Poplar Point: Soccer Project Lacked D.C. “Champion,” So P.G. County Stepped In was originally published on Housing Complex on Feb. 20, 2009, at 7:59 am
Apparently, P.G. County officials were putting the moves on team owner Victor MacFarlane as early as 2007. “”D.C. United people said their first choice was the District,” one P.G. official says. “But we put ourselves in a position to say, ‘If things don’t work out there, we’re here.’”
In general though, the project lacked solid public support from most officials in Washington D.C. Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry liked the plan, and so did many of his constituent leaders. But that wasn’t enough:
Making the rounds of the D.C. government building, MacFarlane had talked of a new soccer facility as the catalyst for Poplar Point, spurring the creation of much-needed services to help residents in Ward 8. In exchange, he wanted control of much of the development — or up to $225 million in public subsidies.
Fenty’s aides said they were never convinced that a soccer stadium would generate more tax revenue than, say, a movie theater or bowling alley. Behind the scenes, Fenty told D.C. Council members he would support a stadium only if they took the lead. But there was no majority support on the 13-member council, and the recession has made public financing even less appealing.