Loose Lips

Evans Wants D.C. United Hearing Recessed for World Cup Game

Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans has caught World Cup fever.

In a letter today to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Evans asks Mendelson to recess a hearing on the proposed D.C. United stadium set for later this month so soccer fans won't have to choose between testifying about the stadium and watching the U.S. play Germany in the final group stage game of the tournament.

Evans, an enthusiast of all things sports and stadiums, worries that the June 26 hearing set for 9:30 a.m. will conflict with the U.S.-Germany match, set for noon the same day. Rather than make soccer nuts decide between club and country, Evans' letter to Mendelson proposes recessing the hearing at 11:45 a.m., then starting again once the match is over.

But Evans doesn't stop there. Rather than sending soccer fans at the hearing to whatever bar is closest to the Wilson Building, Evans is asking Mendelson to use projection screens in the Council chambers to show the game.

Evans spokesman Tom Lipinsky says the inconvenient timing of the hearing hasn't been lost on soccer fans. "There certainly was a lot of talk from folks right when they announced the hearing," Lipinsky says.

Because the hearing brings together three committees, its scheduling has proved rather delicate. Mendelson's office didn't respond to a request for comment, but the chairman hasn't appeared moved in the past by fans' concerns. When one D.C. United fan called into WAMU's The Politics Hour to complain about the timing two weeks ago, Mendelson responded that because the hearing started two and a half hours before the game, the two wouldn't really conflict.

Update, 5:15 p.m.: Karen Sibert, Mendelson's spokeswoman, says that her boss isn't "inclined" to grant Evans' request to recess the hearing. Soccer fans torn between testifying and watching the World Cup can request to testify early in the hearing or speak at expected future hearings on the stadium, according to Sibert.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • evans needs to go

    how many tickets did he buy from his constituent service funds?

  • DC Guy

    Why not set up one of those temporary bandstands with giant screens on Freedom Plaza, you know, like every other city in the world?

  • Typical DC BS

    Good thing evans has his priorities straight. And DC wonders why nobody takes them seriously when goofs like Evans whine about not being able to watch a SOCCER game?

  • Kevin

    Typical comment of Typical DC BS.

    A hearing is going to be held by our local government. Because of when it has been scheduled it will be very difficult to attend by one of the groups of citizens most affected by the outcome of the issue at hand.

    Changing the hearing date is what responsive leadership would do, but Mendelson is not responsive in the least when he cares little about a particular constituency.

    I remember when he's up for reelection.

  • sidney


    Sorry, the game is not a life or death issue. It's not like you can't attend because you have work, or because it's a religious holiday. Oh wait, they always schedule hearings during working hours, don't they? Maybe they should do hearings at night? Maybe they should do a Doodle poll?

  • Alan

    "Soccer fans" is not a constituency. It's a hobby.

  • Typical DC BS

    Right Kevin. Take a look in the mirror if you want to see an example of the problem I was talking about. Guess you've never heard of a DVR to record the game?

    Yes, watching a soccer game sure takes precedent over a government hearing. Grow up.

  • DCShadyBoots

    Why not just close the DC government so that all government employees can watch a soccer game?

    Evans wants permission to postpone doing the job he was elected to do in order to watch a professional sports game that isn't even the finals.

  • citydude

    It is absolutely great to have hearing when USA and Germany are playing soccer. And If USA wins it puts a lot of pressure on Council to pass. There are plenty of rich people why not donate 2 of big TV's for fans to see the game in the hallway. Generally Council hearings mostly never start on time and then Council Members just talk and talk and groan!! Let us face it we should all sign up to give positive testimony. Let us have a party at Wilson Building!

  • Phil

    Classic Evans. This guy doesn't really care about his constituents and that's why he lost BIG TIME in the last primary. Probably wants to soak up a $1,000 free meal at Le Diplomate which he claims he opened up

  • Ward One Resident

    Good lord! It's recessing the hearing for two hours...not postponing it, not canceling, not rescheduling it. It's taking a two-hour break in the middle. And let's be honest, if the Council were a bit better about running hearings in the first place and every blow-hard "community activist" didn't feel the need to drone on for more than their allotted time, this wouldn't be an issue in the first place.

  • MikenotIke

    This is why I voted for Gurley.

  • DCShadyBoots

    Why not close all DC government offices for 2 hours to allow the employees to watch soccer.

  • John

    If this was a meeting about an American football stadium during the SuperBowl i'm sure a lot of these comments would be different. Instead, since this is about soccer, these people feel like it is not important to ANYONE.
    This is a meeting about a soccer stadium during a very important match for soccer fans.

    Telling someone to grow up because they are passionate about something is about as hypocritical as you can get.

  • Typical DC BS

    John, I see you also need to grow up. Look in the mirror for to see the definition of "clueless".

    Try to enter the modern age - these great inventions called DVR's allow you to not whine about watching a game being played during BUSINESS HOURS when adults are working. You might try that working thing sometime.