PG United: Pro Soccer Team Giving DC the Boot?

Maryland lawmakers introduce legislation to clear way for soccer stadium

LARGO, Md. -- With negotiations for a new soccer stadium at Poplar Point falling apart, D.C. United could be headed across the border to score new digs in Prince George's County.

Maryland lawmakers introduced legislation Monday that would allow United -- the most successful team in the history of professional soccer in the United States -- to work with the Maryland Stadium Authority on development of a new stadium.

A fall study commissioned by the stadium authority found that a soccer stadium would generate between $65 million and $80 million annually.

And it would pay for itself. A stadium seating about 24,000 fans is expected to cost $180 million to $195 million, which would be funded by the team and by new generated by the team and the stadium, not by the tax base. Construction could create 250 jobs.

United has drawn more than 20,000 fans per game to RFK Stadium during the past two seasons.

"We are outraged!" Councilman Marion Barry wrote on behalf of the Poplar Point Coalition in an open letter to Mayor Adrian Fenty. "We are disappointed in the way you and your administration have mishandled the Poplar Point development. The coalition believes you have squandered what you described as 'a once in a lifetime opportunity.'" 

Team officials declined to talk about the failure to get a Poplar Point deal done.

The team is expected to pick a location in Prince George's County within 60 days. It wants to be in its new home by 2012. The team is favoring a site near a Metro station or near FedEx Field in Landover, for which the Washington Redskins ditched D.C., officials said.

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