What the Hell – DC United Considering Moving to Virginia?!?

Planned Stadium in DC at Buzzard Point Rendering courtesy DC United

From the Washington Post:

“Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is making a last-minute bid to persuade D.C. United to build its new stadium in Loudoun County, and the team’s ownership — despite having spent more than two years negotiating a deal for a D.C. stadium — appears to be listening.”

120 Comment

  • Leverage.

    • For what though? The Buzzard Point deal is all but done is it not?

      • No, it is not. The city cleared some early hurdles with the land swap that would conceivably make the new stadium a possibility, but there is no agreement to build in place. The articles outlines what is left to do, and the team is right not to put all of its eggs in a D.C. basket relying on the mayor to push funding through the council (I mean, would you?!?!). I’m sure all things being equal United would rather be in DC than way out in Loudon county somewhere, but tens of millions of dollars in cost differential isn’t pocket change to an MLS team.

        • “tens of millions of dollars in cost differential isn’t pocket change to an MLS team”
          No it’s certainly not. But I wonder if attendance would suffer with a stadium in Loudon and whether the savings on building would be cancelled out by lost revenue from tickets and concessions.

      • In large part, but I think they’re still haggling over bits and pieces (this is mentioned in the article). I believe the city also has not technically acquired all of the necessary land.

      • They definitely haven’t lifted a shovel over there yet. It’s business as usual in that neighborhood.

  • mls has screwed up in enough places by building stadiums out in the burbs. maybe it makes sense in kansas city or dallas where there is no actual city, only suburbs, but it would be a horrible mistake in dc.

    • This much is true, the attendence numbers for MLS teams in the burbs are flat out abysmal. There was even a study done on the importance of it being close the the urban core. At the same time, the district can save a great deal of money.

    • Loudon County? Really? Good luck getting fans who live in DC or the inner suburbs to attend those games….

  • Business is business. That said, sports teams are peculiar to fan bases and just hearing this makes me less likely to buy into this team.

    • Anonomnom

      Definite +1. I am on the fence about Soccer, but am willing to give it a chance. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth, though.

      • Just watch premier league matches on Saturday mornings (in season). The talent level is 5-10 tiers above MLS. I try to watch MLS, and it’s just painful, usually. Like AA baseball.

  • I wonder if the condition of the WMATA is a factor that the Governor’s office can use in negotiations. I’ve got to think that the disastrous conditions on Metro the past several years (especially in the last 1-2 years) is a major annoyance to Caps and Nats fans. Granted, there isn’t always a meltdown when the fans are trying to get to or leave a game, but there’s enough uncertainty at this point… I’m assuming Buzzard Point would require mass transit of some sort to make the stadium work, or maybe I’m off base on this one.

    • Probably not the best argument for the Governor, since a Loudoun Co. stadium would be heavily dependent on the Silver Line extension.

    • If public transport is an issue, I suspect that moving to Loudoun won;t solve it.

  • If this happens, I’ll walk away from being a fan and never look back.

    To think, I had someone calling me pitching season tickets this year with the incentive I’d have first access to season tickets in the new stadium. They didn’t mention I’d have to drive to Herndon.

    • You won’t have to drive out to Herndon. Herndon is still in Fairfax County. You’d have to drive even further.

  • As terrible as this would be, this would be the perfect representation of DC.

    “I’m from DC”

    “Where do you live in DC?”

    “…Northern Virginia”

    • I had someone tell me he was from DC. When I asked what part, he said Manassas.

    • Eh I excuse this outside of this immediate area. If you’re talking to someone in the DC metro area, you likely wouldn’t say you’re from/living in DC if you actually live in Arlington or Bethesda.
      But if you’re on vacation and someone asks where you’re from, saying “I’m visiting from DC!” is easier than “I’m visiting from Arlington, VA!”

    • saf

      I hate that.

    • Blithe

      Well, then there’s the other side. There are many people who say that they are FROM DC — because they live here now. We then have a conversation that goes something like this:

      Me: Me too! What high school did you go to?
      DCer: XX HS in XX state.
      Me: Oh, how long have you lived here?
      DCer: Over three years!

