#DCU always comes out swingin' when Philly is in town. Don't miss #DCvPHI on September 27: http://t.co/FI7jzRc6Bq pic.twitter.com/qrzWgHiMCk

D.C. United Stadium proposal FAQ

Looking for the latest details on our new stadium project?  Below is a document that addresses many of the issues surrounding the proposted stadium in Prince George's County.  It's long, but really informative.  Way more after the jump. 

D.C. United Stadium proposal FAQ

Last week, D.C. United announced that a bill had been introduced in the Maryland state legislature that would enable the club to build a new stadium in Prince George’s County. The proposed project provides the State of Maryland and Prince George’s County the opportunity to generate great economic impact with very little investment risk, bring increased exposure to their local community and partner with a high profile organization which values the thought to becoming an integral part of a neighborhood. The following questions and answers address specific issues involved in the project.

Why does D.C. United need a new stadium?
  • RFK Stadium is nearly 50 years old and simply cannot work for a professional sports team in the modern era. The basic infrastructure of the stadium is badly in need of repair, but the costs are prohibitive. 
  • The majority of Major League Soccer teams play in soccer-specific stadiums, which are the appropriate size and include suites, club seats, and high-level hospitality areas. RFK has none of these amenities. 
  • Former RFK Stadium tenants playing in the NFL and MLB have already left for newer facilities.

Why does D.C. United want to build its proposed new stadium in Prince George's County?

  • Prince George’s County is a great location for the vibrant, urban stadium D.C. United has sought since being founded in 1996.
  • This is an extension of the relationship that has existed for many years. The County’s location, infrastructure and diverse demographics are ideal for the team and our fans.
  • Prince George’s County and the State have made clear they want D.C. United to become a more integrated part of their community. 
  • We have worked with the citizens of Prince George’s County for years as part of the team’s community efforts – and this is an opportunity to continue and enhance that relationship.
 When will the proposed new stadium be built?
  • We hope to begin work by the end of 2009 and be ready for the beginning of the 2012 season.
Where will the proposed new stadium be located?
  • United is considering two preferred sites that seek to make use of existing transportation infrastructure - both are located at or near Metro stations.
  • The team will work with elected officials and community leaders to select the site which provides the greatest benefit to the people of Prince George’s County, the state of Maryland, and to our great fans in the next 30-60 days.

How many games will be played annually at the proposed new stadium?

  • An independent study conducted for the Maryland Stadium Authority at the request of County Executive Jack Johnson projected that there would be approximately 60 events each year at the new D.C. United stadium.
  • These would include about 20-25 United games, Washington Freedom (women’s professional soccer) games, several University of Maryland Men’s and Women’s soccer games, NCAA and ACC championship events, major concerts and cultural events, and a variety of local events. 
How many seats will the proposed new stadium have?
  • The new stadium will seat approximately 24,000.
How many parking spaces will the proposed new stadium have?
  • We estimate that the new stadium will require 3,200-3,500 parking spaces. However, we are looking at locations with public and/or private infrastructure or other alternatives, which we might share.
  • We envision the D.C. United stadium as an urban facility, anchoring a new neighborhood of homes, shops, restaurants and offices. Parking created for the development will serve multiple uses. We will also seek opportunities to make use of existing parking.
  • Our strong preference is for a site at or near Metro. We expect that up to 40% of our fans will travel by Metro to the new D.C. United Stadium.
What are the proposed new stadium’s features?
  • The new D.C, United Stadium will be a green, LEED certified facility and will include state of art interactive features for our fans. 
  • Our new stadium will seat about 24,000 for soccer, and about 30,000 for concerts. 
  • The stadium will feature 50-55 suites, 1,000 club seats, a full service premium client lounge, enclosed concourse, a large format team store and a full service pub style restaurant, which will be open on event and non-event days. 

Will the proposed new stadium be used for anything other than soccer?

  • Yes, the stadium will also host major concerts, cultural events and other activities – which is a successful model employed at other MLS stadiums.
  • The stadium will also be used for a variety of community activities. 
Who is going to build the proposed new stadium?
  • The Maryland Stadium Authority – which has an impressive track record of building similar projects on time and under budget – will build the stadium. The team will work with the MSA and the County to ensure that the community and our fans have a home they can be proud of. 

