MLS denies D.C. United’s request to play all home matches at Audi Field
MLS has turned down D.C. United’s request to play all 17 home matches at its new stadium during the last 4 months of the season, an anticipated determination because the league prepares to finalize the 2018 schedule.
But in a victory for the group, United will most likely have to play solely two video games at different home websites — one in March and one in April — earlier than transferring into Audi Field in late June. Initially, the league was proposing as many as 4, deeply slicing into the membership’s income projections at the brand new venue.
The Insider has discovered the home opener will happen March 17 — the third weekend of the season — towards the Houston Dynamo at a venue to be decided subsequent month. Two prime choices are out of the operating due to beforehand scheduled occasions: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis (Navy males’s lacrosse) and Richmond’s City Stadium (Washington Spirit pleasant).
Maryland SoccerPlex in Montgomery County has gained late assist to stage the sport, regardless of a 5,200-seat capability deemed too small for MLS common season functions. The league would have to approve such an association. (United averaged 17,904 at RFK Stadium this yr.) The membership has performed many U.S. Open Cup video games there over time.
For numerous causes, United has dominated out utilizing FedEx Field, Nationals Park, Byrd Stadium in College Park and M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The Baltimore Orioles confirmed curiosity in internet hosting United at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, however talks haven’t progressed. United has additionally explored the opportunity of utilizing the University of Maryland’s Ludwig Field (7,500 seats), the University of Delaware’s soccer stadium and WakeMed Soccer Park in suburban Raleigh, N.C.
The membership would return to RFK Stadium, its home for 22 seasons, “only in the case of emergency,” one supply stated. In the wake of United’s final look there in October, nonetheless, it’s unclear whether or not RFK would actually have a appropriate discipline prepared for an early-spring match.
With Annapolis and Richmond out of the combination for the primary home match, RFK would possibly re-emerge.
In all chance, D.C. will most likely find yourself enjoying the off-site home match in April in Annapolis.
Audi Field is on schedule to open in late June, membership officers stated. United had hoped the league would match your complete home slate right into a window between mid-summer and late October. However, scheduling issues and considerations about an unfair late-season benefit apparently influenced MLS’s determination.
United will open the 34-game slate March three at Orlando City, sources stated, and play on the street the next weekend — if it doesn’t obtain a bye. (With Los Angeles FC changing into the 23rd workforce in 2018, one may have to sit out every weekend.)
Overall, D.C. will most likely have two off-site home matches and about 10 away video games earlier than christening Audi Field.
MLS is tentatively planning to announce all home openers this week and unveil the whole schedule someday subsequent month.