      Has there been a Friday Question of the Day re: how people use “from DC”? Does it mean the actual city boundaries? Does it mean where you’re born? Where you grew up? Is living here a week/a month/a year “enough”? Is making a commitment to live here for the foreseeable future “enough?”

      I get eggs point for sure. But the varying criteria that we use colloquially sometimes makes for some odd conversations sometimes.

  • In my experience attending games, the audience is overwhelmingly hispanic. Does DC United think those fans will find their way out to Loudoun County to attend games? Also in my experience, Loudoun is pretty white.

    • So you haven’t attended any DC United games since about 1998 then.

      • I went to one last year. It was mostly Hispanic.

        • Duponter, you are a clueless human being

        • The audience is not overwhelmingly hispanic. Your experience led you to an incorrect conclusion.

        • Oh wait, let me guess. The one game you went to last year was the double-header at FedEx field, where DC United played after the Spain-El Salvador match?

          • No. The game was at RFK. I honestly couldn’t tell you which game it was. DC United isn’t my thing, but at the very least the section I was in and the people I could see in my immediate vicinity were largely hispanic. I’m not making a judgment call, so unsure why there is vitriol at the suggestion that the game was attended largely by hispanic DCers. Not sure why that would be surprising either. It certainly did not strike me as a crowd that is interested in traveling to Leesburg to see a game either.

          • Duponter, fair enough. I wasn’t trying to be unpleasant, sorry if it came across that way. But I can’t understand why you would claim that the audience is overwhelmingly hispanic when you are just talking about the people sitting near you at one game. Why would you make such a broad statement based on so little experience? My problem with your claim is that it’s simply not true; it has nothing to do with judgment of any particular group of people. Many people who don’t go to DC United games seem to think that it’s all hispanic folks and soccer moms in the crowd – and as I said, it was kind of like that in 1998, but not anymore.

          • No worries – I admit I’ve only been to a few games over the last 15 years I’ve lived here (which were all post 1998) and in my experience the crowd is very heavily hispanic. Not all, perhaps not most, but certainly notable compared to most other places I’ve been in DC or other sporting events. I’m not sure why anyone reacts negatively to that implication. I have no doubt the popularity of United among non-hispanics has grown over the years, but I find it hard to believe the hispanic population, which has only grown, is now a minority at the games. That has not been my experience at any game I’ve attended. And yes, I mostly saw my section, but the going in and out of RFK, the metro ride to/from, etc. all seemed to support the observation.

          • “but I find it hard to believe the hispanic population, which has only grown, is now a minority at the games.”
            You originally said “overwhelmingly hispanic”, which it is not. I don’t know what the actual breakdown is, but I’m quite sure that most non-fans overestimate the support that DC United gets from the hispanic population in the DC area.

          • If you don’t know, then how do you know you’re right?

          • Just curious, Krampus, is your vehement rejection of Duponter’s observation based on any actual data, or just your overall observations, which don’t agree with his? Because you very vehemently state that Duponter is wrong, but don’t supply anything to back up that assertion.

          • I’ve been at most of the home DC United games for the past 16 years. That’s what I’m basing my observations on.

          • Gotcha. So, “my anecdotal data doesn’t jive with your anecdotal data, so you are wrong, wrong, wrong. I know, because I have more anecdotal data.” Compelling argument.

          • Even if Krampus is right, the tone is unfortunate. I was pretty clear I had less anecdotal evidence. But I do know what my impression was at the games I’ve attended over the last decade, however sporadic they are. And to the original point, moving the stadium away from a downtown fan base that may not follow the team to BFE Loudoun County is something worth considering. And even if there are more hispanics in Fairfax and PW counties, there is something to be said for the ease of getting to a downtown stadium for DC hispanics versus driving to Loudoun county from DC, FFX, or PW (or Maryland).

            And the anecdotal evidence of what happens to attendance at MLS soccer stadiums that move outside of an urban downtown area should frighten anyone who thinks this is a good idea.

