City Council Approves DC United Stadium

dc united stadium rendering

by RYAN BRISTER
Staff Writer

At long last, DC United will have a place of their own.

The Washington, D.C. city council unanimously approved funding for the construction of an 18,000-seat stadium for the city’s Major League Soccer team on Wednesday morning. If everything goes as planned, United will move into their new stadium in 2017.

DC United has been one of MLS’s most successful clubs on the field, but off the field, they have struggled. While most of their fellow inaugural clubs—and several expansion clubs—have reached deals to build soccer-specific stadiums, United has been stymied at every turn. The club has put forth several proposals for stadiums in and around the District of Columbia, and even openly explored a move to Baltimore, but until now, they haven’t found legislative support.

The current proposal was first announced last July, and had support from Mayor Vincent Gray. But delays and an election season put the plans on hold until these past weeks, when it’s made its way through the city council. A land swap with the site’s current owners has been scrapped, which cleared the way for the deal to be approved.

The new stadium will be built a few blocks from Nationals Park, home to D.C.’s MLB team.

United will play two more seasons in the only stadium they’ve ever called home. RFK Stadium was built in 1961 for football and baseball, and was home to multiple soccer franchises in the original NASL. But it does not work as a soccer venue in 2014. The building is quite literally falling apart, and infamously houses a large raccoon population. Even in its best shape, RFK was too big for DC United, and much of the revenue it produced went to the city rather than the club.

When completed, DC United’s stadium will be the 16th soccer-specific stadium in MLS. As the league enters it 20th season, MLS still has teams in nine of its original 10 markets. Eight of those nine teams have a stadium built or in the works.

The focus now turns, perhaps, to New England, where talks of a stadium for the Revolution have heated up again.

  • steve

    That is fantastic with the Quakes also getting their new SSS.
    I know there was some chatter about a revs stadium in Boston. Is there anything to it as of yet?