DCU Fans Not Going Green Any Time Soon

While it seems like a pipe dream at this point anyway, the plan to build a new stadium for D.C. United at Poplar Point just became a lot more complicated.

Five green groups -- The Earth Conservation Corps, the Anacostia and Potomac Riverkeepers, the Sierra Club, D.C. ACORN and the Friends of the Grateful Dead Earth -- have teamed up with Georgetown's law school to halt any plans for developing Poplar Point, according to Marc Fisher's latest column.

Save Poplar Point (from hippies).

The green folks want the land along the Anacostia River, which they say has been poisoned by dry-cleaning chemicals (among other things), to be cleaned up and preserved as parkland.

This doesn't bode well for soccer stadium plans, Fisher says, because "Whether or not the most dire claims of the greens are correct, the process of finding out can take many years and many millions of dollars."

So now what? Soccer Insider readers hinted at some slight frustration with the latest news and where this thing is possibly headed (anywhere but Maryland!):

I-270, Exit 1: Next up, the PETA lawsuit to prevent the loss of the rat habitat at Poplar point.

Virginia Blue Blood: This doesn't rise my ire towards Maryland but my ire towards the fools who are so wrapped up in the environment. If it stays as Parkland or the city has to pay to clean it up to what they want out of it - it's going to cost a TON more to achieve that and it will NEVER generate any revenue to offset those costs. Either way - the areas that taxpayers are so concerned about lack of funding for will lose in two directions.

The reasonable philofutbol steps in to make a good point. . .

philofutbol: I want a stadium in DC as much as the next guy, but environmental concerns are legitimate whenever you're talking about waterfront development. If it's true that the stadium can be built in a way that actually improves the environment and takes care of any toxics issues, then let's do it. If it will degrade the watershed or keep it from improving, find another site. I like soccer, but I like crabs and oysters too, and those are going to disappear if we don't get control of the pollution in this watershed.

. . . but Virginia Blue Blood won't hear any of it.

Virginia Blue Blood: I will punch the next Green Peace person or Global Warming troll on K Street I pass.

tim: VA Blue Blood, Too funny, I read your comment while waiting for my bus at Farragut West....I looked around but didn't see any Green Peacers. Hopefully there will be room for tailgating in Greenbelt...

Some readers aren't quite ready to give up on RFK Stadium and accept the same fate as the Redskins (Prince George's County):

Dan in FL: Why isn't the RFK site a serious possibility? Isn't that on/near/in Capitol Hill, which I thought was becoming a revitalized part of town? Plus, there's a metro stop right there?

Dadryan: One more vote for redeveloping RFK sight! The Implosion of RFK would draw a larger crowd than Beckham! I lived in Seattle when they dropped the King Dome to rebuild two of the most Awesome stadiums around. The public was skeptical with those plans but you'd probably have a hard time finding anyone in Seattle who isn't pleased with the results these days.

Kev: For the RFK re-development folks... Not even remotely possible. The city/sports commission is not shy about their desire to get the Redskins back into a super stadium on that site...

Building a stadium in -- gasp! -- Maryland seems to be a stronger possibility every day, doesn't it?

downtown: I don't want the team to be in Maryland, and I'm sure that's not the teams first choice either, but if I were the owners I think this would just be enough to seal the deal: Maryland Suburbs United!

Beltwayrob: PG United! CLAP CLAP CLAP PG United!

TCompton: I think that DC United gave up on Poplar Point a while back and have been moving forward with Maryland behind the scenes. They're only keeping the debate open to appear as though they're still interested in working with the City.

Interesting conspiracy theory. And speaking of United's people. . .

Gburg: Wow. Poplar point looks doomed. Where's DC United's PR dept? They're getting outplayed in the media; none of the negative stories are offset by anything positive out of the DCU camp. Come on, manufacture some news! Spin! Its the American Way...

And finally, our anti-environmentalist friend Virginia Blue Blood seems to be feeling a bit guilty about threatening Greenpeace:

Virginia Blue Blood: I just want to put out a statement to other readers so you all don't think I'm as insensitive and illogical as I sound at times. I want what's best for the club. If that's anywhere in PG County - that's fine. I'll find a way to rearrange my life to deal with the added commute so long as what the build is a carbon copy of VW Arena in Wolfsburg.

