United We Leave…or Not
I wrote this week about DC United's management and fans giving up on DC.
I don't want the team to leave town. And though I grew up in the DC suburbs, the idea of building sports venues outside the city is so retro. Not good retro, like the opening riff of "Sweet Home Alabama."* Bad retro, like the Ayds Candy Plan.
The spots that United claims to crave are both in Landover, a corner kick from where Abe Pollin's Capital Centre* once stood. When Abe moved downtown and imploded his old building, I figured the era of the suburban sports venue was dead around here. Redskins fans already knew that they were stuck with a disaster in FedExField by then.
So I was surprised to hear so much support for a PG County site from United's fan base, which is, from my experience, smarter and younger and more cosmopolitan (and, of course, smaller) than any other local team's base. Their cheerleading for the soccer team bizarrely extends to management's whims, even when it'd be hard to argue that a move to Maryland would be good for current United supporters.
But, as I think the team and its fans will find out pretty quick, nobody in PG will be building any stadium for anybody any time soon. Maybe the feud between the team and the DC government will cool by the time the recession ends. Look for several more years of United at RFK, and then it's Poplar Point or bust.
*Skynyrd opened for the Who on Dec. 6, 1973, the week Capital Centre opened. A photo from that show was used in the poster that came with "Odds and Sods." Don't get me started...