LARGO, MD (February 16, 2009) – Today, D.C. United Executive Chairman Victor MacFarlane and club President Kevin Payne joined County Executive Jack Johnson, and Prince George’s legislative delegation chairs Sen. Anthony Muse and Del. Melony Griffith to announce the introduction of legislation authorizing a new stadium for D.C. United in Prince George’s County.
“We are very pleased at the possibility of D.C. United joining the Prince George’s County community,” said County Executive Johnson. “This is a great opportunity that will create much needed economic stimulus during tough times, create over 1,000 jobs, and connect our neighborhoods with the first class shopping, restaurants and entertainment that we deserve.”
“I am excited and humbled by the positive reception D.C. United has received in Prince George’s County and the State of Maryland,” said MacFarlane. “The process employed by the state and county has been professional, intelligent and competent. They clearly understand the value of D.C. United, and its potential economic contribution – yet have negotiated to ensure there is no fiscal impact to their existing tax base. Working together, we can achieve the best for all, with tens of millions in economic benefits for years to come.”
“D.C. United is committed to Prince George's County and the State of Maryland and together we will bring a significant economic development project without burdening the taxpayers,” said Sen. Muse. "Not only are we gaining a new business and professional sport in the county and state, but we are bringing jobs and ongoing economic benefits to our neighborhoods.”
“This is the perfect time for this economic development project in Prince George’s County,” said Del. Griffith. “Not only are we bringing the worlds most popular sport to our county, but creating new jobs and economic and community benefits at the same time. D.C. United has shown its commitment to the county and state by bringing not only the stadium and associated economic benefits, but also by relocating their corporate headquarters and team training facilities. This is how we build strong neighborhoods and families, together.”
“Our search for a stadium of our own has been a long and arduous one. The introduction of this legislation is a great step toward achieving that dream,” said Payne. “On behalf of our fans, our staff, and our players, I want to express our appreciation to the State of Maryland, and especially to Prince George's County, for agreeing to work with us to make that dream a reality.”
The D.C. United stadium would:
· Bring the best to Prince George’s County: D.C. United is the most successful club in the history of American professional soccer – with 12 major championships, and fan attendance of more than 20,000 per game over the past two years.
· Provide real economic stimulus: A new United stadium will generate $65 million to $80 million annually in economic impact in Maryland – which is the equivalent of more than 1,000 jobs (Source: independent report commissioned by the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA), 10/08).
Additionally, according to the MSA report, every $100 million in construction is projected to create 1,300 additional full-time equivalent jobs – with a project this size generating about 2,500. Moving the team’s business operations to Maryland will bring more than 100 jobs into the state.
· Pay for itself: The stadium is projected to cost $180 million to $195 million, seat approximately 24,000 fans, and will be funded by D.C. United and new revenue generated by the team and stadium. It will not draw on the existing tax base or require lottery funds.
· Welcome a good neighbor: D.C. United has a 14-year history of community involvement:
o Serving hundreds of underserved children and families each year with its after school program, United Soccer Club
o Promoting education through United Reads, which provides books, school supplies and reading incentives to children
o Offering more than 8,000 children a full game day experience each year, with free tickets through its Kicks for Kids program
· Promote real opportunity: 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.
D.C. United is considering seven stadium sites – five at or near Metro stops – and will be working with County leaders and the community to select the best location possible. The team aims to break ground on the stadium in 2009 and complete work in time for the beginning of the 2012 season.
Broadcasting and P.A. Request: When speaking of the organization, please refer to the team as either “D.C. United” or “United,” but not “the D.C. United” or “the United.” We appreciate your cooperation.