A Loudoun County D.C. United and USL facility was approved by county supervisors, but the emphasis for local leaders was on generating revenue from a variety of events, not necessarily the 15 home matches hosted by a new USL team.
The proposal calls for a facility at Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park, which would become the site of a complex that includes a stadium for the USL club. Along with four fields (two reserved for the team, two open to public use), the complex would include offices, a training facility and an approximately 5,000-seat stadium. The county would also provide 1,000 parking spaces and access to a nearby park-and-ride facility.
Loudoun County would lease the land to D.C. United and provide $15 million in financing on the $23-million facility, which would be paid back by United.
For the county, the appeal wasn’t necessarily working with D.C. United or even the USL on the facility. Instead, the approval was based on the ability of the facility to generate revenue from a variety of soccer events: USL, college games and youth tournaments and fill local hotel rooms with participants. From the Loudoun Times-Mirror:
Increased tax revenue from the improvements built on the property, sales tax, potential future admissions tax, transient occupancy tax and parking revenue could all be sources of new revenue for the county. Staff estimates that, for example, in fiscal 2020, approximately $228,000 of tax revenue could be generated.
The team is under contract through the United Soccer League to begin playing by spring 2019. It would play about 15 games a year at the stadium.
According to a report from Visit Loudoun, the county’s hotels have the potential to make nearly $1.2 million from soccer tournaments, as players and fans book rooms for the events. The facility, Visit Loudoun said, could also attract Atlantic 10 soccer and lacrosse tournaments, opening ceremonies for many youth sports and college in-season tournaments.
Image courtesy D.C. United.