Jul 25, 2013, 5:37 PM EDT
Washington mayor Vincent Gray announced Thursday a $300 million public-private agreement for a new soccer stadium in the Buzzard Point area of D.C.
This moment has been long-awaited by United fans, ever since the club was bought a year ago by the trio of Erick Thohir, Jason Levien, and William Chang.
The stadium will seat between 20-25,000 people depending on how much room for expansion they decide to leave, and the cost will be split evenly between the club and the city government. The club will pay for the construction of the stadium itself, while the government will take care of land acquisition and infrastructure costs. The stadium is scheduled to open for the 2016 season.
The deal also includes the option for the club to develop restaurants, shops, and even a hotel around the area of the stadium.
Currently housed in the dilapidated RFK Stadium, fans have been buzzing about the strong possibility of a new venue since the club’s purchase last year, with Chang announcing “we are much stronger financially to be able to find a permanent home for ourselves” at the time of the transaction.
“We are proud to say that D.C. United has achieved a major milestone towards establishing a permanent, state-of-the-art home in Washington, D.C.,” Levien said in a statement issued by the club. “This is a significant step forward, and we are going to continue to work diligently and collaboratively with the Mayor’s office and the D.C. Council to expedite this process and make this stadium a reality.”
For many United fans who remember the failed attempts by Victor MacFarlane to bring the club a venue of its own, this is welcome news indeed.
The mayor also said for the city, it’s not simply about D.C. United. The stadium is the final piece in the area’s Anacostia Waterfront puzzle that should bring new life to the region.
“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” said Gray.
There is no set design yet for the stadium, but the club did release some concept art, including the one pictured above.
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