D.C. United to Baltimore?

Jntg4

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Hey, just saw this on OurSportsCentral forums:
THIS article is from 7/29/09 in the Baltimore Sun AND the Washington Post:



Proposed Baltimore soccer stadium could attract D.C. United
New stadium could attract D.C. United
July 29, 2009|By Don Markus, Baltimore SunTwice in the past year, Baltimore has become a soccercentric city.

It happened last summer, for a day, when two of the world's best teams, AC Milan and Chelsea, came to M&T Bank Stadium, bringing more than 72,000 fans with them. It happened recently, during the monthlong World Cup, when fans of the game piled into bars and crowded near the harbor to watch the U.S. team's run to the knockout round.

But could it happen on a more regular basis?

City officials, developers and local soccer aficionados believe it can, if plans move forward for a soccer-only stadium and if Baltimore is successful in attracting D.C. United away from Washington. The next step in that process will likely take shape in early September, when a Tampa, Fla.-based marketing consulting firm will release the findings of a $100,000 feasibility study requested by the Maryland Stadium Authority.

"I think there is a large international population in Baltimore and there is an extreme interest in soccer for sure," said Deputy Mayor Kaliope Parthemos. "There's definitely a fever and excitement for soccer in Baltimore City and we're hoping to capture that."

While the fever might not be as high as it was for last year's international match that featured one of the game's biggest stars, Ronaldinho of Brazil, a crowd of around 35,000 is expected Saturday for a "friendly" between European Cup champion Inter Milan and Manchester City of the English Premier League. As of Wednesday, a little over 32,000 tickets had been sold.

Baltimore is also on the list of 18 possible sites if the U.S. is successful in its bid for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

The proposed soccer-only stadium and an adjacent hotel that could accommodate up to 500 guests would be part of a $1.5 billion mixed-use project being developed on the waterfront in Westport. Developer Pat Turner pointed to the fact that television ratings in Baltimore for the World Cup are indicative of how such a stadium -- with the possibility of D.C. United playing there -- would be received in the city.

"Baltimore was the No. 2 city in the nation in terms of watching the World Cup," Turner said Wednesday. "Obviously, it's up to D.C. United whether they make a decision to move here or not, but I think the support here is more than what it is up in Philly," where a soccer-only stadium was opened this year for a Major League Soccer expansion team.
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Any thoughts?
 

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D.C. United to Baltimore = revenue
By Jonathan O'Connell
Posted at 1:25 PM ET

Relocating the D.C. United soccer team to the Baltimore area would create between 780 and 940 jobs and up to $6.4 million in annual state and local tax revenues, according to a study issued Dec. 22 by the Maryland Stadium Authority and a Florida consulting firm.

D.C. United, which currently plays its home games at RFK Stadium, has been looking for a new building to call home for years. After the team failed to secure stadium agreements with officials in D.C. and Prince George's County, Baltimore officials last year asked for a study of the potential economic impact that building a new stadium for the team would have on the area.

Researchers from Crossroads Consulting Services of Tampa considered the possibility of building a 25,000-seat stadium for D.C. United as part of a $1.1 billion mixed-use waterfront development planned for Westport, south of Baltimore. They said a stadium on that site would create up to $30.3 million in direct spending and $78.5 million in indirect spending annually, leading to jobs and tax revenue for the area.

Those projections, however, would require a bump in attendance for the team over its 2010 season. Although D.C. United is considered one of the most successful teams in Major League Soccer, it had a losing 2010 season and averaged just 14,532 fans, 13 percent less than the league average, according to the report.

In a new Westport stadium, however, the researchers estimated that the team would draw between 18,500 and 20,000 fans each game and that the stadium would host between 49 to 54 events per year, 17 of which would be D.C. United regular season games. Researchers also considered the impact of building a smaller stadium for the minor league soccer team Crystal Palace Baltimore. Crystal Palace Baltimore, which is in financial distress, will not field a team in 2011 and is hoping to reorganize for 2012

Kevin Payne, the team's president and chief executive, issued a statement saying the team appreciated the interest from Baltimore and would "continue our conversations as we work toward the best possible long-term home for D.C. United."



Officials from Major League Soccer team D.C. United have held preliminary talks with the city about a possible move to Baltimore but won't enter "formal" discussions until a commitment is given about a facility. The study, commissioned by the Maryland Stadium Authority, analyzed two potential scenarios — a 25,000-seat stadium in Westport and a 10,000-seat stadium for the Crystal Palace franchise in the Carroll-Camden complex south of M&T Bank Stadium.

The proposed Westport stadium and an adjacent hotel would be part of a $1.5 billion mixed-use project being developed on the waterfront. The study determined the stadium could host 49 to 54 events annually, including 17 D.C. United games. Annual attendance is estimated to be 584,750 to 695,100 with total spending between $65.7 and $78 million each year. Total jobs are estimated at 780 to 940 with annual state tax revenues of approximately $3 million to $3.5 million. This project is expected to generate between $2.3 million to $2.8 million in annual city taxes.

However, the success of this venture would depend on completion of the planned Westport development project, the study noted.




Here's the study: http://www.dcunited.com/sites/defaul...dium-study.pdf
__________________

Here's some more info.
 

Jntg4

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Hey, I read that MLS is drawing higher attendance per-game than the NHL and NBA!

Not MLB or NFL though.
 

Jntg4

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Ya, so people can stop calling soccer and minor or unimportant sport.
 

zack54attack

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MLS higher? Wow.

That's an improvement. Soccer continues to grow in this country
 

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