Thread: Baltimore United?
12-07-2011, 07:38 PM #1
Last April I posted on the possibility of DC United moving to Baltimore. Looks like rumors are heating up again. According to an article by The Washington Post, the MLS commissioned a survey in Baltimore to gauge interest in a soccer team through "expansion or relocation."
The state of Maryland, city of Baltimore and Maryland Stadium Authority have approached United about moving into a proposed venue in Westport, which is near Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium. The plan is still in the very early stages.
However, “we’ve been saying this could happen,” United President Kevin Payne told the Insider. “This isn’t a game. This is serious. This isn’t a bluff. Part of it is trying to understand what that means for our business.
“From our point of view, it’s just due diligence. You have to understand your options. We’re trying to understand the depth of interest in Baltimore.”
United has spent all 16 MLS seasons in Washington but club officials have said playing at 50-year-old RFK is not economically viable. Talks with D.C. officials have shown no signs of progress. Buzzard Point in Southwest D.C., near Nationals Park, has been the club’s primary focus. Previous negotiations, involving Poplar Point in Anacostia and then Prince George’s County in Maryland, collapsed.
I for one would love to see this happen. I played soccer and would love to follow a team, but I've never been able to follow teams outside of Baltimore. Obviously Kevin Payne (United's owner) probably hopes that the threat of moving to Baltimore will get him a new stadium in the greater DC area, but I hope he's really willing to move to Baltimore if this doesn't happen.
12-07-2011, 07:50 PM #2
Re: Baltimore United?
Another recent article on the topic...
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber says D.C. United might relocate to a different site in the Washington-Baltimore region next season because of high operating costs at RFK Stadium.
"We have to aggressively figure a solution out, and that solution needs to be figured out soon. And I am concerned about where this team will be in 2012," he said during a conference call Thursday.
"I'm shocked to say that I believe they could be paying more for their lease in RFK than any other team we have in the league, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is a stadium that is substandard to what soccer fans are able to experience in many other markets in the United States and Canada.""If that means that they can't get a new improved lease in D.C., they've got to move to another facility in the region. I will be supportive of that, and in fact will help them do that," he said. "And if it means they can't find a solution in Baltimore, then we'll have to go through a process as we did with San Jose to think about potentially moving the team. I believe that we'll have to go through that process, as well."
Washington Mayor Vincent Gray did not sound optimistic about a new stadium in a Twitter post Nov. 3.
"We value DC United & hope they stay in DC," Gray tweeted. "But District is in a challenging fiscal environment now & publicly funded stadium not possible."
Of course the real question is, if they moved to Baltimore, would 24x7 add a Baltimore United Forum to go along with the O's and Terps forums?