SBD/February 15, 2017/Facilities

Audi Signs Long-Term Naming-Rights Deal For New DC United Stadium

DC United has signed luxury automaker Audi for naming rights to the team’s $300M stadium. The agreement for Audi Field runs between 10-15 years and is valued at $4M annually, sources said, making it the second biggest deal in MLS behind Banc of California’s reported 15-year, $100M deal for LAFC's new stadium. Most naming-rights agreements in MLS are in the range of $2M a year. DC United negotiated the deal directly with Audi after using Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment as a consultant. Audi is a new team sponsor. At the league level, the brand has been a sponsor since '15. DC United, pending final zoning approvals, expects to break ground this month on a 19,400-seat facility at Buzzard Point, across the Anacostia River from Nationals Park. Populous is designing the stadium with 30 suites and a 600-space supporters section. Turner Construction is the general contractor. Legends Global Planning is the owner’s representative. The stadium is targeted to open over the course of the '18 season. Volkswagen, Audi's parent company, was DC United's jersey sponsor from '08-13 (Don Muret, Staff Writer). DC United President of Business Operations Tom Hunt indicated that the deal comes after officials from both the club and Audi "spoke on and off for a year and engaged in formal talks during all-star game festivities last summer." In DC, Steven Goff reports the two sides "reached a tentative agreement before the winter holidays." Other names considered for the venue were Audi Park, Audi Arena and Audi Stadium (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/15).

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