D.C. United's owner and general partner Jason Levien promised to overcome the district politics halting a stadium build when he took over in July and has found it to be much easier than anticipated.

The club have made it clear that they are far from an official agreement but Buzzard Point, in South West D.C., is the centre of interest for both the franchise and the city. 

Levien believes momentum is in his favour, saying: "What I've sensed - and I understand it better now than when we first took over - is that the political leaders are behind us now. They understand that there's a serious, strong constituency for D.C. United soccer in Washington, and they want to see it stay here."

The club refused to put a timeline on the process but Levien said he has encountered only support from leaders in Mayor Vincent Gray's office and in the D.C. Council, and all involved have agreed Buzzard Point would be the best possible solution for a new stadium.

Levien said: "Every week, we feel like we're making progress on figuring out the structure of the opportunity." 

The team and the city will start to figure out how to finance the project once city leaders have assembled the land. Levien said there are lessons to be learned from the public-private partnership recently struck for an NBA/NHL arena in Seattle, where there isn't even a team.

The D.C. United owner went on to say: "The hunger and passion that Seattle fans have for pro sports I think we have in Washington as well. When you lose a team, you realise what you've lost. We don't want to get anywhere near that here. We want this team in Washington."

The side currently play home fixtures at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium – also known as RFK Stadium – but it remains one of the oldest stadia in use by an MLS franchise.


Posted on 24/09/2012