DC United, Local Officials Close To Soccer Stadium Deal At Buzzard Point Site
City officials and DC United execs are “close to finalizing an agreement to build a 20,000-seat soccer stadium at Buzzard Point” in Southwest DC, according to sources cited by Jonathan O'Connell of the WASHINGTON POST. The deal will “face a number of political hurdles on a frenzied time frame if it is to be approved by the D.C. Council before Mayor Vincent C. Gray, a key booster, leaves office at the end of the year." The DC government would "provide up to" $150M for the estimated $300M project "through infrastructure improvements.” DC United would be “responsible for building the stadium, which would be a few blocks southwest of Nationals Park, but the club would receive property and sales tax breaks.” A “hang-up in the discussions has been how to replace an original provision for the District to share in team profits.” The two parties “agreed to replace it with a combination of sales tax payments and a future $2 surcharge on tickets.” The city under the terms of the deal would “pay to build utility and road infrastructure for the project.” The deal’s “costs are capped” at $150M. Furthermore, DC United would “lease the land for 30 years at no cost, with an option to extend." Sources said that the team would “pay no property taxes for the first five years," then would pay 25% of its tax bill for the next five years, 50% for five years, 75% for five years and finally its entire property tax bill. DC United would also "pay no sales taxes for the first five years," then 50% of the sales tax for five years and finally full sales taxes. Should the stadium get built, the “earliest the team could play in it” would be ’17 (WASHINGTON POST, 5/20).