          • Well if you don’t think observations based on 100+ games are more compelling than observations based on 1 game, then you either don’t believe in statistics or you think I’m some kind of fool/liar/something. If I have time I’ll try to find you some data (I don’t have any nor do I know where to find it).

          • Not DC United specific, but this article states that 65% of MLS fans are white vs. 34% hispanic.

          • Oh, they might be believable (though there’s no controlling for biases of the observers, alcohol consumption, or just plain being wrong). But you never indicated the source of your vehement disagreement until your post at 1:45. It’s pretty ballsy, if not intellectually dishonest, to flatly tell someone his observation is wrong when your disagreement is based merely on your own observation without stating as much.
            Also, this sentence fragment is hilarious: “if you don’t think observations based on 100+ games are more compelling than observations based on 1 game, then you either don’t believe in statistics”
            I have to break this to you, but in no universe are anecdotal observations, even those based on attendance at most games, “statistics.” Righteous indignation works a lot better when it is, well . . . right.

          • Seems I’ve somehow touched a nerve, though I’m not sure why; it’s not even a controversial point. But believe what and who you want. If you think my observations are only as valuable as someone who went to one game, go with that. If I can’t find you the hard data you need, I hope someone can.

          • This report, prepared 5 years ago when Baltimore was courting DC United, has some stats on MLS and DC United support:
            -General MLS support: 36% hispanic (TV viewers), 32% hispanic.
            -Approximately 25% of DC United fans are Hispanic.

          • Just to clarify, I said I went to one game LAST YEAR to counter the point you made that I had not attended a game since 1998 (even though I have only lived in DC since 2000). But I’ve been to others, all at RFK. In fact, in my more youthful days, I went at least a few times a season. Not because I was a die hard fan, but having them play downtown with easy public transportation was nice and made it easy to check it out. I don’t go to HUNDREDS of games like you, no doubt, but on each and every occasion, I observed and it made an impression on me that the stadium had a very large percentage of hispanic viewers/fans, who were far more involved and excited about anything happening on the field than I was. I didn’t not do a headcount, but it certainly seemed like there were just as many hispanic fans as white fans. Perhaps “statistically” that doesn’t hold true.

            Whether it was “overwhelming”, it at least seemed that way. It was certainly a higher percentage of hispanic viewers than any other sporting event I’ve attended in DC or elsewhere. My other impression was while they were at a United game, most of them were wearing jerseys for other leagues. So maybe they are also not a die hard fan like you Krampus, but they certainly seemed to be enjoying the match.

          • This article from last year quotes DC United’s Director of Communications, who states that 26% of DC United’s fans are hispanic.

          • Fans or attendees?

      • I was thinking this person hasn’t been in the NoVA exurbs in a while.

        • Reluctantly have to agree with Duponter here. As a longtime United season ticket holder and Loudon County resident, I have my doubts as to whether the Loudon area crowd would be anything but affluent white suburbanites : ( The United fan base is indeed primarily hispanic, and a move to the Loudon area would likely preclude those lower income fans from attending games on a regular basis. It would be wholly unfair to the vast majority of the fan base who have supported this team through thick and thin. Horrible idea.

          • At the risk of violating forum rules, you’d think someone who actually lived in LoudoUn County could, you know . . .

          • Dcd, thanks — that made me chuckle.

          • “The United fan base is indeed primarily hispanic”
            Stephen, my eyes at many DC United games, and several articles I’ve linked to above, tell a different story. Craig Stouffer, DC United’s director of communications stated last year that 26% of the fan base is hispanic. I don’t know what you’re seeing that I’m not.

        • If you’re seriously going to try to convince anyone Loudoun county isn’t predominately white, then you’re fighting a losing battle. Frankly there’s a very useful public resource to use here. In the latest census, the county was 70% white and only 12% Hispanic. Which is only slightly higher in terms of % of white residents than Fairfax county was (62%/16%).

          • I think the real issue here is DC Elites like Krampus not acknowledging the demographic composition of the United fan base….

          • First time I’ve ever been accused of being elite. Thanks? But I don’t understand your “issue” – I don’t know about the demographic composition of the fan base, but I do know who shows up at RFK for games.