Will the construction of the proposed new stadium disrupt citizens’ life and county traffic?

  • The new stadium will be strategically located to make use of transportation investments already made by the County and State, minimizing traffic impacts.
  • Most D.C. United games are scheduled for Saturday night, when there is not heavy traffic in the region.
  • Furthermore, if we select a site near FedEx Field, we will schedule games so that they do not occur at the same times as Redskins.

If traffic improvements are necessary, who will pay for them?

  • With the help of the County, we are looking for sites that make use of existing infrastructure, rather than requiring expensive improvements.
  • We are seeking no additional stadium specific infrastructure investment on the part of the State or County.

What similar stadiums around the world will the proposed new stadium look like?

  • While we plan to design a stadium, which draws inspiration from the traditions of European and South American soccer, we also want to be modern and American. So, while we intend an iconic look, we may not “look like” any specific stadium. Some very different stadia, which we admire, include the Phillips Arena in Eindhoven, the Emirates Stadium in London, the BayArena in Leverkusen, the VW Arena in Wolfsburg, and the new stadium in Valencia.
  • The nearly completed Red Bull stadium in Harrison, NJ uses a model that connects transit, retail and restaurants and a stadium in an urban setting.
  • For D.C. United, the setting for our stadium is as important as the interior. We want to connect to our community, and serve as a catalyst for economic growth.

Will there be a commitment to minority and local business participation in the design, construction, maintenance and care of the proposed new stadium?

  • Absolutely. United D.C. United is minority-owned, led by Victor MacFarlane and William Chang, and is committed to providing real opportunity for residents and businesses in Prince George’s County.
  • We will work with the MSA to seek qualified Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) during all phases of the project, to ensure those opportunities for qualified local businesses are maximized. MSA requires 20% minority participation.
  • Additionally, we are moving all of our business operations and training facilities to Prince George’s County -- we will be part of the Prince George’s community.
Who will own the proposed new stadium?
  • The Maryland Stadium Authority or some combination of public interests will own the stadium. D.C. United will pay rent to cover its share of construction costs.
How much will the stadium cost?
  • The stadium will cost $180 million to $195 million.
How will the proposed new stadium be paid for?
  • D.C. United and brand new tax revenue generated by the team and stadium will fund the stadium.
  • The team’s contribution is estimated to be $45 million to $50 million dollars, with brand new stadium-generated tax revenues paying for the remainder of the costs in their entirety. 

Will citizens and taxpayers residing in Prince George’s County, or elsewhere in the State of Maryland, have to pay for the proposed new stadium?

  • No. The financing plan is entirely comprised of funding from D.C. United and brand new tax revenue generated by the team and stadium. Our proposed financing plans do not draw on the existing tax base or require lottery funds! 

Will the Maryland Stadium Authority have to float bonds for the proposed new stadium? If so, how will the bonds for the proposed new stadium be paid for?

  • The Maryland Stadium Authority will issue bonds that will be repaid by rent from D.C. United and brand new tax revenue generated by the team and stadium. The Authority will not use existing taxes to repay the bonds.

What is the likelihood that the new stadium-generated taxes fall short of their projected levels?

  • The tax projections contained in the independent Crossroads Report are conservative in a number of areas. Moreover, the financing plan assumes growth rates on tax revenues well below the team’s historical pricing growth.
Are ticket prices going to go up?
  • D.C. United doesn’t anticipate dramatic increases, though there will surely be some increase. However, we will have a lot of different type of seats in the new stadium -- modern suites, club seats with amenities, fantasy seats, we might even have standing room areas. In the end, we want to be sure that everyone who wants to attend our matches has a category of seat which is right for them.
  • With seats currently available for as little as $22 on the day of the game, attending a D.C. United game provides an excellent value for those who want to see professional sports. We will continue to offer price advantages to our season ticket holders, and will continue to offer group-pricing options and special promotional offers. Furthermore, we’ll continue to work with community programs, particularly those assisting children in need, to provide complimentary tickets to our games.
  • We are confident the improved amenities of our stadium will show our fans that we are working hard to provide them a better experience in every way. 

