Efforts to keep the D.C. United professional soccer team in the District got a boost from the D.C. Council when Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells introduced a resolution encouraging city officials to actively pursue options to keep the city's soccer franchise.
The team and city officials are under pressure from Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber to find a more permanent home for the team than aging RFK Stadium, where United continues to play without a new lease.
Losing United, which plays 22 matches a year at RFK and averages about 15,000 fans a game, would be a huge loss for the city, both as a source of revenue and an organization with many active partnerships with local nonprofits.
"What's at stake is why you see Baltimore and Prince George's County and others competing and trying to have D.C. United move there. It's a winning, successful franchise," said Charles Allen, Wells' chief of staff.
The team is in talks to renew its lease at RFK, a move that would serve as a short-term solution to their stadium woes. Without a lease, or progress on talks to build a new stadium in the District, it may be time for the franchise to look elsewhere, Garber said at his recent State of the League address.
"If they can't get a new and improved lease in D.C., and they've got to move to another facility in the region, I will be supportive of that, and in fact, will help them do that," he said. - Ben Giles