D.C. United Uses Polls to Nudge City on Stadium Deal
Among the many revealing results of the Washington City Paper/Kojo Nnamdi Show poll published this week was an item gauging the support for the planned D.C. United soccer stadium at Buzzard Point. Forty-four percent of respondents said they supported the city's plan, which is to fund the infrastructure and land swaps needed to build the stadium while leaving the actual construction costs to the team. An equal 44 percent said the city shouldn't spend a dime on the stadium project. Five percent took the unorthodox view that the city was getting too good a deal and should pay for the full thing. That makes a plurality of nearly 50 percent who support some sort of city funding for the stadium.
The team's making sure the results don't go unnoticed. In a press release yesterday, D.C. United touted the responses to that poll, as well as an earlier poll showing similar support for a stadium with some city funding and emails sent by over 3,000 D.C. residents backing the plans.
“The message is clear that more and more residents understand and support the details of the stadium proposal,” D.C. United Chief Operating Officer Tom Hunt says in the press release. “We are appreciative of all the District residents that have made their voices heard and who want to see the city move forward with this project.”
For the city to move forward, the D.C. Council needs to approve the project—something that's far from guaranteed, with several members coming out in opposition or making various demands about what should be in the deal. But before it even gets to the Council, the administration needs to finalize the deal. It's way behind schedule. And the mayor's office is being oddly secretive about the negotiations. The team would be forgiven for thinking that, in advance of next week's mayoral primary, the administration isn't giving its all in trying to promote and expedite the politically dicey stadium plan. Perhaps, once April 1 is behind us, we'll begin to see some momentum again.
Rendering courtesy of the Office of the City Administrator