Why Doesn’t DC ever play in Baltimore? – the case for regional outreach

Baltimore skyline -- photo by: NearDC

Baltimore skyline -- photo by: NearDC


With all the talk of DC United leaving for Baltimore – it does raise the question of why United doesn’t do more to reach out to Baltimore or even Richmond. Kartik at MLS Talk has talked consistently about the need to expand the MLS tv audience and part of this is drawing attention to the league in non-MLS cities – just as other big time American sports do.

DC already plays a good portion of their US Open Cup games out in Montgomery county to reach out to wealthy suburban Maryland. Why not play a game or two in Baltimore or Richmond when DC gets drawn with another MLS club in the cup? So instead of playing Chicago at the Maryland soccerplex – play that game in Baltimore or Richmond and promote the hell out of it. Superliga or concacaf champions league games could also be played away from DC.

Yes there would be some logistical difficulties to work out. And perhaps the game would fail to draw much interest and would result in DC losing some of its home field advantage. But there is a significant upside in growing the league and the team. After attending the Chelsea – AC Milan game, I can see why Baltimore’s mayor got really excited by soccer’s prospects – I did. Some of the soccer fans in Baltimore are already DC fans but many aren’t. For decades the Orioles worked hard to claim that they were DC’s team (Ken tells me there was an Orioles store in Farragut Square of K street) and they were largely successful. Most longtime DC baseball fans have become Nats fans and now don’t pay that much attention to the Orioles, but they still have an affinity for the Orioles – and judging by the stupid yelling of the “O” during the national anthem at Nats games the Orioles influence remains. Baltimore as a city has a larger population than the District, so expanding United’s reach would mean increased merchandise sales and a larger television audience.

Playing games in Baltimore shouldn’t be a long term prospect – but it would seem to be a great way for United to jump start an expansion of its regional presence.

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One Response

  1. Your blog its amazing thx a lot !

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