While many DC United supporters may not be residents of Washington, DC, fans kept a close eye on the mayoral race earlier this week. The main reason is that the current mayor, Vincent Gray, last year gave his support on building a stadium in Buzzard’s Point, across from the Nationals baseball stadium. In short, the plan would have the club pay $150 million for the construction of the stadium, using private funds.
The stadium also would be used for other venues besides soccer. More importantly, the new stadium would bring new supporters. Other MLS teams (Houston, Colorado and Toronto), who had new stadiums open within the last 6 years, have recorded improved attendances. So, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the same happen in DC.
After the mayoral race results from earlier in the week, many supporters are now wondering whether the dream of new stadium will be realized after current Mayor of Washington D.C., Vincent Gray, was defeated in the Democratic primary by council member Muriel Bowser. Bowser has not been a big supporter of the new stadium plan. Moreover, because there have been numerous accusations of corruption leveled at Mayor Gray’s administration, this would make it harder for him to push the new stadium plan forward.
Although Bowser has not been a big supporter of the stadium plan, she is not outright opposed to it. She is not a fan of the deal because the money spent on the new stadium may sacrifice another building project and cut into housing projects.
Nonetheless, there still is hope that if Bowser is elected in the fall that the plan for a new DC United home may proceed forward.
One way or another, DC United is in need of a new stadium. Their current ground, RFK, is not a suitable soccer venue. It’s a stadium long past its prime and, in some places, it’s really falling apart. Literally.
One last question mark will be regarding Bowser’s opponent, David A. Catania, who is running as an independent. Catania was an opponent of the Nationals baseball park and is not a fan of a new DC United venue either. What would he do with the deal if elected? More than likely, he’ll scrap the plans.
In the end, what does it all mean? Perhaps it may be too early to answer this question.