Supervisors Move Ahead with D.C. United Deal

Loudoun Supervisors have put the county staff to work hashing out the details of a $15 million financing agreement to bring a second division professional soccer team and D.C. United headquarters and training center to Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park south of Leesburg.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding approved Thursday, the deal will bring a 5,000-seat stadium, four soccer fields, and 40,000 square feet of office to the complex. The team would pay back the cost of the stadium through its lease on the property, and the county would have the use of the stadium and two of the fields.

“It is a facility that the county will own,” said Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles). “So, what we have here is a situation where the county is going to have an asset that somebody else is paying us back for.”

He said the benefits to Loudoun of having the team, the D.C. United name and the facilities will be “significant.”

“I’m sure that everybody here has had the experience of travelling outside the county for a high school graduation, for instance, because there’s no facility or venue big enough to host it here,” Letourneau said.

The idea has faced some opposition, particularly from people living nearby. Residents of Kincaid Forest have said they’re worried the stadium will mean more traffic through their neighborhood, which is bisected by Kincaid Boulevard. The county completed construction on Kincaid Boulevard years ago, but the Leesburg Town Council has resisted opening it to through traffic until construction on missing links of Crosstrails Boulevard are completed. Once open, Kincaid Boulevard will connect Bolen Park to Battlefield Parkway via Crosstrails Boulevard.

Letourneau said some people have overestimated the scale of the stadium, where a second division men’s professional team is expected to play 15 games a year starting in spring of 2019.

“The number of cars that would actually be involved in that are actually fairly consistent with what Bolen Park sees on a typical busy, peak type of time period anyway, when all the fields are being used,” Letourneau said.

The project has also drawn criticism for including a dedicated “Loudoun County Economic Development Suite,” to which county government leaders will have first choice.

“It’s not like it’s going to be for the personal use of the Board of Supervisors whenever we feel like this,” Letourneau said. “… We want to make sure that if we want to bring in groups, if [Department of Economic Development Executive Director] Buddy Rizer wants to bring in people, if we want to reward a charity that raises so much—there’s a dedicated place that we can do that at this facility.”

On the board, only Supervisor Kristen C. Umstattd (D-Leesburg) voted against the project, citing the concerns of neighbors in the area.

According to the county, approximately 50 employees would work at the D.C. United complex, which is where the team would construct a training facility for its first team players, second division players, youth development program, and offices to house business operations. The county would provide land and up to $15 million in financing for the stadium and offices, which the company will pay back through its lease.

The county would clear the land at its expense and 1,000 more parking spaces, which it would be able to use for park-and-ride lots during commuter hours. The cost of clearing the site and building the parking lot is estimated at $7 million.

rgreene@loudounnow.com

3 thoughts on “Supervisors Move Ahead with D.C. United Deal

  • 2018-01-19 at 9:40 pm
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    unbelievable how a sports team can come in here and get an MOU negotiated for $15 million. Why not do the same with a private company looking to use county land better in a public private partnership, and one that will produce more jobs and revenue than a soccer team? . And, I am sure DC united with hire better lawyers than us and design a deal that allows them to get out of it and leave us paying for all these improvements. Meanwhile, some 100 acres of prime land at Westpark is just sitting there for potential purchase by the County at only $6 million — and you can get more soccer fields than this deal with DC United

  • 2018-01-20 at 12:20 pm
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    Matt is still trying to sell us the Silver Line with this crummy logic. It didn’t work then and it won’t work with the next to the lowest rated 2nd division MSL soccer team. DC United is closer to folding then to paying for any loans.

  • 2018-01-20 at 5:53 pm
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    A new record for waste fraud and abuse by Harrison Street. One month — from dropping this on the people, to approval. The county doesn’t move that fast on anything. Anything. This cake was already baked, the Board just had to make it look like they were going through the motions.

    No wonder my usually responsive Supervisor avoided speaking with constituents about this. He was in on it. Tell us again why this dosen’t go on the ballot for a vote of the people?

    This is corruption from top to bottom.

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