August 20, 2019

D.C. United: Club achieves greatest victory as City Council approves stadium bill

UNANIMOUS PASSAGE CLEARS WAY FOR SOCCER STADIUM AT BUZZARD POINT

For years, ghostly buzzards circled around D.C. United, waiting for the day when all hope of a new stadium was finally lost, and the team would either move away or disappear from Major League Soccer entirely. But on Wednesday, the D.C. City Council sent United’s future in the entirely opposite direction, passing a soccer stadium bill for the Buzzard Point site that should keep the club in Washington for decades to come.

The bill, in a three-vote process to include funding amendments, passed after a short bit of discussion among Council members, who raised some individual concerns but in the end didn’t waver from their support. [Read more…]

OPINION: United fans hope stadium will be club’s high-water mark

I listened intently Thursday morning as Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray took to the podium to announce what I hoped were details of D.C. United’s new stadium to be built at Buzzard Point in SW Washington.

These are words, you see, that I have waited 17 years to hear. I attended my first game as a fan on Sept. 6, 1996, a 2-1 loss to the then-New York/New Jersey MetroStars. I remember I drove through standing water in the streets of D.C. to get to RFK Stadium that night, the remnants of Hurricane Fran having caused water-logged travel throughout much of the Mid-Atlantic. [Read more…]

D.C. United and city agree to new stadium initiative

Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray, D.C. United Managing Partner Jason M. Levien, and several other officials formally announced Thursday morning plans to keep the Major League Soccer club in the city via a new stadium project to be built at Buzzard Point near the convergence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, only a few blocks from Nationals Park – the home of the city’s baseball team.

The stadium would seat between 20,000 and 25,000 fans, and would open no sooner than 2016, according to plans illustrated on the United website. During the press conference, Mayor Gray stated that the stadium could be used for other events such as concerts and college & high school football games.

The announcement, which emanated from the proposed stadium site, and was carried live on Comcast SportsNet and streamed on the team’s website, offered the most realistic hope yet of United finally escaping 52-year-old RFK Stadium and moving into a more proper facility for decades to come.

“The quest for a soccer-first facility has been going on since the team’s inception,” said Mayor Gray to a gathering of media, club supporters, five City Council members, and city residents. “We look forward to United winning even more championships once they get into their brand new, state-of-the-art stadium.” [Read more…]

Reports suggest D.C. United finally on verge of stadium deal

In news that sparked excitement and disbelief among D.C. United fans on social media, television (Tom Sherwood & Mark Segraves, NBC4) and published (Jonathan O’Connell, Washington Post) reports indicated Wednesday evening that United and Washington Mayor Vincent Gray are to announce a potential stadium deal on Thursday.

Early Thursday morning, D.C. United provided official notification of a “major announcement” involving the club. The press conference begins at 11 a.m. at First Street SW, in Washington, between S and T Streets, and will be attended by Mayor Gray, City Administrator Allen Y. Lew, United Managing Parter Jason M. Levien, and several other officials, according to the release. Despite the published reports Wednesday night, the United release makes no mention of the content of today’s announcement.

Wednesday’s reports indicated the stadium would be located at a site very close to the current home of baseball’s Washington Nationals. Ground won’t be broken on the stadium tomorrow, of course, and there appear to be hurdles yet to overcome (when has there not been with the stadium process for United?). [Read more…]

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