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D.C. United needs new stadium, now more than ever

Apr 23, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Real Salt Lake v DC United Getty Images

With Ben Olsen’s men struggling at the start of the 2013 MLS season, some good news is needed in the nations capital.

This might just be it. This morning the Washington Post spoke to a leading official who revealed D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is optimistic a deal can be done to build a 20,000 capacity stadium at the preferred location of Buzzard Point.

D.C. City Administrator Allen Y. Lew, who oversaw construction of Nationals Park, believes the framework for a new stadium could be in place “inside of a year.”

But for many D.C. fans, they’ve heard it all before. And with the ownership group growing increasingly antsy about the length of time its taking to push the stadium through, potential sites in Maryland are growing in consideration.

However, it is definitely worth waiting for the land at Buzzard Point to be released and for MLS’ most decorated franchise to be relocated there. But it has to be soon. The likelihood of that happening is foggy, as so many different groups own so many different portions of land where United want to build their new home.

(MORE: Hard to see Olsen surviving much more of this)

The attendance at RFK for the rivalry game with Philadelphia was officially 12,349, but many argue it was probably less than that. The fans in D.C. are as loyal as they come, but they need a new facility and so does the club. Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Union was their fourth straight and their current record of 1-5-1 leaves them bottom of the Eastern conference. But when they won MLS Cup in 1996, they started off 1-6-0, so there’s that hope to cling on to if you’re a D.C. fan.

If Olsen does remain past this season, or even until the end of the 2013 campaign, he will need to attract better players on higher salaries and entice them to a club moving forward. New stadium plans will play a pivotal role in that, as one of United’s worst starts to an MLS campaign further punctuates their need for a new stadium. And fast.

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