By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
D.C. is one step closer to getting a new soccer stadium. Last month, the D.C. Council approved the District of Columbia Soccer Stadium Act of 2014 in its second and final vote, green-lighting the development of a 20,000- to 25,000-seat stadium for the D.C. United soccer team in the District’s Buzzard Point neighborhood.
Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. United announced the signing of a public-private partnership term sheet to build the stadium in 2013. Last May, the District and the soccer team reached a business agreement for the project. Now that funding has been approved, the $300 million development can move forward.
The city will pay $150 million for land acquisition and infrastructure, while D.C. United will pay the same amount to build the stadium. The team will also develop adjacent property to support the new facility. Work will start next year, with the stadium scheduled to open in 2017.
The new, LEED-certified stadium will provide an important economic boost for the area and the entire city. According to the District, it will generate in excess of $1.6 billion in economic activity, support 1,059 full-time equivalent jobs and generate $64.7 million in fiscal benefits.
Despite the mayor’s initial disagreement with the plan, he praised it in a statement issued on Dec. 17: “Although it is not the plan I originally proposed, which I continue to strongly believe was a much better deal for District residents, the stadium will spur important development along the Anacostia River, catalyze economic activity in a neighborhood that sorely needs it, and create jobs for District residents. And today’s votes ensure that D.C. United will stay in the District of Columbia, where it belongs,” he said.
Photo credit: www.dcunited.com