WASHINGTON, November 6, 2012 — Jack Evans, a powerful and D.C. council member in Washington D.C. appears determined to get D.C. United a stadium built in the nation’s capital, with the obvious location being Buzzard Point.
“There will be a stadium,” he said in an interview on NewsChannel 8 on Tuesday. “Look, you start with the Verizon Center. Everyone opposed it and it has been a smashing success. The National Stadium - we couldn’t have had more opposition to that: Smashing success. Soccer will be the same way. You will bring life to a part of town that has none now. It will be a synergy with the baseball stadium and it will produce economically everything we would want it to do. More importantly, there is a civic pride that comes from it.”
Evans, a Democrat, who represents Ward 2 in D.C., had a strong argument against any doubters who said a soccer stadium would not be economically beneficial for the city.
“When I was pushing the baseball stadium, I used to say to people: ‘We do it because we want a team. Start with that. Whether it’s economically viable or not, who cares? We want a baseball team, because Washington D.C. was the only major city in America without one.’ It’s the same with soccer. We have a great soccer team. We have a team that people want to go to see. Do we economically analyze every museum we build? If we did we wouldn’t have any museums. It’s a part of our culture, and people have to get their hands around that and stop trying to defeat these things on an economic base. But soccer will be economically beneficial.”
Fourteen of the 19 teams in Major League Soccer play in their own soccer-specific stadiums, with San Jose in the process of building a stadium. Apart from the Seattle Sounders, who draw over 38,000 at CenturyLink Field, only D.C. United and the News England Revolution, play at venues not built, or refurbished, for soccer specifically.
* For 20 years John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon
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