How will a new stadium benefit Prince George's County and the State of Maryland?

  • The new D.C. United stadium will generate $65 million to $80 million annually in economic impact in Maryland, the equivalent of more than 1,000 jobs. (Source: Crossroads Consulting Report, September 2008, commissioned by the Maryland Stadium Authority).
  • The two-year construction phase, slated to commence within a year, will produce about $300 million in estimated economic activity. Construction alone will create more than 250 full time jobs.
  • The team is moving its headquarters of more than 80 people to the community. 
  • We will have internship opportunities and training programs in sports management and related areas.
  • The new D.C. United Stadium will be a regional attraction, drawing fans on a regular basis from all surrounding jurisdictions, and annually from all 50 states and a number of foreign countries. 
  • The Stadium itself will produce approximately 30 new full time jobs, and hundreds of part-time jobs. 

How is this going to impact or benefit the adjacent neighborhoods and local community?

  • A new stadium development will lead to the injection of new dollars into the area which can transform and improve a number of issues through the growth of the local tax base.
  • D.C. United has a 14-year history of community involvement that will continue to flourish in Prince George’s County:
  • Serving hundreds of underserved children and families, each year, with United Soccer Club afterschool programming;
  • Promoting education through United Reads, which provides books, school supplies and reading incentives; and
  • Each year, the team offers more than 8,000 children a full game day experience, with free tickets through Kicks for Kids.
  • D.C. United is minority-owned, led by Victor MacFarlane and William Chang, and is committed to providing real opportunity for residents and businesses in Prince George’s County.
  • The LEED certified, green D.C. United stadium will anchor a neighborhood of homes, shops and offices – connected to the rest of the Prince George’s community.
Is there a name for the new Stadium yet?
  • No, there is not. 

Will the D.C. United corporate offices also be located in Prince George's County?

  • Yes, as will our training facilities.

Will D.C. United be a corporate partner with Prince George's County and the State of Maryland? If so, how?

  •  D.C. United is not only committed to being a part of the in Prince George’s community, but a leader – in sports, in entertainment and in positive economic growth.
  • We will work in many ways with existing businesses in the county. For instance, beginning in 2009, all of the teams coming to play against D.C. United will stay at the Gaylord Hotel at National Harbor – that will produce between 500 and 1,000 room nights and tens of thousands of dollars of food and beverage business.

Will there be any other type of development surrounding the proposed new stadium? If so, what type?

  • It is our intention that the LEED certified D.C. United stadium would anchor a neighborhood of homes, shops and offices – connected to the rest of the Prince George’s community.

Why should the residents of Prince George's County support this proposed new stadium?

  • A new United stadium will generate $65 million to $80 million annually in economic impact in Maryland plus the equivalent of more than 1,000 jobs. (Source: Crossroads Consulting Report, September 2008, commissioned by the Maryland Stadium Authority).
  • The new stadium will attract nearly one million visitors each year to Major League Soccer games and other major national and international soccer matches – drawing fans from, literally, all over the world. The games will be televised regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • The team and the University of Maryland have agreed to work together to attract NCAA Championship matches to the new stadium. Other major events, such as concerts and cultural events, will make the new stadium, and Prince George’s County, a regional destination.
  • D.C. United is minority-owned, led by Victor MacFarlane and William Chang, and is committed to providing real opportunity for residents and businesses in Prince George’s County.
  • The LEED certified D.C. United stadium will anchor a neighborhood of homes, shops and offices – connected to the rest of the Prince George’s community.
  • D.C. United will win championships and serve the community.
  • With 12 major domestic and international titles, D.C. United is the most successful club in the history of American professional soccer;
  • D.C. United has a 14-year history of giving, serving hundreds of underserved children and families, each year, with United Soccer Club afterschool programming;
  • Promoting education through United Reads, which provides books, school supplies and reading incentives; and
  • Each year, the team offers more than 8,000 children a full game day experience, with free tickets through Kicks for Kids.