The city of Baltimore in the state of Maryland; has everything you want in a fabulous downtown area. The seafood in the marina, historic buildings and museums, the Aquarium and of course their great history in their professional sports teams like the Oriorles of Major League Baseball & currently the Ravens of the National Football League. Baltimore also hosts some good amateur soccer clubs that are tough in the MSSA (Maryland State Soccer Association) in the US Adult Soccer Association.
But when I woke up this morning on Wednesday, November 4th to take a look at the internet on football stories, this came across my monitor and I was very shocked to read this. As we all know one of the key topics that I have stressed to keep MLS & USL alive is all the clubs build their own stadiums and stop paying rent for facilities that they don’t own.
We are aware of DC United wanting to get out of RFK Stadium as it is ready to fall on its own & in recent past the city of Baltimore outstretched their arms to bring DC United to their great city. But now an article comes out by Lorraine Mirabella from the Baltimore Sun that has Crystal Palace’s USA side in the USL-2nd Division wanting their own stadium to be built as well as construction for a DC United stadium. This is fantastic news to hear that a study which will cost $125,000 & the city will pay 40% of it, will be researched and discussed to have two clubs play in the same city with their own houses.
The Maryland Stadium Authority will study a 7,000 seat stadium (15 Acers) for Crystal Palace Baltimore in the Carroll Camden Industrial Park area while DC United’s stadium that will be bigger capacity wise will be studied in the Westport Waterfront section between 17,000 to 20,000 seats. Sheila Dixon who is the Mayor of Baltimore asked the office of the Stadium Authority to study the projects for two sepeaate stadiums for the lower division side and the historic top flight club that wants to leave RFK Stadium right away. The idea for this study is to see if these projects can be built and financed to be self supporting for economic development.
As we all know there has always been a political blockade to construct stadiums for the game here in this country. Many times I have documented on the problems here in the state of New Jersey that it was a pain to have any form of red tape block the construction of this stadium for the Metro till Red Bull came. Or how about Prince George’s County in Maryland that had all the pomp & circumstance with DC United to construct a stadium, till they chickened out and refused to create a study for it.
This is fantastic news to hear coming from Baltimore that not only one stadium is on the discussion table but two for the possibility of growing the game the proper way in the United States. While I’m assuming the athletic field at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) was a nice place to be, seeing the pictures of the grounds is not a proper stadium for any club in the professional leagues of football here in this country. I hope that both clubs will get their wishes granted and we who support the game in this country will feel better towards this positive progress.