Wow I know it's been awhile since I last wrote and I'm sure no body cares just as it was before but I thought I should pop my head back in and drop the PG County's economic feasibility study that was released yesterday. Aside from just the fact that there's actually some new and worthy news to talk about it should also be mentioned that IT'S POSITIVE, well at least somewhat. I haven't had more than a few minutes to skim through it yet, but the overall summary sounds as if it's thought that a PG county stadium would be a positive investment for the state. Aside from that there are of course some negatives as in the total estimated attendance number. It seems that they have found that United would loose fans if the club is moved out of the district, and I personally don't disagree.
Sure everyone has they're own reasons for why they'd be less inclined to drive just that bit more around the beltway, but why does it seem to be such a universal value among it's fans that United should remain playing in the district? Why are fans so stubborn on this issue? Maybe it's the same reason Kevin Payne is...
It seems to me that if you move United out of downtown Washington the club will in one way or another die. I don't mean the team will fold, no I think it's safe to assume that if the league survives then United will survive I wouldn't worry about that, but the soul of the club could invariably be lost very much the same way that Redskins lost their magic after moving to Landover. Anyone who would argue the latter of that point obviously never attended a Skins game at RFK. The place rocked, the Skins won, and you could still afford to go to more than one game a year.
Something very similar I fear could happen to United if they leave the district. I mean lets face it, for whatever reason attendance WILL drop. There's nothing to argue against it. Less people will come. Sure die hards and supporters will make the beltway trek, but the fair weathers, the soccer moms from VA, why would they sit an hour on the outer loop to make it out for a Thursday night game? We have to be realistic about this and admit that after the magic wears off this new stadium (however nice it is) it will be the same as Frisco and Commerce City... with a slightly more enthusiastic supporters section. DC could easily be lost in the sea of mediocre soccer stadiums that sadly do exist in this country.
With all of that outlined the club would then have to raise ticket prices as they already would have had to do in compensation for playing in a brand new stadium. This would only exacerbate the problem.
I've been going to games since I was a kid and I've dedicated a great deal of my young life to supporting United, but even I would be hard pressed to renew my season tickets if such a stadium is built. I've thought about it for quite awhile now and I have to admit that it's not a certainty. I have also wondered to myself that if I feel this way then how do many other supporters feel? If I'm starting to hedge my bets than there must be a lot of others that won't continue attending games. It's a scary prospect for a club that has built up what I am proud to say is one of the most genuine and authentic sporting atmospheres in the country.
Let's hope this new study from PG county forces the councils hand and United can get to work on it's real stadium at Poplar Point. All in all though we should be happy that the wheels are finally moving again... even though their in the wrong county.
Here's the PDF: