SKC has a sweet stadium but they’re not located in an urban place at all. Seems to work for them in their market.

      Buzzard point is in a good location in our market. It’s adjacent to a Metro station and centrally located. If you look at the site footprint, it will have to be urban as there simply isn’t land for lots of surface parking lots.

      Reply
      • I don’t know that I’d call Buzzard Point adjacent to a Metro stop, but it’s certainly Metro accessible from at least two stops.

      • yup, Waterfront or Navy Yard. Google maps shows a 17 minute walk from either. not terrible but not what most would consider a quick walk.

      • On the away uni’s, we’ve done the white shirt with black shorts a couple of times. Wish we would do that all the time!

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