D.C. United’s subsidiary soccer team is on track to host its first soccer game in Loudoun County next spring.
This comes after the Board of Supervisors approved construction of Loudoun United FC's soccer stadium in Leesburg Wednesday night.
“This is going to be a place where local businesses will come and sell products,” said Supervisor Matt Letoruneau (R-Dulles). "The estimated economic impact is $20 million in one year, 138 jobs, over 2,000 hotel room nights annually just from visiting teams, games and tournaments. But it’s going to be our kids that will have a chance to play here, graduate here or go to events here. This is a legacy type of project that I’m really proud of.”
Loudoun United FC is the first professional sports team to compete in the county. The NFL's Washington Redskins are headquartered in Ashburn but play home games in Landover, Maryland.
Highlights of the upcoming stadium include a minimum capacity of 5,000 seats, 500-space parking lot to support the stadium (including a 300-space commuter parking lot), 40,000-square-foot indoor training facility and four full-size soccer fields. Two soccer fields will be used by D.C. United and Loudoun United, which is part of the United Soccer League. The other fields will be for county use.
Loudoun County and D.C. Sports Facilities Entertainment LLC signed a lease for the Bolen Park project in July. The county will pay $15 million for construction of the project and be reimbursed by DC Soccer Management Company.
County officials said at June open house some key local roads around the facility may not be completed for a couple of years. Elected officials are working to expedite the transportation improvements. (See timeline below)
The Town of Leesburg, which oversees Kincaid Boulevard, has been at the center of conversations about restricting traffic access to the proposed stadium. Leesburg is keeping Kincaid closed until an alternate route, Crosstrail Boulevard, is completed between Sycolin Road and Russell Branch Parkway.
County staff said studies show if Kincaid Boulevard is open that the roadway would reduce the number of trips by 10 percent.
As a result of the conflict between the town and county, the Loudoun County Planning Commission recommended excluding Town of the Leesburg from the Traffic Management Plan until the road is made available. Supervisors opposed the recommendation.
“The eye for an eye doesn’t work. It slows things down,” said Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large). “I hope that calmer, rational, common-sense moments can happen moving forward.”
Local attorney Robert Sevila added, “There are a lot interests competing with each other … but the concerns of the Kincaid Forest are legitimate, and I ask that you keep them in mind.”
The board approved the stadium construction, 7-1-1, with Supervisor Kristen Umstattd (D-Leesburg District) opposing the measure due to traffic concerns. Supervisor Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin District) was absent.
“There will be overlapping of our commuter traffic with our stadium traffic, and I don’t know people are going to get through,” Umstattd said. “I think had the board [been] able to fund the widening of Sycolin Road in the county south of the town limits, if we had been able to get Crosstrail built to Russell Branch and the Greenway, it might be a different story. But I see this gridlocked, and I see fans who want to go to games not being able to get there, getting frustrated and going home.”
Prior to the board’s decision, Letourneau asked county staff for an analysis of changing the water service for D.C. United should the Town of Leesburg consider charging the group out-of state water rates, something that has been floated by town officials.
Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn District) said, “From one government to another that is really disturbing to me.”
Bolen Park stadium: Road project estimates
2018—Crosstrail Blvd (between Sycolin Road and Claudia Drive)
2019—Sycolin Road (between Tolbert Lane and near Leesburg Executive Airport)
2021—Crosstrail Blvd (between Russell Branch Pkwy and Kincaid Blvd)