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Can College Park Host DC United Games?

DC United

Recently, a neighbor in my district sent me this post that talks about the possibility of hosting DC United games at an University of Maryland location.

The DCU is having some serious problems with its aging 50 years old RFK stadium. If the published reports are correct, they are not getting a much needed help from the DC government to fix the stadium.

This has generated a discussion of hosting DC Uited games somewhere else, for example  at an University of Maryland location.

The idea of having a soccer stadium inside the UMD campus is not quite new. Years ago, as part of the campus master plan, a soccer stadium was eyed around the Comcast Center basketball arena.

Currently, the UMD already has a modest soccer “stadium” (Ludwig Field) that seats around only 8,000.  DC United wants a stadium that could seat around 25,000, and an expanded soccer stadium on UMD campus could serve both teams.

Having a larger soccer stadium in the UMD campus can be a win-win deal for both the University of Maryland and the City of College Park. The UMD can get some good chunk of revenues when it is in the middle of cutting back its athletic programs.

The city businesses can also benefit from the influx of spectators. In addition to that, the City can also gain as much as 400,000 dollars in A & A taxes every year by providing City services during the games.

On the flip side, I understand there could be some valid concerns in the areas of traffic and the post-game riots, but these issues can be addressed with a good plan. For example we can probably work on a public transportation program that would reduce vehicle trips on city’s main streets. Once the Purple line runs through the campus, things should even improve.

These are my initial ideas. I’m curious to know your thoughts on these.

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