Audi Field could serve as a temporary Loudoun United FC home in 2019, a move D.C. United might make if the club’s permanent venue is not ready when the season begins.
Set to begin competing next spring in the Division II USL–which will be rebranded as USL Championship–Loudoun United FC is an expansion team and subsidiary of D.C. United that will play home matches at a new stadium in Loudoun County, VA. The new 5,000-seat stadium is part of a D.C. United complex at Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park that will include four fields (two reserved for the team, two open to public use), offices, and a training facility.
The project was only recently approved by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, however, leaving questions about the timetable for constructing the stadium. D.C. United is reportedly weighing contingency plans for Loudoun United FC if its new stadium cannot open by the start of next season, including the potential use of Audi Field. It is not certain that Audi Field–which opened for D.C. United this summer–will step into that role, but alternate options in Northern Virginia appear to be limited. More from the Washington Post:
So the simplest solution, one that United is apparently weighing, is to play Loudoun United matches at Audi Field in Southwest D.C. for the first portion of the 2019 United Soccer League season.
Team officials said this week that they did not want to discuss the matter publicly, but behind the scenes, sources said they are formulating contingency plans and preparing to discuss next year’s timetable with USL, the umbrella organization for three lower-tier soccer circuits.
Two weeks ago, Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors approved construction of a 5,000-seat stadium at Bolen Park, near the Leesburg airport. D.C. officials, however, do not expect the project to be completed until the summer at the earliest, at least three months into the USL season.
With few alternative options in the Virginia exurbs, United would probably base the second-division team in Washington instead of renting temporary space in a small facility elsewhere in the region.
Loudoun United FC was announced in July as the seventh and final Division II USL expansion club for 2019. It joined a slate of new teams that already included Hartford, New Mexico (to play at Albuquerque’s Isotopes Park in 2019), Birmingham, Austin, El Paso, and Memphis .
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