Marion Barry loves Soccer!

Discussion in 'Prem talk, Those Other Leagues, and International' started by Spencer, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. Spencer

    Spencer New Member

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    Jul 1, 2005
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    St. Paul, MN
    I had heard that Barry was one of the chief supporters of the DCU SSS in Anacostia, but this article/column from the Post does a good job of spelling out the dynamics. Very well written.

    Oh it all sounds like an awful lot of fun! If only Saint Paul's local politics were this entertaining. Hopefully it all works out for the best and DC gets their stadium, if anyone deserves one it's them.
     
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  2. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

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    Sep 13, 2007
    If Barry backs it maybe US soccer will soon have its own brand of soccer hooligans like the rest of the world.
     
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  3. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2005
    Heh... That's a good one on 'Strange Bedfellows'.

    http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthre ... 997&page=5

    Check THAT out! DC fans are whooping and hollering about having a REAL pitch at RFK... which by the way, I think should be considered as US East Coast Soccer palace.


    I dont think that Anacostia thing is ever gonna happen. Too many environmental wacko SIG's in DC.

    How big is the airfield at the old NAS, btw... & what about Bolling? I havent kept up since I was actually stationed in So Maryland.
     
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  4. DCDave

    DCDave Member

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    Jan 6, 2005
    Here's generally where everything stands:

    * Poplar Point is an open piece of land across the Anacostia from the new Nationals baseball stadium. It was owned by the Federal government but they gave/sold (I don't know which) to the DC government, supposedly in part because new DC United operator (MLS version of owner) Victor MacFarlane really lobbied for it.

    * MacFarlane, a San Francisco developer, bought the operating rights to DCU recently in large part (mose people believe) because of the development deal. The deal was that DC would basically give him the land and he'd build the stadium and lots of other stuff.

    * This all happend under former mayor Anthony Williams. illiams was the architect of the deal to give the Nats their ballpark, and the soccer deal seemed by some (well, at least me) to be tacked on. After the money the city spent to build Nats Park, they weren't going to also build a soccer stadium, so this allowed them to get the stadium built by a developer who would in tern be compensated with other free land he could build lots of stuff on.

    * Where Barry comes in is that this land is in Ward 8, one of the eight city council wards in DC. It is the poorest which, as Barry says, has very few amenities (no sit-down restaurants of any kind--even a Denny's, few grocery stores, etc.) Barry sees this as a way of getting some of that development money into his ward, which hopefully would lead to spillover effects. That is a reasonable supposition in that the "main street" of that part of town, MLK Ave., is right near Poplar Point. The reference to the Eastern Market and the Georgetown Library is that both are institutions in nice parts of town that suffered horrible fires recently, and new Mayor Fenty has focused on getting them back up and running.

    * New Mayor Fenty was very much against the baseball stadium as a council member but when he became mayor during construction, he worked hard to get it built (since the decision had been made). However, for the soccer stadium, he has taken a different path. Many argue DC would not own Poplar Point without MacFarlane, and there was a deal to give him the land, but now that DC has it, Fenty wants to look at other proposals. Barry's point is that development is good (consistent with his view when he was mayor) and that they are going back on a deal with MacFarlane.

    * Why not stay in RFK? While there is on other team using it now, it is too big for soccer and is kind of old and worn out. However, as much as I like baseball and the Nats, it's nice to have them out of the way. The MLS Cup would not have come to DC if the Nats were still there.

    Here is a link to the blog that discussed the topic in a couple of columns. You have to page down a bit to get to the soccer stuff. The writer the Metro area columnist for the Washington Post and is a jerk in my opinion who hates soccer, but at least he's covering it.

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/
     
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  5. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    thanks for the full details, Dave. I'll be following this one closely. Agree with 'fog about Soccer Palace East.
     
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  6. DCDave

    DCDave Member

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    You're welcome, Don. I also agree with the Soccer Palace East. DC has always strongly supported big soccer events. Also, the stadium design they've come up with very impressive architecturally, in my opinion.

    http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/t103/stadium/poplar_point/
     
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  7. andypalmer

    andypalmer Active Member

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    Part of the problem with RFK is that DCU does not own it. From a revenue perspective, that's a huge deal.
     
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  8. DCDave

    DCDave Member

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    Re: RE: Marion Barry loves Soccer!

    You are right, that is very important. However, if they decided to keep RFK and have DC United play there for the next decade or so, theoretically that could be dealt with. In terms of sight lines, etc, it's pretty good for soccer. The baseball seats on the 3B side move into left/center field for soccer, so there is not a lot of wasted space on the sides and the fans are relatively close to the action. If they draw a big crowd and have to open the upper deck, there are many seats which have an excellent view of the field without being too far away.

    However, the DC government runs RFK, and they do a lousy job at it, so the food is terrible, it's dirty, and they don't make improvements. It's also too big--a 25K-30K stadium would be ideal (although they usually don't open the upper deck which keeps tickets scarce, a good thing for the team). Another big problem with RFK from the DCU perspective is the lack of suites and other upscale amenities.

    The best thing about RFK is that parking and entry/exit is very easy and it's a great place to tailgate before the games!
     
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  9. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

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    RE: Re: RE: Marion Barry loves Soccer!

    From what you say and what I've seen on TV, this would be ONE time when 'too big' isnt an issue. Atmosphere isnt lacking.

    If there was some sort of sweetheart Fed grant to refurb or rehab it, and DCU to operate it, it might actually be BETTER than a purpose built SSS.
     
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  10. DCDave

    DCDave Member

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    Re: RE: Re: RE: Marion Barry loves Soccer!

    Interesting thought, Pettyfog. I can't say I disagree with you. While RFK is old and dirty, it is a great place to be if what you're interested is to watch the game.

    However, the luxury box aspects and the cost of making it a nice place are probably as much as the cost of a new stadium (the DC government has let is rot pretty bad), and the designs for the news stadium are very nice.

    More news today on the situation--MacFarlane has said he's starting to look to the burbs to fins a stadium site. He has also said he is not opposed to a new stadium on the RFK site. (My guess is that there is some bluffing going on, but that is pure speculation.) Here's a link to the story:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02377.html
     
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  11. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Walnut, CA
    Having witnessed the LA Coliseum Commission pump hundreds of millions of dollars over the years to "refurbish" the Coliseum and still the NFL scoffs at the notion of putting a team there (the only way is to go "Soldier Field" where the columns stayed and everything else went), it's a much better idea for DCU to get their own digs rather than a "refurbished" RFK. Plus after checking out the project on the link Dave put up, the new place looks to be first class.
     
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  12. andypalmer

    andypalmer Active Member

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    I was at the DCU game against Chicago last night. Some of the baseball stuff is gone, but the lack of seats in the "ends" is really showing. It is a great location, though, so I could see refurbishment as an option.

    By the way, Perkins was incredible in goal.
     
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  13. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2005
    Two 'Columbus Products' that never played there... Perkins {Worthington HS} and Burse {OSU > Dallas}.

    But it's not like the keeper is the Crew's problem anyway. Always liked Perkins from his first time in goal.
     
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