We should see final approval for a new D.C. United stadium this week, as the D.C. Zoning Commission is expected to green-light the Buzzard Point MLS project on Thursday.
Work has been proceeding on the site since October when control of the site passed from the city to the team. Since then the team has worked on site prep and marketing toward season tickets and suites. From the Washington Post:
With permission granted Thursday, United would have the green light to begin applying for building permits Friday and commence construction in earnest within weeks. A formal groundbreaking involving city, team and league officials would mark the occasion at the end of the month….
While awaiting the next hearing, United continued going full throttle with non-construction plans.
Team officials say they have sold about half of the available suites, including all seven at field level. (Four of the 31 private boxes are reserved for city, team and league use.) A stadium preview center opened at Union Market last summer for prospective suite buyers; this year, the team will begin using it for season ticket efforts.
One big issue to be resolved: the team is actively shopping naming rights to the new stadium. It’s probably far too early in the process to see an announcement any time soon.
United officials have been expecting that 2017 will be the team’s last full season at RFK Stadium, the club’s home since its inaugural season in 1996. Right now the team is looking at a June 2018 opening and could play the first 10-12 matches of the 2018 season on the road.
RELATED STORIES: D.C. United Stadium Could be Approved in 2017; D.C. United Tweaks Stadium Design; D.C. United, Developers Clash Over Stadium Design; D.C. United Stadium Will Not Open for Start of 2018 Season; D.C. United Unveil New Stadium Renderings; D.C. United Releasing New Renderings; D.C. United Awards Construction Contract; Crews Break Ground on New D.C. United Stadium; 2018 Opening Planned;D.C. United Takes Next Steps Toward New Stadium