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Poplar Point Update

To celebrate our 1,000th thread since the Insider's launch less than 13 months ago, let's discuss that coveted piece of riverside land in Anacostia.

So what's this I hear about progress being made toward a D.C. United stadium at the Point of Poplar?

Read David Nakamura's story here. Comment down there. This is hardly a done deal and, even if the plan is finalized right away, it's going to be awhile before you're sitting in a new stadium.

Administration officials will negotiate with Clark Realty for the next six to nine months to nail down the development plan. Environmental remediation could take as long as 1 1/2 years before construction begins, officials have said. The overall plans could take more than a decade to realize, officials said, although the soccer stadium probably would be in the first wave of building, within three to four years.

By Steve Goff  |  February 13, 2008; 11:41 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

should I wake up now?

Posted by: grumpy | February 13, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

first! interesting article. Any positive note on the matter is always great, though I won't believe it until it's built

Posted by: PedroUnited | February 13, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

"Thank you Kevin for this D.C. United jersey and congratulations on your terrific season," Fenty said. "It is great to see over 20,000 fans here at RFK supporting D.C. United. It is my hope that your fans will soon be coming to your brand new soccer stadium at Poplar Point in Anacostia. World class fans, and a world class team like D.C. United, deserve a world class stadium. And I am going to make it a priority to help you build that stadium. Thank you -- congratulations and good luck to the Black-and-Red!"

-Adrian Fenty on Oct 29 2006 (right before a mayoral elction mind you)

link to full article: http://www.mlsnet.com/news/team_news.jsp?ymd=20061031&content_id=77524&vkey=news_dcu&fext=.jsp&team=t103

Posted by: Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels | February 13, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
Just kidding, but someone had to say it!

It'll be interesting to see how the DCU ownership reacts to this.

Posted by: Rob | February 13, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, this doesn't make any sense. The stadium must be owned by DCU - otherwise, the soccer specific stadium model doesn't work. Does Fenty even get it? Or is this simply a misinterpretation of the facts by reporters? Hmmm.

I'm hoping it's the latter and DCU will be building its own stadium at Poplar Point.

Posted by: DE | February 13, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't quite understand, does this mean that The city will own the stadium and rent it out to DC UNITED? will Macfarlane put any money into this? I guess I can wait till tommorow....

Posted by: dcFan | February 13, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Clark Realty will be receiving my internship application as soon as the announcement is made.

Posted by: UVA to RFK | February 14, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Clark Realty will be receiving my internship application as soon as the announcement is made.

Posted by: UVA to RFK | February 14, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Does the team really need to own the stadium for the model to work? I think as long as they (and not, e.g., the stadium commission) *control* the stadium, including concessions, gate, etc., and get some non-fleecing lease terms, that's the operational equivalent of owning it, right? I mean, except for the sale value of the team, which I think (hope) MacFarlane is less concerned with...

Posted by: AT | February 14, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

DE says "Indeed, this doesn't make any sense. The stadium must be owned by DCU - otherwise, the soccer specific stadium model doesn't work. Does Fenty even get it? Or is this simply a misinterpretation of the facts by reporters? Hmmm."

---------

Naw. Many of the SSS's aren't actually owned by teams -- PHP, TP, BMO Field, etc are all owned by their locales. In fact, teams generally prefer the municipalities to own the stadia since there is then no onerous real estate taxes to pay.

The key is that the team doesn't have a high rent and that they collect the bulk of stadium revenues, including revenues from non-soccer events. That can all be worked out with city ownership.

Posted by: Phil | February 14, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Well, it's difficult to draw much in the way of conclusions from this early report but it *appears* to be progress of some sort. Obviously, one big question is would this arrangement work from United's perspective - particularly financially.

Also, there's no mention of the important matter of whether Five Guys would be a vendor.

Posted by: Kire | February 14, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Also, there's no mention of the important matter of whether Five Guys would be a vendor.


Posted by: Kire | February 14, 2008 12:33 AM

___________________________________________
hahahahahahahaha

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | February 14, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Looks like I got something to read tommorow morning in the paper, I should spill my coffee in shock that something has progressed in cms.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | February 14, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

What does this mean? DC government building the stadium with their own money? This doesn't jibe with any position that Fenty has had up to this point. I'm not sure what to make of it. Why not have DCU pay for the stadium and then spend some $$$ on getting the enviromental remediation taken care of double time. The article says 3-4 years. 3 years is 2011. Ugghhh... 4 years. I've said that I think that the team should be able to wait for that, but that would be hard on everyone. That's the 2012 season. Yikes!

