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Early Edition

The full story from Friday's print editions on today's Poplar Point discussions and a graphic to accompany it.

Whatcha think now?

By Steve Goff  |  February 14, 2008; 10:19 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Vanney's Rights Going to Galaxy

Comments

I will go on record as saying DC United will be playing in a new stadium at Poplar Point at the beginning of the 2010 season. Its going to happen.

Posted by: DC United Fan | February 14, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I will go on record as saying it looks more favorable than it did this morning when I was rather skeptical.
I really want it to happen. And it is beginning to look as though it will.

Posted by: marksman | February 14, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I have been asleep and having the strangest dreams - something about me chasing a round ball in an environmental museum - while walking over an interstate. I wake up in the mornings feeling empowered

Posted by: diego r. | February 14, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I just don't understand this. Fenty really seems to have screwed us (DC Residents) over on this. With MacFarlane's first proposal the city paid between $200-$300 million, and the project might have been underway months ago. Now, the city might be in for that much for the Stadium and another 200-300 for the infrastructure for the rest of the development.

Just stupid on Fenty's part.

Posted by: Wha?? | February 14, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I'll put money on our new stadium having solar power to be carbon neutral, just like Blackbaud in NC. We will be the first professional sports team to be carbon neutral. Pretty hard for the environmentalists to argue against that. Anyone want to bet me on it?

Posted by: David | February 14, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I should have said we'll be the first professional team in all the major leagues.. obviously the Charleston Battery have us beat.

Posted by: David | February 14, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Does United get to buy the stadium site from Clark Realty? If United can't reap the benefit of concession and parking revenue (limited though that may be)at Poplar Point they might as well build in College Park.

Posted by: Publius | February 14, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

I hope and pray that it is going to happen, but I still am thinking shenanigans.

Posted by: gilbert | February 14, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

it's nice to be optimistic but I don't see how this could possibly be built in time for the 2010 season. The earlier article said 3-4 years. So that's the 2011 season if we're really lucky.

how close is that site to the metro station?

Posted by: Glenn | February 14, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Charleston is in SC :)

Posted by: RK | February 14, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | February 14, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I'll go on record as saying that there are still only 33 days to the first home match.

Also, I'm still curious about Vanney's situation.

Posted by: Curious | February 14, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

my bad - SC.

But really, picture it: United announces that it will build the first carbon neutral professional sports facility in all of the major leagues, to be nestled in the Environmental Office Park in Anacostia, and environmentalists come out against it.
Excellent. Bring it on.

Posted by: David | February 14, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Fisch Fry says: I think there's going to be lots of drunk United fans diving into the Anacostia to celebrate a championship or two.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | February 14, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

The people that think this is a brilliant move by the city are just as naive as the people who think the city is getting screwed. There are no details to see.

The city has made some investments like this that have paid of like the infrastructure around the Verizon center and little things like subsidies to attract the Whole Foods to Logan Circle. If people don't believe those projects paid dividends their just fooling themselves. At the same time the Convention Center is looking like it's not a good move at this point. What will be the end result for SW once the baseball stadium has had an opportunity?

In the end, the City will make an investment at Poplar Point. It will either be a Target and a Best Buy (or somesuch) or it will be something bigger like a DC United Stadium.

I'm biased because I love DC United, but I also live in DC. Building a stadium seems to be reaching for the stars, but building a Target and Best buy is aiming low. Both could have a positive or a negative impact. One thing is for sure, people that want to stop development to protect that "pristine" land are wasting their time. Something's going up on that land in the next few years. The only thing that will stop it is an economic meltdown which Ward 8 is entitled to avoid.

Posted by: DuPont Mike | February 14, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Being from Utah, I got entirely too pissed off and involved over the fight that erupted there about RSL's stadium.

I won't put myself through through that again. It will be the same roles being played, with the familiar, tired, emotion charged, fact deprived arguments.

Therefore I'm out of this one.

When someone starts clearing stadium land, either at Poplar Point or somewhere in Maryland, wake me up. Until then it's zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz for me.

