DC United’s plans to expand its operations with a new Division II soccer team in Loudoun County left area residents at an open house Wednesday both excited and puzzled about the project's impact.
Two roads at the center of the discussion, Sycolin Road and Kincaid Boulevard in Leesburg, are central to what some local residents say are traffic obstacles.
“We are not against the stadium at all,” said Kincaid Forest resident Byron Williams. “Our concern is the traffic, and that leads to a bigger issue. The Board of Supervisors approved these infrastructural plans for the stadium, but they don’t have a road system to accommodate the increase in traffic that it will create.”
Sycolin Road, which is “a disaster’’ to drive says Williams, is the primary way to enter Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park, which is targeted for the proposed soccer stadium and training facility. The other option is using Kincaid Boulevard, which remains closed by the Town of Leesburg until alternate route Crosstrail Boulevard is completed between Sycolin Road and Russell Branch Parkway.
County officials joined by representatives of DC United heard residents' concerns Wednesday night at Cool Spring Elementary School. Considering some of the key roads may not completed for a couple of years, attendees of the open house expressed displeasure in the supervisors' vote to advance the project so quickly.
In January, Kincaid Forest residents formed a group called the Kincaid Blvd Action Committee led by Williams and Vice Chairman Jason White.
Despite the community outreach, information boards, maps and fact sheets that were made available following the proposal by DC Soccer Management Company, which is an affiliate of DC Soccer LLC and owns DC United, residents remained concerned with the infrastructure.
“I just can’t figure out how you put a 5,500-seat venue between two neighborhoods with no major arteries to feed the stadium and not believe its going to have an impact on traffic," Williams said.
He added that opening Kincaid Boulevard is not a good idea considering there are playgrounds and children walking around and a lack of traffic signals.
“We understood the road was intended to connect and be a secondary road to accommodate extra traffic,” Williams said. “People moved there with two lanes going each way and a divide. What they didn’t expect was a stadium to be shoved in without the roads being completed.”
Meantime, the county Board of Supervisors continues to encourage Leesburg Town Council to open Kincaid ahead of the soccer team’s debut next March.
In January, the board voted in favor of a memorandum of agreement with the soccer franchise for the stadium. Supervisor Kristen Umstattd (D-Leesburg), who was in attendance at this week's open house, voted against the measure over traffic issues and safety concerns.
Highlights of the proposed facility include a minimum capacity of 5,000 seats, 800-space parking lot to support the stadium including a 300-space commuter parking lot, 40,000-square-feet indoor training facility and four full-size soccer fields. Two soccer fields will be used by DC United and the USL Team. The other remaining fields will be for county use.
As part of the proposal, the county will pay $15 million for the construction of the project and be reimbursed by DCSMC. The board is expected to take action on the applications as early as July, with two upcoming public hearings starting in late June. The proposal requires amendments to the zoning map and comprehensive plan.
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)