          • Snark aside, that’s not elitist. Elitist is people like me, who figure that if they’re going to watch any soccer at all, it’s gong to be the EPL or the Champions League, not some watered down version. Those people sure as hell aren’t driving to Loudoun for a game.

    • Setting aside the racial make up of the fan base, northern Virginia has a fast-growing Hispanic population, especially neighboring Prince William Co.

    • who are you going to believe, us or your own lyin’ eyes?

      • Ha. You guys, obviously. Look, TJ makes a valid point on Prince William County. I hadn’t thought about the large hispanic population there (which is triple the number than loudoun county). I will admit in my view, Loudoun and Fairfax are white counties, but between the hispanic populations in both and in PW county, there could be a decent draw there. I would just point out that DC has roughly 60,000 hispanic residents, which is more than twice what Loudoun has. And ignoring the vitriol around making the obvious observation that hispanics are loyal soccer fans in the area, I would think it’s a relevant factor to consider in moving the stadium.

        • Fairfax county has triple the hispanic population of DC, and they are allowed to own cars. If the fanbase really does skew to this demographic than maybe a move to NOVA would be smart for DC United. Although, depending on location, Loudoun is not necessarily close to Fairfax.

          • I don’t disagree with you. If it matters and if the hispanic population in PW and FFX counties were willing to drive all the way out to Loudoun for games, perhaps it is a good move. But that seems a much bigger risk than keeping the stadium downtown near public transportation and a growing fan base. I don’t know many people, hispanic or otherwise, who relish the idea of driving out to Loudoun county for every game versus getting on a metro (whether they live in Fairfax county or not) and coming into the city for a game. But I am definitely biased against every driving in the suburbs.

          • See, that’s the thing– you looking at it from a city-dweller’s perspective. People who live in Fairfax and already drive everywhere don’t think driving to Loudoun is a big deal. For them driving is just a thing you do all the time anyway.

          • Okay, I’m also going to call BS on that. I grew up in Fairfax County, went to high school there, my parents live there and no, no one thinks driving to Loudoun county is just a thing you do on the regular. Just stop. Everyone hates driving down 66 and no one likes the toll road. And while Fairfax is enormous and has a large hispanic population, driving from one end of Fairfax to Leesburg is one hell of a hike that NO ONE wants to do on a weekend or during rush hour for a soccer game.

        • palisades

          I am baffled with how angry people got lol. People will find any excuse to get offended.

  • I hope the council doesn’t give a inch to the team, let them move out to VA.


  • Eh, good riddance. DC can find something better to do with all that money.

  • I wish I believed they were serious. I’d be happy to see them gone, and do something much more productive with our tax dollars and a could-be valuable site.

  • This would be so disappointing! By looking at New York, you can clearly see that the suburb model doesn’t work. I’d rather stay at a crumbling RFK than move to the burbs. So much effort has gone into the stadium deal attempt that it would be such a waste and no reward. Fingers crossed!

  • The worlds most transparent ploy that only strengthens DC’s negotiating hand.

    1. Putting this stadium out past Dulles airport is the height of comedy. Anyone here live in NOVA and work in DC? Then you know how reliably ridiculous that drive is. While half of local fans do live in NOVA (although very few live in Loudoun County), 25% live in DC and the other 25% in MD. No fan from either DC or points east in MD is going to drive out past Dulles either on 66/27 or the toll road during rush hour to get there. You are conservatively reducing stadium attendance by 20% (if not more) by putting it there.

    2. Loudoun County, with a 2 billion dollar budget (1/6th the Districts budget) doesn’t have the money or the municpal bond capacity to afford it, and while I am sure the state of VA will kick in money, VA is having some pretty serious fiscal issues all their own, and the money the contribute won’t be much.

    3. Lastly, this has all been done before in 2007/2008 when the DC United got all upset when the District shelved their stadium plans (because we were in the midst of a world depression and their billionaire owner was offended DC taxpayers didn’t want to pay for his toy admist the worst budget issues in 20 years). DC United courted Montgomery County, PG County, City of Baltimore, Fairfax, Arlington, and Loudoun Counties, all within a period of 18 months and they all said “go pound sand”.

