D.C. United has begun construction on its new training facility and performance center at Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park near Leesburg.
The new facility will also be home to Loudoun United FC, the club’s United Soccer League affiliate, and the D.C. United Academy.
“The substantial investment in soccer infrastructure that we have made the last few years—building Audi Field, forming Loudoun United FC, increasing funding to our Academy, and now developing a new state-of-the-art training facility—demonstrates our commitment to contributing to the powerful growth of our sport in the DMV,” stated Jason Levien, CEO and Co-Chairman of D.C. United. In the Jan. 28 announcement. “We live in a hotbed for soccer talent, and this new performance center located in the heart of Loudoun County will allow us to harness the growth opportunity in the region and serve as a national center for best-in-class performance excellence.”
The facility will include a 40,000-square-foot training center in a 30-acre complex, including four full-size outdoor practice fields, and a training center equipped with a weight room and recovery facilities for the club’s performance and medical staff. The Audi Performance Center, located inside the training facility, will have educational resources and tutorial resources available for Academy players, as well as a video room the club can use to review film from training sessions and previous matches.
The complex is near Segra Field, the 5,000-seat stadium which opened in August 2019 and is where Loudoun United FC, along with the Washington Spirit from the National Women’s Soccer League, and Old Glory Rugby DC, the area’s Major league Rugby club, play their home matches. The training facility will also become home to the Washington Spirit.
“This marks another #LoudounPossible day in our community as we begin construction on the performance center and training facility for the D.C. United organization,” stated Buddy Rizer, executive director of Economic Development in Loudoun County. “We are proud that one of the sport’s best franchises has made this long-term commitment to Loudoun and we are thrilled to add them to our thriving business environment.”
The club projects more than 130,000 attendees will visit the site annually, from camps and clinics, to practices, leagues, and tournaments. The club estimates that the facility and performance center will be completed and ready for use by end of summer of this year.
Segra Field and the related stadium and facilities were financed in a deal with the county government. Th stadium is owned by the county government, and the county government has already sunk $25 million in financing to build the stadium and bring the team, as well as headquarters and training facilities for major league men’s team DC United, to the county.
County supervisors announced the deal in January 2018 and approved $15 million in debt financing for the project to build the stadium, fields and offices, adding another $10 million in December 2019 when the project ran over budget in exchange for bringing a women’s soccer team, Washington Spirit—which had already announced a move into the park—to Loudoun, as well as a new marketing agreement.
On the other side of those agreements, the team agreed to pay back all of that cost over the next 30 years, paying rent to play in the county-owned stadium. After the cost is paid back, the county will still own the stadium, under the deal.
The county has also seen cost overruns in its part of the project, including grading, building parking areas and walkways, and connecting utilities. Those overruns ratcheted an initial estimate of $7 million for that work up to $17 million.
Supervisors in May 2020 voted amid the COVID-19 pandemic to defer the $621,233 the team was going to pay the county in rent last year, spreading that payment out over the next six years instead with at least 8-percent interest.