City Desk

MacFarlane Speaks—”Hopeful” of Council Approval

LL wasn't the only tall, handsome, impeccably dressed gentleman roaming the Wilson Building halls this afternoon.

D.C. United owner and real-estate mogul Victor MacFarlane was making the rounds of D.C. Council offices late today, trying to gauge and drum up support for public funding for a Ward 8 soccer stadium.

LL caught up with MacFarlane on his way out of the building about 20 minutes ago and asked him what his message was to councilmembers today. MacFarlane declined to talk specifics, but spoke in broad terms: "I think we're focusing on the main principles....We're going to provide substantial equity that doesn't require any new taxes."

Yesterday, a Washington Post article revealed that Mayor Adrian M. Fenty was in talks with MacFarlane about public funding for a stadium at Poplar Point.

MacFarlane has lobbied for a soccer stadium on Poplar Point since the days of Mayor Anthony A. Williams, but the talks came as a surprise, because MacFarlane's company had declined to submit a bid to serve as master developer of the Poplar Point project after Fenty decided to open the land to other developers.

MacFarlane did say that he's "very satisfied" with the announcement yesterday of Clark Realty as the master developer and that he and Clark had already begun talks about the stadium.

Asked if he was confident of council approval for any public-private partnership on the stadium, MacFarlane said: "I'm hopeful."

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