Posted by: AlexandriaDan | February 14, 2008 1:25 AM | Report abuse

www.keepunitedindc.blogspot.com

Check it out if you want a one stop place for news on the Poplar Point Soap Opera.

Posted by: Chris | February 14, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about the rest of you, but it seemed to me like the city is going to have to pay almost as much in infrastructure costs with the Clark Realty plan ($200-$350M) as McFarlane & DCU were asking for ($350M). BUT, I recall McFarlane was willing to pay for the complete cost of the stadium construction under the DCU plan, and the Clark Realty plan would need an additional $190 M. Too many questions still remain, but on the surface it doesn't seem like a better deal for anyone to me. Although I do like the idea of a deck over 295.

Posted by: Sean G | February 14, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Woo-Hoo....

I imagine this is actually United's preferred option at this point. They're not going to be able to parlay this into a big real-estate deal -- so they might be happier not owning the stadium, in the long run.

Let's say this stadium does get built in time for the 2012 season. Looking down the road, the U.S. might get another World Cup to host -- probably not 2018, as that's surely going to Europe. But, anytime after that is a real possibility. If Mexico is picked for 2022, the U.S would have to wait a dozen years. By 2034, the stadium is going to be a little creaky, and might be awfully small, even for United. A stadium that could be fit for the World Cup and downsizable a bit for United would be a lovely thing.

Alternatively, the U.S. could end up hosting the Olympics again, in the 20s or 30s -- and DC might get another crack at it. United might be able to leverage for a bigger stadium that could host Olympic soccer.

Just saying -- in 20-25 years, United might be thinking a little bigger...if they haven't sunk funds into their own facility... Of course, the city might feel differently....

Posted by: Fisch Fry | February 14, 2008 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Not so fast. Fenty's not on record yet saying anything about this. Leaking this out through an anonymous source could be a way of gauging public interest/opposition to the idea. There are lots of people who'll be either happy or (more likely) angry that the mayor would consider such a thing.

Also, the numbers need more context. Or maybe they just need to be updated... The stadium needs up to $350 million in infrastructure? But the Clark proposal would cost $200 to $350 million in infrastructure (does that include stadium or not)? And this $190 million in construction bonds... can that be used for infrastructure costs?

This story raises a lot more questions that it answers.

Posted by: Joe S. | February 14, 2008 3:31 AM | Report abuse

That would entail a long list of people who "got fooled." Including the post, which put this on Page 1 of today's paper. Also including the Council, who clearly expect a firm proposal.

Posted by: Stan | February 14, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Let's see...

This is about using public funds to support a massive economic redevelopment of Ward 8, isn't it?

I understand that Fenty supporting the use of public funds for a stadium makes a great story, given his past stance regarding the Nat's new digs. But I do wish there could have been more context inserted into the story.

Might have helped dampen the no-taxpayer-money-for-rich-sport-moguls firestorm that will erupt.

Posted by: seahawkdad | February 14, 2008 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Not so fast. Fenty's not on record yet saying anything about this. Leaking this out through an anonymous source could be a way of gauging public interest/opposition to the idea. There are lots of people who'll be either happy or (more likely) angry that the mayor would consider such a thing.
-------------
It is official. Fenty was on News4 live with Barbara and he said it but it is nothing solid except just selected a developer.

Posted by: td | February 14, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Is Nakamura trying to put public or counsel members against the stadium plan by saying Fenty is proposing PUBLIC money to build SSS? Is this Fenty's cover up plan that he did try to keep United in the district by proposing public finance that he knows counsel j.. a.... would not approved? It is going to be long long process and United is studying in PG County. This thing doesn't look certain until I am 100 years old if I am lucky!

Posted by: td | February 14, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

If McFarlane and Chang cannot get the right deal on this stadium, meaning if they cannot get maximum dollars out of it and control it completely, my sense is that they will go to Maryland. Remember, these guys are NOT United fans, they are real estate developers. One of the deciding factors in their decision to purchase the team's rights was the big, fat, shiny apple that was Poplar Point. Now that it's gone, they may have set their sights on Maryland, not because it is a better location for the fans, but because they can own and develop the surrounding land and make good money. Owning an MLS franchise is not a big money-maker, remember, and these guys are businessmen, first and foremost.

