D.C. United seeking training facility, small 2nd-division stadium in Leesburg
D.C. United is in superior talks with Loudoun County about constructing observe fields, workplaces and a 5,000-seat stadium for a lower-tier staff at Philip A. Bolen Park in Leesburg, Va.
If a deal is reached, the county would offer land for the amenities and roughly $15 million in financing for building, together with a stadium to serve a United-owned staff in the second division.
Under the proposal, the staff would repay the county for the price of establishing the amenities — “a win for our finances and for our residents,” stated Dulles District supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau, who is also chair of a committee overseeing the county’s finance, financial improvement and authorities operations.
The situation will go earlier than the county’s board of supervisors at a Jan. 10 public listening to.
The undertaking would come with 4 fields: two solely for United and two shared with the general public. United would additionally function its youth academy on the advanced.
“Securing a site for a permanent training facility and a second-division team has been a top priority for the club,” United General Manager Dave Kasper stated. “We believe that Loudoun County is an ideal location for these facilities and we will continue to work with county leaders to finalize an agreement.”
The association could be just like the Washington Redskins’ set-up in that the staff would observe in a distant suburb and play in the rapid D.C. space. The Redskins are based mostly in Loudoun County (Ashburn) and play at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
From 1996 by way of 2000, United practiced on the previous Redskin Park in Herndon, on the Loudoun-Fairfax County border close to Washington Dulles International Airport. The sale of that property pushed the staff into the town for practices.
After 22 MLS seasons enjoying matches at RFK Stadium, United will christen Audi Field in Southwest D.C. subsequent summer time.
D.C. has practiced on fields on the RFK campus for 17 years, and can proceed to take action till a brand new training facility opens. Once the Audi Field undertaking commenced, the group started seeking a location to construct a big observe advanced. There will not be sufficient house round Audi Field for observe fields, and the stadium is for matches solely.
United officers say their principal workplaces will stay in the District, a contractual requirement in their partnership with the town to construct Audi Field. However, one supply aware of the staff challenged that declare, saying most workers must transfer to Bolen Park, which is 42 miles from the brand new stadium.
Club officers stated a lot of the entrance workplace, which incorporates the ticketing and advertising departments, will work in a constructing hooked up to the south aspect of the 20,000-capacity stadium, three blocks from Nationals Park. The coaches and assist employees could be based mostly in Leesburg.
In asserting the plan, Loudoun County stated roughly 50 United workers would work in Leesburg. There are greater than 80 individuals listed in United’s listing, together with coaches and technical employees for each the primary staff and academy.
Currently, United’s executives and employees work in workplaces on the fourth ground of RFK Stadium.
United had spoken to George Mason University in Fairfax and the D.C. authorities a couple of attainable training advanced and small stadium, however these discussions stalled. The metropolis, at one level, urged land on the St. Elizabeth’s redevelopment in Anacostia. There was additionally hypothesis that United’s training wants could be included in the town’s plans to redevelop the RFK campus.
Meantime, the Leesburg announcement moved United a step nearer to proudly owning and working a second-division staff. Last yr, United utilized for an growth franchise in the second-flight United Soccer League. The different league instantly beneath MLS is the troubled North American Soccer League, which has taken authorized motion in a determined effort to maintain second-tier standing. No NASL golf equipment are aligned with MLS organizations.
Many MLS golf equipment have already got their very own second-division groups, that are used, in giant half, for participant improvement functions. Some first-team gamers are loaned to the USL squad, however most gamers are on second-division contracts.
For a number of years, the Richmond Kickers have served as United’s USL associates. That relationship is anticipated to proceed for at the very least another yr.
A second-tier staff would additionally strengthen United’s model in the outer reaches of the metro space. The staff would put on the identical colours and possibly have D.C. United in its identify. Other MLS-affiliated USL groups go by names reminiscent of New York Red Bulls II and Orlando City B.
Under the Loudoun proposal, the county would have use of the stadium for sporting occasions and live shows.
Loudoun County was slated to achieve a second-division soccer staff just a few years in the past, however plans to launch the NASL’s Virginia Cavalry collapsed amid monetary points. The Cavalry would have shared a stadium with a minor league baseball staff on the One Loudoun improvement in Ashburn.