A football-specific stadium was the dream of D.C. United basically since the team’s establishment in 1996, even if first expressed openly in 2004. By 2006 the first plan was drawn but then for almost a decade efforts were futile. This meant playing what proved to be 22 seasons at the iconic RFK Stadium. Iconic it may have been, but not a football stadium by any measure. From the circular footprint to temporary stands beside the field bouncing along with the rowdy Barra Brava.
Finally, the dream came to fruition with a site at Buzzard Point, an impoverished district south of the Capitol, where Anacostia meets Potomac. The stadium lot is, coincidentally, just 350 meters away from the much larger ballpark, Nationals Park, both connected by Potomac Avenue.
Though we’re talking of a private project, there was quite some investment required from Washington D.C. as well. The municipality had to acquire land worth some $100 million, including clearing. It didn’t go without controversy as some of the funds came from education expenditure, already deemed insufficient. Contrary to many other countries, however, public authorities did not pay for the stadium construction itself, valued just below $200 million. Along the scheme the stadium was built privately, then taken over by authorities and leased to D.C. United, who are now bound to use it in their MLS campaigns.
Tenant: D.C. United (MLS)