What do you think is best for D.C. United? If the team moves to Maryland, will you follow?

By Lindsay Applebaum |  June 24, 2008; 2:12 PM ET  | Category:  D.C. United , MLS , Rants , Soccer
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They should come to NoVA, we've got abysmal transportation infrastructure here too you know!

And lots of vacant land now that AOL are running away....

Posted by: Redcoat | June 24, 2008 2:41 PM

The first problem with this post is that your basing it on something Fisher wrote.

His stories regarding the soccer issue might as well carry a byline that reads, "Jim Rome."

Posted by: Eddie C | June 24, 2008 3:02 PM

I am a great fan. I am the greatest American soccer fan. I will not watch this team if they are not in DC.

Posted by: DC Fan | June 24, 2008 3:13 PM

I'll watch wherever, but that won't mean that attendance and atmosphere won't take a hit in Maryland or, Olsen forbid, Virginia. Every MLS team that has moved to the 'burbs has seen attendance drop. Granted, Greenbelt/New Carrolton is a lot closer to DC than Frisco is to downtown Dallas or Bridgeview is to Chicago, but it's still going to subtract.

Where were these environmental groups before United did all the work lobbying the government to hand the city the land? Did they have lawsuits in place then, too? Why didn't these groups get upset when the land was handed over in the first place (since it was known then that development was the goal)?

I also think Gburg is right about PR. So many articles published by this newspaper, amongst others, have cited false information or presented the anti-stadium side without adequate discussion of the pro-stadium position. For example, has there even been an article in the Post that mentions the $150 million the team is seeking is for infrastructure improvements (that any development, stadium or no, will require) and not for the building of a stadium? Why not spread the word that things like that are untrue?

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | June 24, 2008 4:13 PM

Is DC really such a cultural backwater that when someone says the word environment, you guys all think of hippies and the grateful dead? Wake up. It's no longer the 80's.

Posted by: not a deadhead | June 24, 2008 4:26 PM

Who do the environmental groups want to pay for the clean up, and when can they be finished?

Looks like weeds and toxins for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: JkR | June 24, 2008 4:56 PM

". . . think of hippies and the grateful dead? Wake up. It's no longer the 80's."

Yeah! And...and...and all you people in your earth shoes and your tie-dyed t-shirts with your smiley face stickers can all float on back to the 90's from whence you came!

Posted by: Terence Mann | June 24, 2008 5:27 PM

What exactly is the point of this blog? Reporting on comments on other blogs?

For the record, the development issue at Poplar Point is far larger than whether or not we (I am DC United supporter) get a stadium in that location. It is far more complex than can be covered in a single column in a newspaper or online, least of all by all an ill-informed Metro writer that rhymes with Dark Wisher.

The frustrating thing for fans of United that were hoping to be part of a development in Anacostia is that the amount of real community engagement that the team has achieved seems lost in all the articles published by the Post. Supporters have helped clean up the waterfront over the past few years. Sadly, folks like Fisher, Nakamura, and in all likelihood, members of the organizations banding together for this effort to deny any investment in a neglected Ward of DC surely have not done the same.

As a resident of Baltimore, a stadium closer to me is surely more convenient. But as an urban dweller who also enjoys football, it will sadden me if this opportunity is lost.

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | June 24, 2008 6:16 PM

i don't understand why no environmental group realizes that development will include:

1. a 70 acre nature reserve, it may be 40, but still, you're getting a real nature reserve
2. badly needed clean up of the anacostia
3. a tax base for ward 8 residents, who will continue to live in neglect without development
4. badly needed clean up of the park
5. a bridge over 295 that actually allows people to enter said park

Posted by: DCSharksFC | June 24, 2008 6:18 PM

I'm 100% convinced Marc Fisher was cut from his under 7 co-ed soccer team because a girl was better than him.

Ever since then he has disguised his complete lack of manhood by dissing a sport he was never good enough to play so he could fit in with the jocks. Uhh ohh but now the jocks are starting to like soccer. Marc's days are numbered and Lindsay is coming to knock him off the manhood team once again!

