5.10.2011

United Want D.C., Baltimore Want United

RFK

“We continue to work on this in both D.C. and Baltimore. We’re looking at several sites in D.C. We’ve had several conversations with the District. There’s no specific proposals being discussed at this time, but I believe there is a general consensus in the Wilson Building [city government headquarters] that they certainly want D.C. United to remain in D.C. On the other hand, Baltimore will probably come forward with a pretty solid proposal. There’s certainly a great location in Baltimore and a willing developer. We’ll be deciding, I hope, sometime this year what our future is.

“As far as which of the two cities, our name is D.C. United and we don’t take that lightly, but the Baltimore opportunity is a real one and we have to take it seriously and do our due diligence in both locations.”

-D.C. United President Kevin Payne on the D.C. stadium situation.

I'd never wish relocation on anyone, no matter which club they support, but not knowing anything from anything the last few updates from D.C. on the stadium situation make it seem like a move to Charm City is a real option. Not the first option or the best option but definitely a viable one. It almost seems we're being braced for it through a series of honest updates that will make for a nice bread crumb trail if a move to Baltimore ever happens.

But let's hope it doesn't because D.C. United belongs in D.C. Not in another city or a random beltway suburb. Although the location of their future stadium is unclear it's fairly certain that RFK Stadium, their home for the last 16 seasons, will not be the place they call home 16 years from now.

What to do when there's no future at home? Tough decisions could be looming in the nation's capital and not just on The Hill & in the Oval Office.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep United in D.C.!!!

Jay said...

Is anyone else using RFK for anything at all Why not make a temporary move while putting up a fancy-ass new stadium on the same site as RFK? How has this not even been an option?

Anonymous said...

S or get off the pot...

If its more important and financial to DC United to move 35 miles up the road and play in a stadium someone is going to build them for free, then take it. Now make no mistake, they're not going to draw the kind of crowds in Baltimore that they do in DC, but I've grown tired of the story.

DC United's current ownership group is in a predicament because they got snookered by AEG to buy the team thinking they could leverage it as part of a larger real estate deal. When that deal fell through, they were left holding the bag(DC United) and then the major money man(Victor MacFarlane) walked away leaving a guy with little "real" money in Will Chang. Chang has no money to put in to build a stadium and DC is not going to build one for him at taxpayer expense (which as a DC resident I am glad about).

The best thing that could happen for DC Untied right now is if Aunshutz bought the team back or if Chang found a new owner with some "real" money who could afford to help pay for building a new stadium. But at the end of the day, I almost wish DC would force United's hand by saying they will not extend any lease past the 2012 season to force a decision.

Andrew said...

@ Jay,

Ive been wondering the same thing for a while. I certainly dont know enough about the politics and economics that would be involved in it, but if DC values United being there I feel like something could be arranged to use the RFK site for a new stadium, as the current stadium is, for all intents and purposes, ONLY used by DC United.

SF said...

RFK Memorial Stadium is a federal monument, just like the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. Building on that land or renovating that stadium would require federal approval. It's damn-near a no-go.

That Guy said...

@SF
RFK is _not_ a federal monument. That's just incredibly wrong.

It is however on federally owned property. But that limitation should have little impact on what changes can occur to the facility. Those decisions are solely up to the whims of the WCSA

SF said...

^^^

I could be wrong. I'm just telling you what I heard. Maybe I misunderstood/overunderstood what they meant when they said the memorial was federally owned.

Anonymous said...

RFK is not a monument, it's a stadium. But as has been said it's on Federal land, and I believe there's various departments that have some kind of input on what happens there. My understanding is that bureaucratically it's going to be almost impossible to build something there, even though they have the space to play in RFK while they build a SSS next to it in an existing parking lot.

If the city really wants United they need to let them build at Poplar Point. I believe the ownership was willing to pay for the stadium there if the city would cover the cost of the infrastructure upgrades and additions, which need to be done if there's going to be development of any kind there. The city declined on the best and most likely option for everyone.

Honestly, it's hard to see United staying in DC as it stands. I don't have any inside info into the dealings, but the options are extremely limited and to this point the city hasn't appeared to expressed any interest in keeping United. Some lip service here and there about keeping them but no progress is ever made.

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