Posted by: seahawkdad | February 14, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

All I know for sure is United is very fortunate to have Marion Barry pulling for the soccer stadium. Love him or hate him, he still pulls a lot of weight in this town and obviously plays a role in the significant support United is seeing from Ward 8 residents. I hate to think of where things would stand without him.

In my view, the idea that a soccer stadium is a luxury is a narrow one. The Verizon Center was the keystone to the Penn Quarter's revitalization (not to say all its effects were good), the National's stadium has already started to transform SW (not to say the city made a good deal for itself). My point is, the two other stadiums have had and will continue to have a major, mostly positive effect on wide areas around them as well as the city as a whole. Is that a luxury? *If* the deal is a good one for the city then its simply good business. I could understand the POV of someone feeling this particular deal wasn't a good deal but to state no deal involving a stadium is a good deal is asinine. Just as is saying any deal is a good deal.

Unfortunately, things won't always be calmly assessed because of blood left over from the baseball stadium deal.

What's that ancient Chinese curse - may you live in interesting times.

PS- The next person to cause Goff to say he sometimes wonders why he bothers with this blog gets buried under the new stadium.

Posted by: Kire | February 15, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I thought MacFarlane planned on chipping in all along. Is Fenty being hypocritical or was he dealing through a middle man who didn't spill all the details? Maybe he's trying to paint DC United to look like the bad guys, so he looks good. This is absurd. Give us our stadium!!!

Posted by: BigWave | February 15, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Fenty isn't really being stupid. He had to satisfy certain friends who stand to benefit from teh contract, which they would have been denied had United's plan gone through. Will this cost the city more? Undoubtedly, but Fenty and his friends will like it better.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Move United to St. Louis!!!

Just kidding. Seriously though, screw Poplar Point and build the stadium in Maryland. I have a feeling that if DC builds in DC they will end up getting the same raw treatment as they do in RFK. Somehow it won't be "our" stadium.

Build it in PG county and when all is said and done, Fenty can look like the ass he is, because PG county will be making a ton of money off of the stadium, money that could have been going into the coffers of the District.

Posted by: Willy Wonka | February 15, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

PS- The next person to cause Goff to say he sometimes wonders why he bothers with this blog gets buried under the new stadium.

Posted by: Kire | February 15, 2008 12:19 AM
________________________________________

I'll bring a shovel. And a four-pack of Guinii.

Posted by: DCUInWheaton | February 15, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I was feeling a little cheap there. Make that a keg.

Posted by: DCUInWheaton | February 15, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Put DCU in Wheaton. Raze Wheaton High School. I used to teach there. It won't be missed.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

The devil is in the details. Whether a deal can be worked out with DC and DC United (and Clark Realty, I suppose) will all depend on what the city is offering and what they are demanding. If there is some public funding and DCU retains management and revenue retention, including naming rights revenue, from the stadium (regardless of who actual owns the stadium) then a deal will likely happen. If Fenty and the city want to control the stadium and garnish the lions share of revenues from it a la RFK, then the team will opt for Maryland. Surely, it's more complex than that, but that's the basic point.

The good thing is that if this is worked out now, then the time frame for building at Poplar Point is likely no worse than one at any other potential site (considering Maryland is still in the "planning to do a feasibility study" mode).

Posted by: Phil | February 15, 2008 1:36 AM | Report abuse

#4: "Optional location for a soccer stadium."

Yeah, whatever.

Posted by: roadkit | February 15, 2008 1:59 AM | Report abuse

For the ex teacher from Wheaton HighSchool you must have gotten beat up to say such a thing, or something worse.

Posted by: Ex Wheaton student | February 15, 2008 2:38 AM | Report abuse

Its over DC got screwed and the beautiful stadium will be built elsewhere shame really.

Posted by: Hank | February 15, 2008 3:10 AM | Report abuse

Move. To. Maryland.

Posted by: Sharp | February 15, 2008 4:49 AM | Report abuse

DCU isn't moving to Maryland.

This is just D.C. politics, like I said 4 years ago and I say it now, EVERYTHING that gets done in D.C. gets past the brink then two hours after the final deadline a deal is reached.

