DC United new stadium rendering - MP7 OK
Courtesy of Populous

DC United exec Jason Levien dishes out details on new stadium planned for 2018

Last week D.C. United unveiled their new logo, an image that embodies the club's “transformation” as their 2018 move to a brand-new, soccer-specific stadium approaches.

This week United managing general partner Jason Levien gave fans a few tantalizing tidbits about their future home – and the remaining path to get there – in the second half of a wide-ranging two-part interview with the Washington Post.

By the sound of it, Black-and-Red supporters can look forward to an intimate atmosphere at the long-awaited venue at Buzzard Point, which will be built on a snug plot of urban land just two miles south of the US Capitol. A full or partial roof over the stands is a possibility.

“One of the things that was key to us in building the stadium in this location was that location trumped all,” said Levien, who noted that the facility's capacity could range from 18,000 to 23,000 spectators. “It’s a tricky site with some of its limitations; it’s very tight. We want to fit as many seats in as we can, but we want unbelievable sight lines for our fans. So we want to squeeze in the right number of seats. We would like to be bigger, but we don’t want to sacrifice the sight lines and experience.

“We’re going to sell out that building, and the more seats we get in there, the more fans are going to enjoy the experience.”

United expect to finalize the design of their new home in the next two months, and the D.C. city government – which is acquiring and preparing the land on which the stadium will sit – will turn over control of the property to the club sometime in 2016, most likely late summer.

Levien thinks construction could take as little as 14 months; the project's advisors reckon it'll run a bit longer. But he's determined to make sure that the 2016 and 2017 MLS seasons are D.C.'s final hurrah at antiquated RFK Stadium.

He also reaffirmed the commitment of majority owner Erick Thohir, who also owns Italian powerhouse Inter Milan, to D.C. United.

“Our emotional investment in the team is deep. It’s growing every season. We are really enjoying this,” said Levien. “Our big challenge was getting a new stadium and we want to see that through. Beyond that, we see the growth of soccer in the US, the growth of soccer in this market, and we want to be part of it.

“Certainly it’s an investment, and like any investment, at some point, it’s not forever. But we love what we are doing here. We don’t see it as a short-term investment; we never did. We want to continue to build; it’s become a passion for us.”

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