Interesting move by Fenty, though, as McFarlane has always said he wants to keep the team in the district. He may be in a tough spot, where its bad business to stay in DC, but he feels pressured to by the United faithful. I say do what you have to do to ensure the long term financial health of the team and league. And if that means Maryland, then Maryland it is.

Posted by: grotus | February 14, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

I for once thought that poplar point was completely dead but I am surprized that it came back to a talking point again!

Posted by: arlington | February 14, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

OK. I'm awake.

...This plan makes no sense. I might still be asleep.

Posted by: B.A. | February 14, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Fenty you moron you promised us a stadium. Oh you say the plans will include a stadium. Well it is not going to be financed the way I want. And Nakamura hates us too. How dare he annoucne that Public Funds are going to be used for this. Reporting the facts is a terrible thing. Everybody hates soccer fans. My life is terrible.

Posted by: Huge DC Fan | February 14, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

This is Fenty being Fenty......

Posted by: toddinho | February 14, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Grotus,

In all due respect, you couldn't be more wrong about United's owners. MacFarlane may not be the biggest soccer or DC United fan in the world. I'll grant you that. But he and his associates wrote big checks for this team to bring in a DP and potentially another with the Rapids trade. Chang is a passionate backer of this club and has traveled extensively for it (I don't think he missed many games last year).

Soccer isn't core to their business plan but they are losing money each year right now and pay for a lot of DCU FO flights around the world to scout players. Victor doesn't miss many important press conferences.

Too many people in DC feel owners need to be as miserable as Dan Snyder to feel like someone cares. Sure, they were interested because of the real estate, but what sports deal that has transpired in the last 10 years didn't have real estate development as the proverbial cherry on it. Liverpool? Arsenal (look at what they own around Highbury/Emirtates)? Minnesota Vikings? Charlotte Bobcats?

Vic is making a ton of money in Southeast DC as it is with all the development he's doing around the Nat's stadium. Poplar Point is the trophy project.

They aren't going to sell and I really believe those guys have seen all the information about FC Dallas, Chicago, and others that are in suburban wastelands that "aren't that far from downtown". Clark does not want to/should not want to fund all of Poplar Point without diversifying the risk and the finances.

Our owners are awesome.

Posted by: UVA-United | February 14, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Fisch Fry: I don't see how United would be able to use the Olympics or World Cup to leverage for a larger stadium, as there will always be pointyball stadiums around that can serve as venues for those events.

Posted by: 22201 | February 14, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

this is really sad for DCU. the most stories franchise in the mls cant get a stadium. look for LA to build a dynasty out there with beckham and dc to rest on its laurels with south american attaking mids and RFK. to rephrase what rick pitino said in boston "marco etchevery aint walkin through those doors folks." get a stadium built in the city and lets win a few more titles, c'mon already

Posted by: Anonymous | February 14, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

As much as I would like for DC United to remain in the District, I do not think that this option is the best fit for United.

If I were United, I would thank the District for offering to build them a stadium (for the second time), however DC United will choose to learn from their previous efforts and work with the State of Maryland for their new Stadium.

Posted by: TCompton | February 14, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

So from reading the article it appears under this plan the city will spend a similar amount of money on infrastructure as United had previously proposed and now instead of United paying for the stadium themselves DC will be picking up the tab for a $190million soccer stadium. So it appears that Fenty's bait-and-switch will cost the city $190million dollars plus at least an extra year without tax dollars flowing in from Poplar Point, wow did he screw this one up.

Posted by: dwbpnm | February 14, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Looks like posturing, on the part of DC gov't, to me. There is a battle coming. The gov't apparently wants DCU to stay. And it seems the team wants to stay also.
But, something doesn't seem to jive here.
I am sure there is a LOT more to come from both sides.

Posted by: marksman | February 14, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Bizarre.

*The Clark proposal still requires $200-350 million in infrastructure, presumably at public expense, which at the high end is what DC United originally said. So this proposal -- fund the stadium AND the infrastructure -- actually ends up costing DC more than the original DCU proposal? So does the bidding process end up costing not saving money for DC?

*The on-line link says the article is on A1, must be the DC edition. My Maryland print edition has it on B4. Ha!

*DC gets $20M/year "excess revenue" from Nats? Just like the DC government to turn around and look for goodies to buy with the money instead of retiring the debt that the revenue was supposed to fund. Who gets screwed here? DC business. I guess the good news is that no one in the tax office stole the money . . . as far as we know.