Posted by: Rocko | February 15, 2008 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Stop comparing the Nationals Stadium to the Verizon center or to the DCU stadium.

Verizon gets used over 320 days a year, that is real tax revenue.

The Nationals stadium will be used almost exactly 81 times a year, and what has been a much bigger boon to that area is all the federal buildings (DOT, etc) and the expansion of the Navy yard which had nothing to do with the Nats.

The DCU stadium will probably be used 150 times a year with boat shows and what not.


The DCU stadium is much better than the Nationals stadium for tax revenue but not as good as the Verizon center.

Posted by: 13th St. S.E. | February 15, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

i have 2 problems with this article:
1) there is hardly anything new in this "updated" article. why recycle quotes and text so much? i feel like i've read the exact same thing 3-4 times in "updated" articles.
2) why quote mahatma gandhi?!? there is actually a link for mahatma gandhi. must be an error.
"Gandhi has cautioned city officials to begin conserving money amid a national economic downturn. He also has warned that the city is approaching its borrowing threshold on Wall Street."

Posted by: hokie soccer fan | February 15, 2008 6:40 AM | Report abuse

The Gandhi thing is unintended humor caused by the Post's overuse of hyperlinks.

Posted by: Rocko | February 15, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

I like the article much better. Hey I like having over and over if it has a little updates in it. It spreads the word and United name. Keep doing it.

Posted by: td | February 15, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Fenty is a good guy and just doing his job (unlike the previous mayor). Give him a break. Judge him by the results at the end of this whole process.

Posted by: FC | February 15, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Like I said in the last PP post:

---------

This article doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know months ago...DON'T EXPECT PUBLIC FINANCING.

Wasn't that always the plan? How does this change anything?

Posted by: BK | February 14, 2008 04:29 PM

----------

Folks, we were expecting to float the entire bill for the stadium all along. All we ever needed was the land to build it on. It looks like we are going toget what we wanted.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Is DC building a stadium for $190 million? Wouldn't the details of what DC is spending their money on clarify this issue?

"...to fund $150 million in construction bonds for a soccer stadium. The city also would lease 11 acres, valued by administration officials at $40 million, to United, bringing the public subsidy to $190 million."

Specifically, is the $150 mil for infrastructure costs related to building the stadium? I think so - but it isn't clear.

The land lease evaluation ($40 mil) isn't a true cost because this land was transferred to DC from the federal government. Effort pushed by many including MacFarlane. Hmmm.

Seems like this whole issue isn't communicated very effectively.


Posted by: JSF | February 15, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't it all come down to a numbers game now? HOw much does MacFarlane have to kick in, and what percent of revenue does United get from concessions and parking? And is that a better deal for us than what the team might get in Maryland? All I can say is more of the control is now back in our hands.

That's a good thing. And I agree, all Fenty did was do an end run to get the bid he wants and show more control over the process. He's done that. Now it's our turn to come to the table.

Mayor Barry deserves a sky box and unlimited Coke. Coke-a-cola.
;)

Posted by: David | February 15, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Fenty Field at Marion Barry Stadium?

Ha.

Posted by: BK | February 15, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

with a statue of the two exchanging man-hugs and "4 more years!! 4 more years!!" balrring over loud speakers.

Double Ha.

Posted by: BK | February 15, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Fenty is a good guy and just doing his job (unlike the previous mayor). Give him a break. Judge him by the results at the end of this whole process.

Posted by: FC | February 15, 2008 07:44 AM
__________________________________________

FC: have you ever met fenty? he's my neighbor, and "good guy" has never been a phrase that comes to my mind when i deal with him. re: "the results," it looks like we will be paying a lot more for development at poplar than we would have if we just gave the land to united in the first place.

Posted by: Nor-ouest | February 15, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

My understanding was that DCU originally intended to fund the entire stadium costs (150 mil) and that they were looking to the city to foot the bill for the infrastructure.

Either way, DC will end up playing at Poplar Point. The fans will be happy and Fenty will look like a hero.

I just hope that DCU has "say" in the new stadium.