Posted by: Southeasterner | June 24, 2008 6:23 PM

Why not move to Northern Virginia since the team's shirt sponsor is also located in Northern Virginia. Obviously, these enviro freeks, not real ones, would like to make some recongnitions for themselves because they can't get anything done something useful so they see this as an opportunistic. If they are that much concerned they would've try to clean up the river a long time ago. They are basically keeping this place as bad as it will ever be. Most importantly these people never stepped into the place anyway. So, if that's what they really want than let's just have their and let them sit in a stinking junk forever rather attracting investment and revenue for the poor people of the residents.

Posted by: td | June 24, 2008 7:43 PM

Is Greenbelt part of the United States? This land....Greenbelt.....where does it exist? Oh where do I ask?

Posted by: Hoost | June 24, 2008 8:15 PM

Lighten up, not a deadhead. The flower child images are to distract us from what usually comes to mind when we we hear "environment," the EPA and millions of pages or regulation.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | June 25, 2008 8:56 AM

Right, like just one U7 girl was better than Fisher in soccer.

Posted by: Eddie C | June 25, 2008 9:51 AM

Part of the infrastructure is going to be fixing the sewer system that dumps turds into the Anacostia right?
Do these environmental groups even know what they are trying to prevent?
The re urbanization of America will be televised in HD. 20 years from now we will be happier to have the stadiums right on the River. A lot less of us will be living in the Suburbs and a whole heck of a lot of us will be driving a lot less.

Posted by: Dadryan | June 25, 2008 11:04 AM

I agree with the environmentalists. Instead of building high density apartments and retail they should put in (another) park and that way they will build even more suburban McMansions, strip malls and freeways for all the SUV's that will need to commute to MD because no office space is available in the district. Then the park can be used by crack heads and as a public dump just like the rest of the parks in Anacostia that nobody ever uses.

Fisher and friends are geniuses, I can't wait to hear their next lame excuse to not build a stadium. Apparently he and economist buddies had to drop the publically-funded stadium argument when they found out it actually wasn't publically-funded, and unlike the Nats, DC United owners are paying for the actual construction cost of the stadium.

How about this I will pay the metro fare for you to take Fisher and Goff (maybe even Nakamura) to the Anacostia site to give us the real view on its environmental benefit.

Posted by: I question Marc's sanity | June 25, 2008 12:20 PM


How much research went into this column of yours? Journalists still do research before publishing, correct?

I'm sure you are aware that DC's storm drains and sewer systems are linked and during heavy rain raw sewage flows directly into creeks and both the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. All you had to do was read yesterday's Post to learn about the poor schmos living downsteam of the new National Harbor development who now have sewage in their backyard waterways. So perhaps there should be some thought about how this will be better addressed by stadium developers than it was by national harbor developers.

And I'm sure you researched the toxic chemicals that will be unearthed at Poplar Point during development and likely runoff into the river. I assume through your scientific training you ascertained these chemicals to not be harmful and thus felt it appropriate to mock environmental groups as hippies? (which let's be honest, is a tired recycled idea).

The Nationals just built a LEED certified stadium that is good for the team while addressing environmental concerns. I'm sure DC United will be able to do likewise.

Save the hippie jokes for your myspace page.

Posted by: Stormblue | June 25, 2008 12:44 PM

Aw, Stormblue... It was a little joke. I love hippies. I also love flowers, butterflies, world peace and saving the environment.

Can't we all just hold hands and be friends?

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | June 25, 2008 1:54 PM

I am a great fan. I am the greatest American soccer fan. I will not watch this team if they are not in DC.

Posted by: DC Fan | June 24, 2008 3:13 PM

@DC Fan ... I'm guessing now you understand why Jack Kent Cooke didn't change the name to the Landover Redskins.

On this Poplar Point hubbub, sounds like the enviros are positioning so that they get a seat at the table ... and need a position from which to back down. I'd post this on Marc Fisher's blog, but I see no real purpose in leaving the blogging embrace of Bonita Peach Blossom of the hall of infinite mirrors.

Posted by: dcsween | June 25, 2008 5:22 PM

That was awesome.

Posted by: Bonita Peach Blossom of the hall of infinite mirrors | June 26, 2008 9:50 AM

I thought that Fenty had already awarded the development rights to that area to Clark? If that is so, then whining about a soccer stadium is hardly the issue. It is being developed whether people like it or not. It is whether or not to include a stadium with the other things that will be put there, regardless.

BTW, I live in Maryland, but would not like to see DC United move out of DC. It is where they belong.

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