Posted by: WNT fan | February 14, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but this so called announcement IMO almost means that DC United will probably NOT end up at Popular Point instead of the other way around.

But the "Honorable" Mr. Fenty is going to come off without any loss of political clout, because he "tried" to get DC United a stadium in the District, and only "had the best interests of the District" in mind when he first put the development up for bids, and then offered United a new stadium (but with the lack of revenue and control that United had at RFK...)

That's why I am betting you have not seen DC United get too excited about Popular Point lately, why should they if it just ends up being RFK version 2.0

Thanks Fenty. For nothing.

Posted by: savannahfan | February 14, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Would McFarlane accept this offer?

I'm a little skeptical since it does not seem to include ownership of the stadium, control of rent and revenue streams, or ancillary development.

He seems to have been primarily interested in these other financial gains, not in DC United.

Posted by: de | February 14, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Nope. Why in the world would DC United wait 3-4 years to play in a stadium they don't own?

This just seals the deal for a move to Maryland IMHO. They should get something done in PG now and start building their own house.

Posted by: roadkit | February 14, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

PS -- "The Awakening" is (also?) moving from DC to PG county. Post B2.

Posted by: WNT fan | February 14, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the stadium is for Real Maryland. DCU moves to Maryland, Real Maryland moves to DC. It makes perfect sense!

Posted by: stairs | February 14, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The Awakening is leaving Hains Point? That statue was such a great part of East Potomac Park. Weirdest news of the day - the DC Government is selling statues to PG County

Posted by: diego r. | February 14, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about the rest of you, but it seemed to me like the city is going to have to pay almost as much in infrastructure costs with the Clark Realty plan ($200-$350M) as McFarlane & DCU were asking for ($350M). BUT, I recall McFarlane was willing to pay for the complete cost of the stadium construction under the DCU plan, and the Clark Realty plan would need an additional $190 M. Too many questions still remain, but on the surface it doesn't seem like a better deal for anyone to me. Although I do like the idea of a deck over 295.

Posted by: Sean G | February 14, 2008 01:29 AM

*********************

My thoughts exactly! Is Clark Realty a big Fenty donor? Otherwise, this makes no sense since it sounds like the District is favoring a plan that will cost them more than the McFarlane plan... They could've negotiated for the deck over 295, etc... And 2012 (or more likely 2014 what with all of te usual building and DC council baloney) is too long!!!

Posted by: Soy United! | February 14, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I second UVA-United - MacFarlane & co. have done plenty to show that they're for really real about United the team, and not just United the real estate investment. The fact that Vic shows up to the big pressers and has lasted as long as he has in the siege with the city govt speaks volumes. From the stadium/Poplar Point perspective, as much as I won't follow Mayor Fenty as far as I can throw him at this point, in Vic I'll trust. If he thinks that Poplar Point is the best deal, then that's good enough for me - his business/real estate savvy should be nigh unquestionable at this point, with all his successes on both coasts.

As far as the broader development goes, maybe the city will be sinking more money into PP as a result of Fenty's gambit, but that doesn't *necessarily* mean it's a total loss - they did get more parkland out of it than they could have w/ the DCU proposal, and there's potentially more revenue and utility to the city to be had under Clark's proposal, especially with that deck they've proposed to connect Poplar Point with historic Anacostia. I'm not saying that's definitely the case; I'm just saying that we shouldn't be toooo quick to jump to conclusions without seeing the numbers or being privy to the decisions being made.

Now, all that said, Fenty had better come through on this, or what little is left of his credibility is *poof*

Posted by: AT | February 14, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

It looks like it costs more because whatever plan got chosen over there was going to demand that DC pay for the INFRASTRUCTURE. Everything else is the gravy train for the developer/contractor and the DC gov't gets paid if it actually brings in higher taxes and other anciliary revenues. Heck, anything that turns around the stigma of Anacostia is of value.

The District is not going to own the Stadium. DCU will.

Posted by: UVA-United | February 14, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

1) time to let your city council person know you support the need for some public funding, if in fact you do.

2) time to let Fenty know you want the stadium to stay in DC, even if you've let him know before, write again.

3) time to thank our friends in Ward 8. I wonder what we could do to show them our appreciation and commitment. Volunteer through DC Scores and other programs; write to Ward 8 council members stating that the stadium will bring you there and you will spend money there.

Posted by: David | February 14, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I didn't see the latest article, but the Awakening was announced to be leaving a while ago after many people didn't realize it was leaving. I think this is something like the third announcement.

