Ahead of Hearings, Bowser Visits “Strikingly Isolated” Soccer Stadium Site
With two committee hearings planned this week on the proposed D.C. United soccer stadium, Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser headed to Buzzard Point yesterday to tour the proposed site. Along for sherpa duty: Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, whose ward would include the soccer stadium (though he won't be representing it by the time it gets built, if it does).
Bowser won't start hearing from affected residents until a hearing tonight at Ward 1's Reeves Center, but her post-tour remarks suggested that the Democratic mayoral nominee isn't thrilled about the site. After seeing the distance between the stadium location and the Navy Yard and Waterfront Metro stations (roughly half a mile) Bowser said that the proposed site was "a good walk" from transit options.
While LL thinks the walk could do fans some good, Bowser accused Vince Gray's stadium-pushing administration of neglecting to consider how people would get to the site.
"Looking at it from this lens, it's strikingly isolated," Bowser said.
That's exactly what Wells would want to hear from his one-time primary foe. After the D.C. Council cut the budget for streetcar lines, including a potential track to Buzzard Point, Wells waffled on his own support for the project.
If Bowser sounded ambivalent about the prospect of fans walking half a mile to the stadium, though, she was even less thrilled by the Gray administration's proposal to swap the Reeves Center to developer Akridge in exchange for stadium land.
"It's the swap that's been most problematic for me," Bowser said.
Bowser's first hearing on the stadium starts tonight at 6 p.m. at the Reeves Center at 14th and U streets NW, with another hearing tomorrow starting at 7 p.m. at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs at 1100 4th Street SW.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery