Welcome to LoudounTimes.com
Loudoun Times-Mirror

Loudoun County advances plans for D.C. United second-division team, stadium

Facebook/D.C. United
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday took another step in advancing plans for a future stadium in Leesburg that, if approved, would be home to a D.C. United second division team.

The board voted 7-1-1 during a public hearing to advance the proposal to a Jan. 18 meeting, when a vote is expected. Several residents spoke out against the project because of traffic concerns.

D.C. United began talks with Loudoun County officials last year about building a 5,000-seat stadium, practice fields and offices on 54 acres on the west side of Philip A. Bolen Park. The proposal also includes the construction of four full-size soccer fields -- two of which will be exclusively for D.C. United and two for county use. If approved, the county would lease the land to D.C. United and provide $15 million in financing for construction. The site of the proposed stadium and training facilities is valued at about $23 million.

“I keep hearing people say it’s worth $23 million. We’re not going to lose any money because we already own the land,” said Vice Chairman Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn).

The county would also be on the line to build 1,000 parking spaces for the stadium and provide access to a nearby park-and-ride that would allow for 691 vehicles during events at the proposed facility. At least 1,100 additional parking spaces can be built on the property should the stadium expand in the future.

The county, if the deal goes through, would be responsible for clearing and rough grading the proposed stadium and training sites since they’ve been used as a spoils location for years.

Although the county is responsible for the construction and maintenance of any parking areas, it has the option of charging fees and retaining the revenue. If approved, D.C. United’s anticipated lease for the property would be 40 years with an option for two 10-year extensions.

“We would absolutely be able to recoup the cost, and I feel this is one of the better deals that we’ve done,” said Buddy Rizer, executive director for economic development in Loudoun County.

Since the county is proposing to use debt financing for the $15 million to help construct the site, D.C. United would pay rent that would cover the principal and interest payments during that time.

Supervisors also expressed interest in pursuing legislation through the Virginia General Assembly that would allow the county to have authority over an admissions tax for the stadium.

Although some supervisors called the proposal “a good deal” for the county, residents who live in nearby Kincaid Forest were worried about speeding vehicles through their neighborhoods, especially since there is a plan that, if approved, would allow for alcohol consumption during games.

“This is a growing concern from Kincaid residents,” said Keith Reeve, president of the Kincaid Forest Homeowners Association.

“If you would ask me where would be an ideal location for a sports stadium that’s going to serve 4,000 or 5,000 people, I thought you would be looking for locations around the Silver Line stops,” said Craig Lane of Kincaid Forest.

Supervisor Kristen Umstattd (D-Leesburg) cast the only dissenting vote to move the proposal forward due to traffic concerns. Supervisor Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) was absent for the vote.

Some supervisors said the board should once again pressure Leesburg Town Council to open Kincaid Boulevard. The road is linked to a section of Crosstrail Boulevard that leads into Philip A. Bolen Park and the park-and-ride lot that would be used for stadium parking.

Supervisors have asked Leesburg Town Council several times to open the road, but their request has been denied each time because council members want to keep it closed until the entire link of Crosstrail Boulevard is completed in two years. The link would run from Sycolin Road to the Village at Leesburg.

Leesburg Town Council members are not the only ones who believe opening the road is a bad idea.

“If you open up Kincaid Boulevard, you’re having all that traffic come through. I’m worried about pedestrians. This is too much traffic for a residential area,” said Jennifer Johnson, who lives off Kincaid Boulevard.

A traffic study will be presented to the board at its Jan. 18 meeting, but with the additional build-out expected in the area, residents worry they will be inundated with congestion.

Some speakers told supervisors they believed the proposal was moving too fast and needed more study before approved. However, the board expects the proposal to bring revenue into the county through not only branding – the county has requested that D.C. United incorporate Loudoun into the new team’s name as well as on the players’ jerseys – but ticket sales for non-soccer events.

County staff said a number of youth teams would play on the fields and fill a gap in the number of needed soccer facilities in the county. In addition, the county’s high schools would be able to hold graduation ceremonies at the stadium rather than traveling into Fairfax County at the end of each school year.

The team is under contract through the United Soccer League to begin playing by spring 2019. If approved, the team would play about 15 games a year at the stadium.

Comments


Everyone is missing the point that dc united plays their games in dc.  So basically we will have the farm league playing in leesburg.  Just like that baseball team they wanted I hope this falls through.  MLS is already some of the lowest quality soccer being played and we will be stuck with guys who are not even to that level.  Besides the interest on the loan and maybe some taxes I don’t see how this benefits Loudoun.


DC United is about as profitable as the DC metro… If they want to build a stadium, let DC United pay for it! I shore don’t want to!


When if ever has DC United turned a profit that would allow them to pay on a LOAN from Loudoun County?


When did the county BoS get in the taxpayer funded loan business?


Should we get a count at the rookery about the Herons. They are showing in places I go where they did not use to be. Not complaining but if the heroin housing disturbs the nesting places what will actual construction at Kincora do to them?


The NIMBYs are going to be all over this—and I love that some folks had helpful suggestions about where ELSR it could go.

Of course they did…


Why not use the One Loudoun baseball stadium site?  Oh, that’s right, it doesn’t exist because the developer did a flim-flam on us taxpayers and is instead putting in townhouses.

I feel for the Leesburg residents who will have to put up with all the crap associated with sports venues.


Kincaid Boulevard, in the existing neighborhood, is a 4-lane, median divided (except at intersections where turn-lanes occupay the median space) road facility, with left and sometimes right turn lanes, and multi-use trails on BOTH sides of it, with ADA striped pedestrian paths at the stop-signed intersections.  The ‘recent’ extension through the undeveloped portion, to connect to Crosstrail Blvd, currently has the southbound only as a 1 thru/1 right turn lane, but that is easily changed to add a left and additional thru lane (making it 4 lane wide at that intersection).

This huge road facility had, for years and years, been the private roadway for those in Kincaid Forest, but it is time to share it with the rest of the Town and County as a critical means of travel through ourselves.  It absolutely would be used to get from the north side of Rt. 7 to Bolen Park, as the alternative is maneuvering the bypass and down Sycolin.
Connectivity must be preserved for the benefit of all. The COUNTY Supervisors need to keep that in mind.


Another in a long list of bonndoggles on steroids!

Post a comment

By submitting a comment, you agree to our Terms of Service.

You must be registered and logged in to post a comment.

Comments express only the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or any associated person or entity. Any user who believes a message is objectionable can contact us at ltmeditor@loudountimes.com.

More News

As Seen IN PRINT
The Loudoun Times-Mirror

is an interactive, digital replica
of the printed newspaper.
Click here for all e-editions.
Email UPDATES