Posted by: sitruc | February 14, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Has there been any comment from the FO on the stadium plan? The only quote I see from DCU is:

"We do not have any deal with the District," said Julie Chase, a spokeswoman for MacFarlane.

Sounds kind of frosty. Why aren't they jumping for joy over being given hundreds of millions of dollars for a new stadium? They get to stay in DC. This is what they/we wanted right?

The lack of comment from DCU means that there is more to come. I hope the "real" story comes out later today.

Posted by: GoldenChild | February 14, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"PS -- "The Awakening" is (also?) moving from DC to PG county. Post B2."
--------------------------------------
Then lets build on Hains Point!!

Posted by: grumpy | February 14, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

1) time to let your city council person know you support the need for some public funding, if in fact you do.

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

If you pay business taxes in DC, you already know where such "public" funding will come from.

Posted by: WNT fan | February 14, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Let's get this done! I say Goff Nation pulls together and starts a DCU bar in downtown Anacostia - which I think is just a few minutes from the proposed stadium.

Posted by: jj | February 14, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Why does everyone assume that DCU won't own the stadium? The NFL uses public funds to build ALL of their stadiums and a lot of them are still owned by the team NOT the city.

Any of you that say DCU should just move to Maryland must live in MD cuz people in VA or DC would not be happy to go to MD under any circumstances. It could really hurt attendance. On the bright side all you Baltimorons could ruin the National Anthem with your "O's" without complaints from the rest of us.

Posted by: Capitol Hill | February 14, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

From http://www.keepunitedindc.blogspot.com/
which is quoting an ABC News source:

"The mayor briefed council members on his plan Wednesday, according to sources, saying he would like the immediate backing of the majority of the council before moving forward with the deal. It's not clear what will happen if the seven members don't come forward. Sources say under the mayor's plan, the city would lease 11 of the 110 acres at Poplar Point and provide the land to D.C. United for a stadium. The rest of the land would go to Clarke Construction, which the mayor has chosen as having the best plan to develop the area."

Posted by: BK | February 14, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

DC never owned The Awakening. Read the article. It was owned by some sculpture company that sold it to the National Harbor people. It was displayed on land own by the National Park Service anyway.

With respect to the stadium, as I said in the other thread this is very puzzling. I didn't see anything in today's article that mentions anything about who will own the stadium. But I expect that if the city is paying to build it that they will own it. Now, they could do some sort of sweetheart lease deal like the Nats have I believe. If the club has a deal with PG that allows MacFarlane development rights to the surrounding land in addition to the stadium then I think that is where we will end up.

4 years from now a LOOOOOONG time. We're already way past the time when we were promised a stadium in DC. If the owners can get a new stadium done in PG in 2 years or so then I think they should keep on moving in that direction. DC had it's chance with pretty much exclusive negotiations over how many years now? Sure, I'd prefer a stadium in DC, but I don't think anyone should be willing to wait forever, especially with the way DCU has been jerked around in the past. And a stadium in PG isn't like a place in the far off exurbs.

Posted by: Glenn | February 14, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Public funding of baseball stadium = Fenty no no no no no

Public funding of soccer stadium = Fenty yes yes yes yes yes

All this does is make Fenty the biggest EFFING hypocrite on the face of the planet.

Posted by: Juan-John | February 14, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

As much as I would like for DC United to remain in the District, I do not think that this option is the best fit for United.


Posted by: TCompton | February 14, 2008 08:54 AM

Well I'm glad you decided that from the desktop of your cubicle.

Posted by: Will Chang | February 14, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

As much as I would like for DC United to remain in the District, I do not think that this option is the best fit for United.


Posted by: TCompton | February 14, 2008 08:54 AM


Seriously, without knowing a single sure fact you can say something like that?

Posted by: Seriously | February 14, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I'd have to say that the current ownership have shown their commitment to the club. And don't be so fast to rant about DCU bleeding money. If you look at where MLS is now as opposed to 10 years ago, I'd say that in another 10 years a MLS club could look like a pretty smart investment.

Posted by: Matte | February 14, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Great, another stadium run by the DC government, just what we need.

How the hell are we supposed to be profitable if we're still paying rent to the slumlord that is the District of Columbia.