    All they’ve done with this ploy is give DC more bargaining power. Not very smart.

  • I wouldn’t go way out to Loudon County to see them. And I can’t imagine the residents there would like the extra traffic. 66 would be a nightmare, and the Silver Line is a long ride away. Virginia should butt out.
    Who, besides McAuliffe, can we write to with complaint?

    • I’m aware what a mess 66 can be but I think you’re being really optimistic about soccer attendance if you think the game is going to clog up 66 for more than a few minutes on game day.

    • Nobody would as it was pointed out, they would lose half their fans because the DC/MD folks will not go there.

      • True. Good point. And @ExWalbridgeGuy – I suppose it’s a bit optimistic, but I think the Metro is fairly busy (not Caps playoff busy, but busy) leading up to matches. If the Stadium is in the district, it will likely be busy, but PewPew is right, they’d lose already slumping interest if they moved that far out.

  • Hey United, I’ll share a Loudon stadium with you. The way we’re going, 23,000 seats sounds about right.

    With Love,


  • Pfft, Loudon County.

  • The whole Buzzards Point thing has been a poor use of land from the get-go and and a giveaway to corporate interests. If they go to NoVA perhaps it will be easier to fight athletic facilities with little value to normal people.

    • What do you mean by “normal people?”

      • I can’t speak for him, but probably something akin to little value in paying outrageous sums of money in tickets and concessions whose profit is 100% privatized, when the average ol DC taxpayer shelled out a couple hundred million in freebies and tax breaks to build this temple to “socialized expenses, privatized profits” for some guy or group of ultra wealthy peoples hobby.

        • Well said. I particularly liked, “temple to ‘socialized expenses, privatized profits’ for some guy or group of ultra wealthy peoples hobby.”

      • Accountering

        I am guessing he means “non-soccer fans” or “people who think corporate giveaways for sports stadiums are a bad idea.” Both of those groups of people are greater than 50% of people, so would qualify as “normal”

        • I really dislike (more like hate, despise) luring sports teams or corporations to a particular area with tax breaks, but until we find a way to focus on sensible growth and discourage jurisdictions in the boonies from competing for development that ought to be in a central location, I’m not sure there’s a realistic alternative.
          There’s a good argument that a development like this (if done properly) can help drive development in a part of the city that has missed out on the last few decades of prosperity. If that means more people want to live near Buzzard Point and more businesses move in, that tax revenue absolutely can offset the initial tax breaks, and that increased revenue doesn’t just benefit soccer fans. I’m not sure whether the trade-offs are worth it in this particular case (I just don’t know enough about the deal), particularly in the absence of expanded transit options – but I don’t think you can look at the project in isolation in determining its benefits.

          • All you have to do is move a few blocks over to see that those who argue against tax breaks to lure sports teams are wrong. Let’s assume Nats Stadium was sitting in Loudoun county (or wherever it might have otherwise gone) rather than where it is. Does anyone really think Navy Yard would look anything like it does today without it. The added tax revenue by the growth that neighborhood around Nats stadium has seen was well worth the investment. We’ve all benefited from it even if we have never stepped foot in the stadium. That area was a filthy dump of a neighborhood 15 years ago. Might it have developed eventually, perhaps. But it would certainly not be where it is today without Nats Stadium.

          • Accountering

            Navy Yard was moving along well before the baseball stadium. I agree the stadium certainly helped, but it was seeing a strong transition before the stadium was built as well.

          • Agreed with Accountering. The presence of the stadium is more correlation than causation.

          • I did not state the stadium is to credit for all redevelopment in Navy Yard. But anyone who thinks that neighborhood would look like it does today without the stadium this quickly is dreaming. At the time the stadium was announced and when they began to tear down the strip clubs there to make way for it, there were zero new office buildings. They had cleared a few lots to make way for some (where Nation once stood), but nothing yet had been built when the stadium deal was inked. Some of the office buildings and condos were up before the stadium was finished, but I have serious doubts you would have seen some of those condo buildings go up when they did without the confirmation that a stadium was going in.

