Wednesday, September 15, 2010 |
Per Steven Goff of the Washington Post, DC United apparently spoke with Rockville, MD city officials (Montgomery County) about the possibility of putting a stadium for the club on the site of a struggling municipal golf course. This is good news, if only because it indicates that United's leadership is on the hunt; the problem, as usual, is that the talks are almost certain to go nowhere (which Goff relates with caustic humor).
Above is a quick and dirty effort to illustrate where the proposed site is located in relation to RFK Stadium (denoted by the ugly red squares). I can hardly blame United for exploring every possible option at this point, but the map above brings back to mind all of the problems with MLS clubs putting facilities in place too far removed from their fan base or additional game day amenities. Rockville is a nice town (one I've admittedly not spent much time in), but it's (as Goff notes) 7 miles outside of the Beltway and a mile from the nearest Metro (subway) stop. Those numbers would do nothing but harm attendance and alienate a portion of the existing United fan base.
Then again, beggars can't be choosers. United is still waiting on Baltimore's feasibility study. That document will ultimately make or break any chance of the team going north up I-95, and while no on in DC wants to see the club leave, business concerns are going to dictate direction. If not now, very soon.
Meanwhile, the District of Columbia will shortly have a new mayor. City councilman Vincent Gray defeated incumbent mayor Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary yesterday, and since this is DC, Gray is effectively elected. Gray has not committed to anything in regards to a United stadium, and I have no reason to believe he will put a deal on even an extended list of priorities. United may have a little bit of renewed hope because Gray is not Fenty and Fenty had shut the team out, but it hardly goes anywhere beyond that.
Gray is a new guy to lobby and a new guy to talk to who might be more open to the possibility of working out a way to keep United in DC. Let's hope that's the case.