City Paper is not for tourists
It’s the public subsidy everyone loves to hate: using city tax dollars to build a sports stadium. But unlike Nationals Park, which the city funded almost entirely on its own, the deal for a D.C. United soccer stadium at Buzzard Point, announced in July, has many moving parts that have made it harder for supporters to embrace or opponents to slam. To acquire the land, the city is preparing to execute a complex series of land swaps that are likely to see the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center at 14th and U streets NW traded to private developer Akridge, a new Reeves Center built in Anacostia, and other properties, potentially including the Metropolitan Police Department headquarters, changing hands. The team, primarily owned by an Indonesian media tycoon, will pay to construct the stadium. There are all sorts of questions about whether the city is getting the maximum value for the coveted sites it’s giving up. But before any of that can happen, the city has to actually cut deals. In November, D.C. blew its first deadline, failing to reach an agreement with Akridge and send it to the D.C. Council for approval by the specified date. That’s put the city’s commitment to assemble all the land and get the necessary approvals by Jan. 1 in doubt. In the meantime, United still plays at increasingly decrepit RFK Stadium.