Nothing really new came out of Kevin Payne’s question and answer session on washingtonpost.com. But while Payne did not get into specifics the tone of comments seemed to clearly indicate progress in the talks and the belief that DC United should be playing in a new stadium in DC sometime in 20009.
Kevin Payne : D.C. United will have its own home, which we hope to open sometime in the 2009 season. We believe that our stadium will be quite different than any other the league has seen, in that we will be the first stadium in a truly urban setting. The city has been very supportive of our efforts and we have every intention of remaining DC United.
One of the frustrating things about those interested in the new stadium (Steven Goff excluded) is that there has been very little news since the new ownership was announced. Today Payne mentioned that he would talk about the stadium in more detail when the DC government decides to go public. What’s the hold up? Well Fenty and other DC politicians need to be very careful in how they roll out the new stadium deal in light of the half-billion dollar give away to the Nats. Also the city is probably going to role out its overall plan for poplar point all at once – ie the stadium being portrayed as just one piece of that puzzle.
Another interesting tidbit is that DC United seems to be pretty far advanced in their stadium design plans. In other words, if a deal is announced it will probably be accompanied simultaneously with stadium design plans. So this is not a situation where United is waiting for an agreement on the land before it thinks about designs. One would hope that once the deal announced ground could be broken shortly after…here’s hoping…