The study by Crossroads Consulting will examine the county's potential as a soccer market and the potential tax and economic development benefits of attracting the Major League Soccer team.
It will not focus on specific stadium sites. Those would have to be vetted later, though the club has shown interest over the years in several locations near College Park.
It's unclear who would pay for a soccer stadium in Prince George's. "Our commitment here is just to do the study," stadium authority chairman Frederick W. Puddester said.
The report is expected to be complete by July. United has agreed to reimburse the authority for its effort if the club ends up staying in Washington.
United spokesman Doug Hicks said the club is pleased the study will go forward.
United's status in the District of Columbia is murky. Club officials reached out to Maryland leaders about a possible move last fall after funding plans for a new stadium in the city seemed to fall through. But Washington Mayor Adrian M. Fenty recently refloated the idea of paying $190 million for a stadium as part of a redevelopment project in Southeast Washington.
Fenty previously criticized the use of public money for a new $611 million baseball stadium. Like the Washington Nationals before them, United wants out of RFK Stadium.
Given the uncertainty, United officials remain interested in assessing their options in the Washington suburbs.
Puddester said club executives told him they were caught off guard when Fenty reinitiated talk of funding for a Washington stadium.
Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson and state Comptroller Peter Franchot have expressed interest in luring the soccer club.
In other business yesterday, the stadium authority heard that construction on the new video and scoreboards at Camden Yards is on schedule. The last pieces of the video screen were expected to go in yesterday, with work on the right-field scoreboard and the main scoreboard set to wrap up next week or the week after.