D.C. United announces plan for new stadium

Though the stadium has not been completely finalized, the District of Columbia and D.C. United hope to have a grand opening in 2016.
WASHINGTON -- D.C. United and the District of Columbia have announced an agreement for a new 20,000-25,000 seat soccer stadium located within the nation's capital.

“The winningest franchise is the history of Major League Soccer will be staying right here in the nation’s capital,” D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said at a press conference Thursday.

The stadium is set to be located in Buzzard Point, an area in Southwest Washington, just blocks away from Nationals Park, home to the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball. The team and the city hope the stadium can be built by 2016.

The agreement is a split $300 million deal: D.C. United is set to cover all costs of the stadium (approximately ($150 million), while the District of Columbia will contribute $150 million in land acquisition and infrastructure costs.

“We are proud to say that D.C. United has achieved a major milestone towards establishing a permanent, state-of-the-art home in Washington, D.C.,” said United managing partner Jason Levien. “This is a significant step forward, and we are going to continue to work diligently and collaboratively with the Mayor’s office and the D.C. Council to expedite this process and make this stadium a reality."

As Levien mentioned, the stadium deal is not finalized yet. The city must complete land swap deals with the three owners of the land currently occupying the proposed stadium site. Because the city is unable to buy the land from the owners, it must instead offer land it owns in exchange for the stadium land. The land swaps must then be approved by the D.C. City Council.

“This is an exciting plan that moves the District forward in two areas about which I’m passionate — economic development, particularly in the East End of the District, and sports,” Gray said.

Although there is not yet a finalized design for the proposed stadium, D.C. United officials unveiled multiple potential design concepts which it is currently evaluating.