D.C. United are no longer considering Baltimore for a new stadium, and that's because talks are progressing well with the D.C. Council on a proposed stadium at Buzzard Point, in the city's Southwest section.
That's the take-away from an exclusive report by The Washington Post's Steven Goff on Friday.
“Interaction with the city has been very positive and very productive,” United managing partner Jason Levien told Goff. “We’re pushing the right buttons and making things happen in a good way. … There is more than hope. We are very hopeful.”
The push for a new stadium for the Black-and-Red has gained traction in the last seven months since Levien and Erick Thohir, an Indonesian businessman, joined Will Chang as the team's investors/operators. The added capital, plus Levein's political savvy – he's worked in Washington for the Democratic party, as well as practicing law with Williams & Connolly – seems to have cleared away many of the roadblocks that have stalled all proposed stadium projects in D.C. for more than a decade.
Currently, United play at 52-year-old RFK Stadium in the city's Eastern district.
“The stars are aligning in a good way for us," Levien said. "We’re working closely with the right people and we feel better about it today than we did three months ago, no question.”
United executives have made no secret of their need for a new stadium in the past. Now-former president Kevin Payne said in 2012 that the team was "not a sustainable business at RFK," where they don't control ancillary revenue. Levien famously said the ownership would use a "machete" to hack their way through the brambles of D.C. politics to get the stadium solution they want.
It seems now that they're closer than ever.
When reached about the story, a spokesman for the club declined further comment to MLSsoccer.com.
- Sports & Recreation
- Politics & Government
- Jason Levien
- Steven Goff