  • It makes a lot of sense for the team to be in the suburbs. Soccer is a sport that requires a lot of space to play, which means that the kids who play it (and who would love to go to the games) aren’t found in DC. While it would suck to be a twenty- or thirtysomething fan living in DC if the team moved, it would be a goldmine to attract youth soccer into the fold.

    • Have you never been to Rock Creek Park on the weekends? Or any of D.C.’s rec centers, for that matter? There are plenty of places-in every ward-for people to play soccer in the city.

      • There may be parks in DC where people play soccer, but the amount of people playing soccer in DC pales in comparison to the number of people playing in the suburbs.

        • Sure. Of course, the population of the surrounding counties (Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington, Prince William, Montgomery and Prince George’s) is over 4 million, more than 6.5 times that of DC. It just stands to reason that more people play soccer in the suburbs. The important point, though, for stadium purposes, is that “the suburbs” is not a discrete place – it’s spread to hell and back, and locating a soccer stadium where it’s inconvenient to use mass transit to get to games isn’t the smartest move in the world.

        • Probably because there are more/better things to do here.

    • All evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. There are ample public reports that soccer stadiums that move to the suburbs see a dramatic decline in attendance compared to those in more urban/downtown locations.

      I think you have to grow the fan base first, then move the stadium. Not the other way around. You don’t move away from your stable fan base of 20 or 30 somethings and a stable (whether “overwhelming” or not) hispanic population that can access the facility with ease (sorry Krampus).

      • +1

        Also, people seem to miss the point that Virginia and Maryland are entirely separate legal entities. This is even worse than when stadiums for cities get built in suburbs, but are at least in the same state. DC loses all the revenue here. You want to move United to Loudoun, call them Virginia United then. There’s no reason we cannot have our own teams in our own city.

  • This is public posturing from the team. DCU needs DC a heck of a lot more than DC needs DCU. DC will survive the loss of a soccer team and 98% of the residents in the city won’t even notice. Fact is that a team that plays a sport that is still very much on the fringe in this country and trying desperately to attract new fans can’t afford to be so far away from the population center that half the population of the area won’t even consider going to a game. If ownership is dumb enough to seriously consider this then they deserve to own a money losing team playing in half full stadiums

    • Yes. This. DC United overestimates their power and importance. They certainly have their hardcore fans, but in terms of professional sports in DC, they are minuscule. They have a lot of nerve messing around with Virginia at this point.

  • andy

    I think this is a great move by the team during a great season. Extract as much as you can from DC now and get the thing built well and ASAP.

    All that said, if the team is in Virginia, I would only ever go to see them play my beloved Sounders.

  • The potential Loudon stadium sites are within the yellow lines in this link http://biz.loudoun.gov/DocumentCenter/View/70

    • So, *maybe* walking distance from some Metro that hasn’t been built yet (and whose construction keeps getting pushed back), and over an hour from downtown? Sounds TOTALLY worth it!

  • I get that dealing with Bowser is incredibly frustrating, but if they’re seriously considering Loudon (beyond Dulles!), then they’re idiots who will soon own a franchise worth next to nothing. If they’re just using this as leverage, it’s a little less stupid but still ill-advised from a PR standpoint, and probably not helpful from a negotiating standpoint.

    • If this were in Arlington or Alexandria, the story would be different. Because well, those to places make to much sense. Way out in the exurbs of Loudon, watch attendence plummet.

    • I remember living in Chicago, and NO ONE ever wanted to go out and see the Chicago Fire because their stadium was 15 miles from the city center and inconvenient by public transit. A United stadium in Loudoun would be twice as far. Their most loyal fans will probably still trek out there, but they’ll lose most casual fans in D.C. (and probably parts of MD as well, including large swaths of MoCo and PG counties with large central american immigrant populations).
      I really hope they aren’t that stupid.

  • I will never travel to VA for a match. Will be difficult for me to support the club if they leave DC and become NoVa United

    • Accountering

      It wouldn’t be difficult, it would be impossible. They may as well be in Baltimore. Google maps has them both being about 33 miles from Shaw.

  • I wish I could care about this but I don’t – and it isn’t just because I am not a soccer fan. The American football team also using Washington is in Maryland would this really be any different? This is obviously a ploy on their part to get concessions or at least the the Buzzard Point thing on track again. I think it would be a bad move on their part but RFK sucks and I understand why they want out of it, but if a large part of their fan base don’t have cars and can’t go or wouldn’t go that far out for a game what was the point of a new stadium?

  • justinbc

    “the team’s ownership — despite having spent more than two years negotiating a deal for a D.C. stadium — appears to be listening.”
    Why wouldn’t they? If someone called me up today and said “hey here’s how I’m going to give you free millions of dollars” I would listen too.

  • I don’t blame DC United for planning in case this doesn’t work with DC. I put more blame for this on Bowser taking the Reeves land swap portion out of the deal. By doing that and scoring easy political points for those that called it a “giveaway,” she has actually made it more expensive for the city (because now DC will have to buy out the landholder (Akridge?) for a price that’s more expensive than the proposed land swap) and made it possible that the deal doesn’t happen. The landholder is playing hardball on negotiating a price. DC’s only recourse if they can’t settle on a price is to use eminent domain, but that puts this in the Court system which takes forever and isn’t a sure thing.

    • You say “easy political points for those that called it a ‘giveaway,’” I say rejecting absurd land use policy. If Bowser actually torpedoes this deal, I’ll gain some respect for her.

  • I live in DC and work in Fairfax and it’s a ridiculous idea to put the team out in Loudoun without thinking you will lose very significant attendance. Even with my reverse commute it takes 45-1 hour to Fairfax and and it’s longer and with traffic out to Loudoun. Even for those VERY committed fans who do have cars, how many could get out of the office and to the game on time….I doubt many. Aren’t all the DC sports teams venue’s metro accessible?

    Seems like a poorly thought out negotiation ploy.

    • On the other hand there are a lot of people like us, and nearly every other DC resident I know, who already have to be in VA for work. So maybe some of them will stick around for a game?
      (Also, is it just me or has the reverse commute gotten a lot worse? My former 15-minute drive now takes 30-45 minutes!)

      • Most games are on Saturday evening. Not sure how many DC folks are just getting off of work in VA at that time.

        • Everyone was talking about rush hour traffic so I assumed the games were on weekday evenings. My mistake.

          • There are usually a few weeknight games during the season (tomorrow night for example! everyone come out to RFK and see what the fuss is about!) but most are on weekends. Rush hour traffic shouldn’t be an issue most of the time, although weekend traffic out in the NoVa ‘burbs isn’t always that great either.

  • For the record, for every mile outside of the city center, 260 fans are lost. Loudon would be a disaster for attendence, so whatever cost savings which may appear to be there, are illusory.


  • People living East to Northeast of the city would almost certainly not go. Hypothetical Columbia, MD area fans that come in for a match or two a season? Gone. And I don’t think many local Loudon County / Tysons area folk are gonna convert to MLS fandom.

  • Ha, nobody from DC is going all the way out to Loudon County for a soccer game. Ludicrous.

  • 1. Season ticket holder here from year 2 to about year 12 of the franchise, but as RFK continued to become so decrepit, I didn’t renew — until this year mainly to get to the head of the line for the new DC stadium.
    2. The young adults in DC all grew up playing soccer — not baseball. They are a natural audience for a venue in DC.
    3. DC United’s game attendees have always been mixed. Plenty of suburban whites, Hispanics, and Africans (fewer African Americans, notwithstanding Eddie Pope and Bill Hamid — and others).
    4. Locating the stadium in Loudon would kill the team. Baltimore would be a better choice, but the downtown DC is exactly where the team should be.
    5. For years I drove from the Maryland suburbs to RFK — but Marylanders do not go way the heck out in Virginia.
    6. Considering the unduly low coverage of DC United in the newspapers (yes, I read them), it would drop to zero in Loudon County.
    7. How would the team attract world-class players being by Dulles?

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