Posted by: Nerfherder | February 15, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Specifically, is the $150 mil for infrastructure costs related to building the stadium? I think so - but it isn't clear...

...Seems like this whole issue isn't communicated very effectively.
----------------------
It is this kind of reporting that drove me nuts in the RSL stadium dust-up.

Hopefully David Nakamura isn't channeling The Salt Lake Tribune's Derek Jensen. And hopefully TWP still employs thoughtful, hard-nosed editors

But enough. Back to sleep. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: seahawkdad | February 15, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Vanney to LA???

Posted by: strago | February 15, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Barry leveraged Fenty into including a soccer stadium. Include the soccer stadium and Barry would back off on Fenty over the school's issue. Watch the future. Barry won't raise a fuss about schools. If he does, watch Fenty go soft on the soccer stadium.

The reporting doesn't give us the key facts: who's going to own the stadium? DCUnited has to own the stadium, or what's the point.

And that Clark rendering is a ridiculous cartoon. We had a better plan 9 months ago before Fenty wasted everyone's time. He just wants to scuttle everything from the previous administration so he can just put his name on the carbon copy. Shallow politics ultimately.

Posted by: Brendan | February 15, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight because I have not received my Magic DC United Fan Decoder Ring yet.

1. We have to hate this deal even though we don't know the details of it. Fenty = bad

2. From yesterday we can only praise Goff and never question anything he posts.

Did I miss any other messages?

Posted by: Captain Insaneo | February 15, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

For those curious as to why this plan may use more public money than the one origonally propposed by DCU. The DCU deal essentially called for twice as much development as the current plan. More development meant more profits for the builders and less money neede from DC.

Posted by: DRB | February 15, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

With all the community outreach done by DCU in Ward 8, I don't see how they could not build in Popular Point if the opportunity is provided.

Posted by: Randy | February 15, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

This is a really interesting discussion. Less than 24 hours ago, someone offered the opinion that Goff should adopt a policy of not providing any links to Nakamura's reporting "until a shovel is planted in the ground" [sic]. If Goff had adopted such a policy, we wouldn't be having this discussion, now would we?

At the bottom of the online version of the article there is a link to an item from last Saturday with the headline, "United Has a Slot to Sign a Foreign Star." Someone should inform the headline writer than Yanks are eligible to be DPs, too.

Soccer America reports that Ramiro Corrales is going to San Jose, not Houston, for allocation money.

Posted by: 22201 | February 15, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

If the parties involved don't specify either the source or purpose of the money being discussed, why or how is Nakamura supposed to write otherwise?

He reports what they say, he doesn't infer what they should have said.

Posted by: JkR | February 15, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

2. From yesterday we can only praise Goff and never question anything he posts.

------------

(sigh)

Question all you want -- I encourage it -- but don't take your stadium frustrations out on me because I simply posted a link to a Metro section story.

Posted by: Goff | February 15, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

The sense of entitlement some of you have because your marginal, low-revenue team won a few ugly minor-league trophies a decade ago is completely monstrous. You've got to have EVERYTHING, NOW.

Get some perspective.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | February 15, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Fenty is a good guy and just doing his job (unlike the previous mayor). Give him a break. Judge him by the results at the end of this whole process.
Posted by: FC | February 15, 2008 07:44 AM
------------------------------------------

Without Tony Williams this city would still be under the thumb of the federal control board, without Tony Williams there is no rise to power for Fenty. Tony Williams may not have gotten us a footy stadium but he was exactly what this city needed when he was first elected.

Either educate yourself or leave the snarky comments to others.

Posted by: Rocko | February 15, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Goff - do you or Nakamura have a PDF of this letter?

"Meanwhile, the coalition of environmentalists and social activists that fought the baseball stadium plan drafted a letter to Fenty and the council yesterday stating strong opposition to the soccer plan."

Posted by: Letter | February 15, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Ohh good ole Juan is back still bitter because the NY Red Pukes trophy case is empty. We are used to winning, I know you can't relate, so not winning the stadium battle (so far) is new to us.


