SBD/August 3, 2012/Franchises

MLS' Garber Had "Significant Role" In Facilitating Levien/Thohir DC United Investment

Thohir, Levien hope to move toward a permanent stadium for DC United
New MLS DC United investors Jason Levien and Erick Thohir represent “the last best chance for United … to stake its claim” in the market, according to Brian Straus of SPORTING NEWS. MLS Commissioner Don Garber played “a significant role in facilitating their investment, and now he’ll be counting on them, along with United’s fans, to find a solution to a problem that has vexed everyone for years.” The experience Levien and “financial heft” of Thohir can help the team “focus once again on the city with more optimism than ever." Attending his first match since becoming an investor in the team, Levien “was presented with a gift by fans in the RFK Stadium parking lot on Saturday evening.” He said, “They gave me a machete. They handed me a real machete.” Levien’s sports acumen “is just part of the reason he’ll be wielding that machete.” He also spent time “in the Clinton White House and has the personable, smooth demeanor of someone accustomed to making his case, making new friends and forging consensus.” These attributes will help the team on their quest for the “construction of a permanent home.” DC United currently plays in MLS’ oldest facility, and that has left the team “frustrated and floundering as rival clubs have successfully constructed modern soccer-specific stadiums.” The quest has “become a source of exasperation for MLS executives” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 8/1).

THE QUEST CONTINUES: DC United President & CEO Kevin Payne on Thursday said of the team’s quest for a new stadium, “It has to happen. We are not a sustainable business at RFK, but it will happen.” Payne said of the search process, “We are talking to Baltimore and we are talking to D.C. … We are having very good conversations with the District now and I feel very encouraged. At the same time, we have been treated very respectfully by Baltimore and the Maryland Stadium Authority, and we’re having serious conversations with them as well” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 8/2).
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Franchises, DC United, MLS

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