Housing Complex

D.C. United Uses Polls to Nudge City on Stadium Deal

united3Among 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

  • http://modelingwithdata.org bk

    This is an article about DC United using poll results, so it's no surprise that they would use the best possible numbers and omit the details. But for the rest of us, let's bear in mind that the poll has a margin of error of 3.3% (meaning that it was probably a poll of 1,000 people) The bottom tail of the margin of error puts support at 45.7%, below half of the 93% of not-don't-know responses (46.5%).

    The claim that a majority support city funds for the stadium is not confidently supported by the data. The generally accepted practice is to acknowledge that poll results like these are inconclusive and show no clear majority.

  • MikenotIke

    I wish the people whose current jobs in SW DC will be eliminated by eminent domain had been polled. I wonder how they feel?

  • Kevin

    I wish the people who will GET JOBS -- in construction, at the stadium, and from the other development that will come to Buzzard Point -- had been polled. I wonder how they feel?

  • S.E.

    "I wish the people who will GET JOBS -- in construction, at the stadium, and from the other development that will come to Buzzard Point -- had been polled. I wonder how they feel?"

    The problem is that the majority of these people will NOT be City Residents.

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  • Typical DC BS

    @S.E. - I can GUARANTEE you that most of the laborers and relatively unskilled helpers will be ILLEGAL ALIENS if the city decides to build a soccer stadium. That's how the subcontractors come up with the lowest bid - they pay their guys in cash as "contractors" and don't have to pay the employer's share of employment taxes.

    Go to ANY bid job site in DC and listen - you'll hear Spanish spoken among most of the laborers.

  • @typical

    As with any job with city money, status of the employees has to be confirmed by law, and is verified by the city.

    The truth of the matter is, you have an army of hispanic construction laborers who spend 4 or 5 hours a day on the road commuting back and forth from West Virginia or Pennsylavania to come to DC to make their 50K a year. Why do they get all the jobs, when the perpetually unemployed black man who lives 2 blocks away doesn't? Easy, because they show up, every.single.day.

    The 24 year old unemployed black guy down the street prefers his pretty cushy free ride, sitting home all day playing the Xbox thanks to the DC taxpayers and the nations most generous welfare laws.

    Anecdotal story... Clark Construction was hired for a city development job ~6 years ago. Part of the deal the city worked out with Clark is that Clark had to set aside 100 of the 400 basic labor jobs on the project, specifically for DC residents. These were decent jobs mind you, $20 bucks an hour, overtime if you wanted it, healthcare etc all for unskilled, inexperienced labor jobs.

    Clark advertised in all DC job centers, set up a completely new website for it, the DC Dept of Employment Services advertised the jobs through all their media and databases and neighbor centers.

    By the end of the 22 month construction project, he had had a total of 61 DC residents apply for the 100 positions specifically for them. He offered jobs to 55 of them. Of that number, 8 actually saw the job through. The rest would show up for a few days and then just stop showing up. He would never hear from them again.

    People can wax poetic about all those "bad" MD, WVA'ers and VA residents "taking" DC jobs, but the simple fact of the matter is its those good ol boy rednecks and hispanic guys from WVA that have to drive 2 hours each way who reliably show up every.single.day.

  • Sgc

    @bk,
    That doesn't matter all that much to the politicians. Because they're also likely to realize that the people who favor the project are, on balance, more likely to bear it in mind when they vote than the people who don't (in that latter category, you're going to find a lot of fairly indiscriminate cynicism, the kind that says "I'm against all of 'em"). Also, going by the history of the baseball stadium, there was a huge swing in favor of the project after it had been completed versus when it was being debated. It was in the mid-40s during debate time, and about 70% in favor once done.

  • George

    Well this discussion rapidly devolved into racism, rather than talk about the merits of a stadium, the deal, or the need to keep the team in D.C. Stadium deals are unpopular because the Lerner's screwed the city with the new National's Stadium and the Redskins Dan Snyder is demanding a $700 billion in extortion. However, is it not reasonable to ask DC to cover the cost of utility, road, and general infrastructure in the area? The Stadium itself would be fully paid for by DC United.

  • Bubba

    "I wish the people whose current jobs in SW DC will be eliminated by eminent domain had been polled. I wonder how they feel?"

    What current jobs in SW DC? Have you ever been there?

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