New DC United soccer stadium to be ready by 2016

6:16 AM, Jul 25, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Thursday,  D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the ownership group of D.C. United say they signed an agreement to build a "20,000-25,000-seat, world-class soccer stadium in the Buzzard Point area of Southwest."

According to a press release from the mayor's office following a press conference on Thursday morning, the stadium will be located next to the Fort McNair Army base, bounded by Half Street and Second Street SW, between R and T Streets.

The stadium is anticipated to be complete in time for the 2016 season, says the mayor.

Mayor Gray says the deal "anticipates a creative development plan, including a series of land swaps to support the approximately $300 million project and spur additional development without having an impact on the District's debt cap." The city will act as a horizontal developer and assume the $150 million cost of land acquisition and infrastructure while D.C. United would construct the stadium for approximately $150 million. 

Also under the term sheet, the city will swap property it owns, including the Frank D. Reeves Center for Municipal Affairs, "to assemble the stadium site parcels." Reeves Center tenants as well and District agencies in leased space will move to new municipal facility in Anacostia near the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Good Hope Road SE, says Gray. The facility would be funded using a model similar to the 200 Eye Street SE building.

"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," said Mayor Gray. "The new soccer stadium is the final piece in the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative puzzle that, when complete will create the most vibrant and sustainable sports-and-retail district in America."

There is no finalized design for the stadium, but D.C. United officials have shared multiple potential design concepts.

Ahead of the press conference, D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells released a statement about the stadium announcement. In it, he said:

"I'm thrilled with the announcement to keep D.C. United at home right here in D.C. ...The Council spoke overwhelmingly in support of keeping D.C. United in the District of Columbia and urged the Mayor to work with stakeholders and ensure our soccer team remained in the District."

Wells said that council approved the resolution called the "Sense of the Council in Support of D.C. United Soccer Remaining in the District of Columbia Resolution of 2012" on March 6, 2012. The resolution urged "D.C. executive to develop strategies and proposals to keep the team in the District," according to Wells.

The Washington Nationals released the following statement: 

"On behalf of the Lerner family and all of us here at the Washington Nationals, we would like to congratulate D.C. United and Mayor Gray on reaching a tentative stadium deal that will undoubtedly benefit all sports fans in the Nation's Capital. We look forward to welcoming D.C. United to the neighborhood." 

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