Wednesday, January 23, 2008

11/29/07: The Washington Post - Would They Call It P.G. United?

Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, November 29, 2007; Page DZ01

And now, representing the Washington region in Major League Soccer, it's your Prince George's United!

Fans of the storied D.C. United soccer franchise, winner of four league titles, might protest such an announcement. But it looks as though team owner Victor B. MacFarlane is following through on his pledge to explore other locations in case his bid to build a stadium in the District falls through.
David Byrd, a high-ranking Prince George's County official, told The Washington Post last week that MacFarlane has expressed interest in sites in Greenbelt and New Carrollton, where the team had looked a few years ago. Both of those areas are Metro-accessible and have land sufficient to accommodate a mixed-use development anchored by a stadium, Byrd said.

MacFarlane has met with Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) to discuss the matter, according to two sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the negotiations are preliminary. United plays at 46-year-old RFK Stadium, where MacFarlane has said the franchise is losing $10 million a season.

"I've been told he's looking very closely" at Prince George's, Byrd said. "We hope that Victor MacFarlane feels Prince George's County is a great place for the team."

Prince George's also has a large Latino community, which has made up a sizable portion of United's fan base, Byrd noted. He declined to disclose what economic incentives the county might offer the team.

Last summer, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) halted negotiations with MacFarlane over the team's proposal to build a 27,000-seat stadium and other development at Poplar Point, parkland along the Anacostia River in Ward 8. The Fenty administration is considering four alternative proposals for Poplar Point, not all of which would include a stadium, and will present them to the public in about two weeks.

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