The NWSL‘s Washington Spirit is reportedly contemplating a 2018 home match at Audi Field, the upcoming home of MLS’s D.C. United.
Currently under construction in D.C.’s Buzzard Point neighborhood, Audi Field is expected to open this summer and host its first MLS match in July. That opener will establish the venue’s place in MLS, but it appears possible that it may also host an NWSL game during the summer months.
The Spirit, which normally plays its home games at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Montgomery County, is reportedly considering a shift of its August 25 home match against the Portland Thorns to Audi Field. Plans for an Audi Field home game have not been finalized to this point, but a match at the facility has a chance to boost the Spirit’s profile in Washington. More from The Washington Post:
The schedule is clear: United is on the road against the New York Red Bulls that weekend and the Washington Nationals are in New York to play the Mets, providing logistical flexibility for an event at the 20,000-capacity soccer venue at Buzzard Point.
United, which owns the stadium, said it’s hopeful of striking a deal with the women’s organization. The Spirit is weighing the economics of playing in a large, more expensive facility and how it would impact season ticket holders. No decision is expected for a few weeks.
SoccerPlex, with a capacity of 5,200, is located in the Montgomery County town of Boyds, 33 miles from downtown Washington, and does not have public transportation options. Audi Field, located in Southwest D.C. at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, is a 10-15 minute walk from the Navy Yard Metro station.
Should the Spirit shift the home match to Audi Field, it would come just week’s after the stadium’s first MLS game. United is set to debut there on July 14, when it faces Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Rendering courtesy Audi Field and D.C. United.