April 10, 2006

PROGRESS FOR SOCCER STADIUM. Excerpt from WaBizJour interview with DC United CEO Kevin Payne:

WaBiz Jour: How are things going with D.C. United's proposed new stadium?

Payne: The legislation is in the Congress. We don't believe there are any impediments. We believe it has cleared most of the hurdles in the House and the Senate. We've been and will continue to work with agencies of the city including the Anacostia Waterfront Corp. The AWC has recently begun the master planning process on the land, which we expect to be done expeditiously, and then we'll work together on the process of the ultimate land transfer and what the deal will be between us and the AWC. It is our hope that we will be playing in the new stadium either in 2008 or at the very latest in 2009.

WaBizJour: How will that change the team?

Payne: It will change the business dramatically. We are in a situation at RFK where it is virtually impossible to make money. There are no suites. There are no club seats. Our share of big-game revenues are small [compared with what the team would get with a new stadium]. It is difficult to maximize day-of-game revenues because the concession facilities are antiquated. It is just a difficult place to do business.

DONT BLAME US IF BASEBALL STADIUM DESIGN IS TOO VANILLA. Read between the lines from the following excerpt from an interview with HOK Architect Earl Santee conducted by the Business of Baseball:

BizBall: How important is site selection to the overall aesthetics of the stadium design? Did that have any impacts to the Nationals design given the unique process that MLB and the District were under?

Santee: The one thing that's different about the DC job is that in most cases is that historically we do the site selection. Site selection is one of the most crucial aspects of whether or not you create a great building. I think the site we have in Pittsburgh is incredible and immaculate. In DC, that process was an independent process. We were given a program and given a budget and given a site, and asked to design a building and that's where we are today.

In other words, Santee seems to be saying: don't blame us if you think the stadium design in near Southeast is dull. Things are great in Pittsburgh but in DC the site selection process was flawed soooo....

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