This is the time where I have to take off my Red Bull NY hat and start looking at Major League Soccer as a whole. You have heard me discuss and report that all levels of US Pro Soccer clubs need their own stadiums to help with that particular discussion on Pro/Rel and to stop paying rent for using facilities that they can’t control the revenue for. Well sadly for the greatest club in Major League Soccer DC United just got shut down for construction of a brand new Stadium along a DC/MD/VA Metro subway line. But here is the thing that is disgusting in my eyes. After all the pomp & circumstance that the heads of DC United did to announce they were going to get this done, the County board of Prince George’s in Maryland decided to halt the vote to go ahead and start building to create a study to see if this would work out.
But then the study was voted down and it sounded like that would be it for DC United’s stadium plan. How is it possible that a club like DC United who has been supported so well from Maryland, the District & in Northern Virginia all of a sudden nobody wants to help them build a stadium? RFK Stadium is on land from the Army as there is an Armory built next to it & the people who are running the former stadium of the Washington Redskins are consuming tons and tons of money from DC United. It’s easy when the former Montreal Expos wanted to play in our Nations Capital and they got their own Baseball Stadium as the Nationals. The Washington Capitals & Washington Bullets/Wizards got a downtown stadium inside the district and the Redskins got FedEx Field, moved out of RFK and took over Landover, Maryland which is just along the beltway loop. So why is it that DC United isn’t so lucky like these other pro sports sides in the main four sports leagues in our country?
There maybe strong support for this club that has won four MLS Cup titles, two US Open Cup titles, and countless others in Supporter shields, CONCACAF Champions Cup & Inter America Cup, but once they take off their DC United kits and puts on their political suits & or dresses. They won’t lift a finger to help their club and at the same time not helping the US National Team create a brand new home for friendly matches & World Cup Qualifiers.
Yes we need to keep DC United in the league before something drastic really happens, like relocation to another city or region that will take them and build a stadium for them. Commissioner Don Garber needs the health of the league to be strong and I’m not talking about Expansion sides coming in for the next two or three seasons. He needs to help one of their original sides, get their own grounds. The Popular Point area that is close to the Washington Nationals Stadium was the perfect place to stay in the district. But Mayor Fenty just didn’t want any business with Soccer as he was glowing with his grand tour of the Nationals new ballpark (By the way, it looks like crap when it’s modeled after a future version of RFK Stadium).
It sounds like frustration has settled in with everyone who supports the club and in all honesty, I really feel bad for them. While DC United is my big rival in MLS in all seriousness, we need them to stay in DC and we need them to get their own stadium to help themselves, help our league in MLS & a big home field advantage for our US National Team. If these people who are supposed to be our political leaders and say they support the needs of the club & then turn around to say no, then they just wasted the supporters time as well as the front office’s time trying to get this project passed and built.
I have to say that I am thankful that Red Bull Arena is halfway finished and will be the best stadium in all of MLS as well as US pro soccer, but there is still plenty more to do. As I have said in the stadium department all clubs need their own grounds and when that happens, everything will be hunky dory. Since the stadiums in Philadelphia & Kansas City are already starting to pound wood pillars into the ground for support, DC United is still having their pockets sucked out by a giant vacum cleaner that is called RFK Stadium.