Posted by: swinreston | February 14, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Could someone please explain how Fenty's publicly-financed stadium proposal is a BETTER deal for the city? I mean, he screwed DCU out of the bidding process b/c he claimed that too much infrastructure financing would be required of the city. But I think we all agreed that such infrastructure bills would occur regardless of who developed Poplar Point and how it was developed. So does this mean that DC would be $190 million deeper in the hole than if we had just given the land over to United's ownership in the first place? (seriously, I am asking, not being rhetorical)

I have no personal axe to grind with Fenty, but if the above is true, than I really have to call into question his ethics. He has already shown himself to be a hypocrite, as his grassroots campaign has resulted in a dictatorial, listen-to-nobody mayoral stint. This latest announcement is highly suspect; I can't help but wonder what kind of discussions Fenty had with Clark and its partners before the bidding process even began.

Regardless, what good is a publicly-owned stadium? That's what DCU has now, and it's only the reason MLS's best franchise isn't profitable.

Again, I have no loyalties to any politician here, nor to DCU. My loyalties are to my city, and as a DC native, I am very concerned.

Posted by: MtP | February 14, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"Could someone please explain how Fenty's publicly-financed stadium proposal is a BETTER deal for the city?"

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

They get to sell the rest of the land.

Posted by: S | February 14, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

To everyone who is saying that 4 years is too long to wait for a stadium... Do you think that a stadium can be built in PG County overnight? Whether the stadium is to be built in Anacostia or in Greenbelt, either way they will need to perform environmental studies. And I'm sure VM and WC have been in contact with PG Co officials, but the sale of the land will not be quick, plus probably 18 months for construction... I don't see how a stadium in PG can be ready any sooner than the 2011 season, so waiting til 2012 to play instead in Poplar Point is not a huge difference. And I haven't seen any Prince Georges officials proposing $190M of county funds to have a stadium there yet.

The only thing we know for sure is that the District has accepted the proposal of Clark Realty. So the way I see it, there are three potential owners of the stadium. It will be owned by either the District, by United, or by Clark. I'm sure Mr. MacFarlane has already been on the phone with Mr. Clark about working something out. Fenty proposing $190M for a SSS is a good thing and a step in the right direction. This should not be written off as a bad deal until we get more info.

It's also a good thing that Clark Construction will be the contractor, since they've already proven with the Nats that they can deliver a stadium on time. The district could have done much worse. If we move to MD, there's no guarantee that Clark will be our builder.

Posted by: DCUMD | February 14, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Updated article

"Fenty: No Deal for Poplar Point Soccer Stadium"
By David Nakamura
Thursday, February 14, 2008; 1:04 PM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/14/AR2008021401819.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Posted by: emanon | February 14, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse


"The key is that the team doesn't have a high rent and that they collect the bulk of stadium revenues, including revenues from non-soccer events. That can all be worked out with city ownership."

But wouldn't they be dealing with the same commission that are fleecing them at RFK? Why would things be any different and if its that easy, why haven't they worked out a better deal for sharing RFK revenues?

Perhaps now is not the time but it would be nice to see eventually an article clarifying the economics of RFK vs new stadium, with respect to who is the actual owner, what are the terms of the lease, etc.

Posted by: wisc ave | February 14, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I don't understand: If the city can strike a deal with United where the city funds and owns a new stadium, and United can make money off it, why can't the city do the same right now with RFK? It would sure make the four year period to construct a stadium more palatable.

Posted by: regular fan | February 14, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Do you guys even read the previous comments before making your own?

A LOT OF OTHER MLS STADIUMS ARE NOT OWNED BY THE TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As long as the team can control the stadium, they are good. A lot of times its better for the city/county/whatever to own the stadium so the team doesn't have to pay taxes on it. The get a lease at a nominal fee and control all revenue. Especially if they can control revenue from non-soccer events.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | February 14, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Read Nakamura's latest update. He has the team making a "significant equity" investment in the PP plan.

Posted by: Chico | February 14, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

My interpretation about all this is that 11 acres of land would be leased to United. From there, I would have thought that anything United pays to build is theirs to control (like a stadium, hotel, accompanying retail, etc.). But all this talk of public financing is confusing me. I thought the stadium was going to be 100% privately financed. Is that not the case anymore? Or are the articles just not doing a good job of distinguishing between infrastructure costs and actual building costs? Where did all this talk of public funding come from?

Posted by: BK | February 14, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"Fenty thought MacFarlane's plan, which required $350 million in public subsidies for infrastructure, was too expensive for the city."
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OK, somebody bring me up to speed on this. I thought it was $250 million in public subsidies. When did it increase by $100 million?

Posted by: Juan-John | February 14, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

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