While the U.S. men’s national team was playing soccer on the world stage Thursday, hundreds of people showed up at a D.C. Council hearing to debate whether the district should help build a new soccer stadium for DC United.
City officials heard skepticism and caution about financing and tax breaks -- including selling the Reeves Center at 14th and U streets in Northwest -- and whether it’s too easy for the team to opt out of the deal if costs rise.
City Administrator Allen Lew said city costs are capped at $150 million with the team paying the rest. Lew is confident the team has the finances to pay its part.
Mayor Vincent Gray wants the council to act quickly, but the council clearly indicated Thursday it is in no rush to approve Gray's final big project before he leaves office. The council and the chief financial officer’s office are hiring outside consultants to review the financing, and a vote may be delayed until late this year or longer.
“Well, we hope that it doesn't,” said Elliott Ferguson of Destination DC. “Clearly there's an appetite for it. I think the city council clearly will have to do their due diligence in looking at the deal.”