Stayed. Eee! Aaahhh!
The Washington Times has recently run two excellent pieces on the D.C. United Stadium situation. One is on the new stadium development, or lack thereof, but the other is a Tim Lemke blog entry on the lease negotiations regarding RFK. Now, we're all familiar with the stadium situation, so while that's arguable more important, I want to let that pass for now. Instead, a few key points from Lemke's blog:
The issue is this: The team really wants its own facility, where it can bring in all the money from naming rights, advertising, concessions, etc. But in the absence of that, it would at least like to get a bigger share of revenue, particularly since it is now the only tenant there.
The sports commission understands D.C. United's point view but is not about to give money away, especially since it recently had to turn to the D.C. Council for assistance in balancing its budget this last fiscal year.
"It is frustrating for us. We understand the [Nationals] stadium is a big deal, but that doesn't help us. We're getting a little tired of being told, 'We're too busy.' But Greg O'Dell has been responsive and has done his best to get us answers in a timely manner, and we're optimistic we can get to the finish line shortly."
What's interesting is that the city and DCSEC may have managed to get at cross-purposes with themselves. If United felt confident that the new stadium would be coming soon, perhaps they would be willing to accept a little less in terms of the lease since they knew what a limited time deal it would be. But with the uncertainty over the stadium situation, it makes all the sense in the world for United to try and dig in now and take what you can see.
While this is all likely to be resolved, the interesting thing is that we're also approaching the point where the City's good faith may start to come into question. They've messed around with Poplar Point. They're messing around with RFK. While the leaders consistently say "Yes, we want United to stay in the District" they seem unwilling to make concessions to that goal. Given their unwillingness to make any sort of positive action as far as I can see, I am almost ready to start checking the Metro fares to PG County. Which I will pay. Gladly.