Posted by: Rocko | February 15, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

My reading of the Fenty quotes in this article, added to the fact that Fenty didn't even mention the stadium until Barry brought it up, is that we're still a long way from having a SSS at Poplar Point. Fenty just doesn't seem to jazzed about the idea. And the DCU FO quotes from the other day said explicitly that there is no deal currently in place, which didn't sound too promising either.

Posted by: Matte | February 15, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

If the parties involved don't specify either the source or purpose of the money being discussed, why or how is Nakamura supposed to write otherwise?

He reports what they say, he doesn't infer what they should have said.

Posted by: JkR | February 15, 2008 08:54 AM
---------------

Yeah, and the source of this problem is that the story got broke by leakers (the post wasn't the first to write it up, somebody leaked an anonymous tip in this blog first, and then articles started showing up on the TV news sites). The leakers apparently did not have all the facts, or communicated them badly.

Posted by: S | February 15, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The land lease evaluation ($40 mil) isn't a true cost because this land was transferred to DC from the federal government. Effort pushed by many including MacFarlane. Hmmm.
------------------------------------------

It is a true cost, regardless of how the land was acquired, because it could be put a different use. That's Econ 101.

Posted by: 22201 | February 15, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"2) why quote mahatma gandhi?!?"

Because our protests over the lack of a strdium have been non-violent.

"An eye for an eye is good business for ophthalmologists." Natwar Gandhi

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | February 15, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Goff - do you or Nakamura have a PDF of this letter?

"Meanwhile, the coalition of environmentalists and social activists that fought the baseball stadium plan drafted a letter to Fenty and the council yesterday stating strong opposition to the soccer plan."

Posted by: Letter | February 15, 2008 09:33 AM
------------------------------------------

I second that. Is their opposition to the stadium specifically, or to the entire project? If those 11 acres aren't used for a stadium, they will be used for something else (e.g., more big box stores). How do the environmentalists know whether an alternative use wouldn't be even worse for the environment? (Unless they want nothing at all built there, I suppose, but then what is the point of this whole project?) With regard to subsidies, what proportion of the subsidy is truly specific to the stadium, and would be avoided if something else were to be substituted for the stadium?

Posted by: 22201 | February 15, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Pretty damn slick site for a soccer stadium. If it can get built as a soccer stadium rather than a concert venue that happens to let soccer teams play occasionally, it could be the sweetest place for soccer in the country.
That coupled with Barra Brava and Screaming Eagles would continue DC's legacy as the best team to play for in the US.

Posted by: DCUinCT | February 15, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

2. From yesterday we can only praise Goff and never question anything he posts.

------------

(sigh)

Question all you want -- I encourage it -- but . . . . .


Posted by: Goff | February 15, 2008 09:24 AM

==============================

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Posted by: WNT fan | February 15, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Seems to me like Fenty wanted to be seen in the press as saying no to DCU on their terms, so he could then say yes on his own. The overall deal won't be that terribly different. But Fenty avoids quite the fight because the perception is that DCU is chipping in. WE know that was their intent all along, but for whatever reason, that message never really made it to the top of the press reports.

Clever strategy on Fenty's part, but maybe it could have been executed a bit more smoothly...

Posted by: DCBird | February 15, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm getting the sneaking sensation that Fenty is STILL the biggest effing hypocrite on the face of the planet. Wasn't the whole POINT of MacFarlane's original proposal a public-private partnership?!?

Posted by: Juan-John | February 15, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Also, while I'm at it, let me go on the record saying I am one environmentalist who supports the development and the stadium.

I do like the suggestion of making it carbon neutral. Let's make it green!

Posted by: DCBird | February 15, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"I do like the suggestion of making it carbon neutral. Let's make it green!"

Too bad about all the air travel.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | February 15, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you, DCBird. Blackbaud is a great model to follow.

Posted by: Platini | February 15, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Ahh yes! I just woke up from a dream that I was at the 2004 MLS Cup Celebration at RFK and was listening to Mayor Williams tell everyone that he promised DC United would be playing in their own stadium in the year 2007. Wait....what year are we in? I think I realized I have smoke coming out of my rear as well.

Posted by: Skeptic | February 17, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

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