Loudoun United FC | Segra Field 1

Aerial view of Loudoun United's stadium, Segra Field.

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday night to increase the county's construction contribution to the Segra Field at Bolen Park and the upcoming training center for DC United and Loudoun United by $10 million due to rising development costs.

Loudoun County and D.C. Sports Facilities Entertainment LLC signed a $15 million lease agreement for the Bolen Park project in Leesburg last year, though DC Soccer Management Company is expected to reimburse the county's initial investment. The county's construction budget has since been adjusted to more than $17.2 million, up from an original estimate of $7 million.

A county staff report notes, "The development costs for the project have been higher than expected for both the County and the Tenant. During the course of the County work, the County has adjusted its budget higher for a total amount of $17,225,000. The original estimates for the work was approximately $7 million."

The report continues, "Tenant reports that it has experienced similar cost escalation on its scope of work as well. Tenant’s costs overruns are currently estimated at approximately $12 million to $15 million. As a result, Tenant requested that the County assist with funding $8.7 million of project scope that is currently Tenant’s responsibility under the terms of the Lease. County staff believe the value of this scope of work to be at least $10 million."

Leesburg Supervisor Kristen Umstattd (D) voted against the motion to contribute another $10 million, which passed 7-1-1. Dulles Supervisor Matthew Letourneau (R) was absent for the vote.

“I am not persuaded that the county is going to see the kind of return on its investment that we normally would expect in the time period that we normally would expect on the first part of this deal,” Umstattd said. “And the second [funding agreement] ... makes it even more difficult to recoup and recover our expenditures. So, I cannot support this."

Broad Run Supervisor Ron Meyer (R) said he felt uncomfortable voting for the motion, though he eventually supported it.

“We do believe in Loudoun United, and we believe that will be successful, and I think that's why we all bought into this deal,” Meyer said. “I think it's something the next board really needs to watch to make sure we are getting our money's worth, and when you invest this sort of money for this sort of project that we make sure it gets our return on investment. I’m a little bit concerned that we're adding this much to the deal that the return is going to get a little bit harder to achieve.”

As part of the alterations to the lease, D.C. Sports Facilities Entertainment LLC proposed two additions, including a Strategic Partnership Agreement with DC United and Loudoun United that provides marketing and exposure value to Loudoun County valued at $900,000 annually, or approximately $9 million over the proposed 10-year term of the agreement. The Department of Economic Development estimates the value closer to $650,000 a year based on what the equivalent costs would be to purchase similar services, according to county documents.

The second addition is a partnership with the Washington Spirit, which is a club in the National Women’s Soccer League.

The Spirit is expected to co-locate its headquarters and training center with DC United and Loudoun United at Bolen Park and play four to five home games per year at Segra Field, as well as partner with Loudoun County in a similar manner as the DC United and Loudoun United teams.

Loudoun United played its first game at Segra Field at Bolen Park in August and concluded its inaugural season in the fall.

(20) comments

mopar19

Meyer feels “ uncomfortable” voting for the extra money. But votes for it anyway. What a joke.

Penguin

Every article I read, I see "Dulles Supervisor Matthew Letourneau (R) was absent." Is that normal for a Board of Supervisor member?

ace10

Crickets from the crowd who was cheering about Meyer's stupid idea to build a performing arts center with public money.

EWL

This really is stretching the definition of a "stadium" pretty thin. It looks like a high school field with a few more bleachers

More Cowbell

I agree. Poor planning by putting up a light on Sycolin RD, which should be blinking yellow 99% of the time(except for home game times).

David Dickinson

Just say no and make them cough up some money. I'd like be positive and think the BoS is occupied with idiots, but it is more likely they are just plain corrupt and knew this was coming.

WesternSky

If you are going to drop $20 million of tax cash on something -- make it for a sport that the tax payers actually like to watch.

Chris McHale

Look on the bright side,

Jeff Mach

I think most readers don't realize what a scam for the taxpayer this project was from the beginning.

First it was going to cost $15M which DC United was going to pay back. We knew right there and then it was a such great deal (yes that's sarcasm) because no private entity was on the line to fund it.

Then we were told there we needed an additional $7M for a 500 spots parking lot that I guess nobody thought was necessary at design time, or that was an extra perk to DC United on the back of the taxpayers.

Then we had to shell out $19.7 to build a section of crosstrail boulevard that serves no other purpose than access to the complex.

And now we're $10M short. That's a big chunk of change on the overall cost of the project.

If this was the private sector, there would be heads rolling on the floor. But nope, no worries here, our government at work. It ain't their money after all.

Matthew

Nice recap Jeff, and to think the same BOS wants to spend "$100 million" on a performing arts center!!!!!

Locojrt

The first show should be the BOS's "Magic Show" of making money disappear on ridiculous schemes that should be unsured, bonded and NEVER backed by TAXPAYER OR TOWN OR COUNTY MONEY! All we seem to do is bend over for more nonsense!

ace10

Let's fund entertainment and sports developments with public money, said no smart person. Ever.

amerigirl

Twenty new NFL stadiums have opened since 1997 with the help of $4.7 billion in taxpayer funds, according to an analysis by the advisory firm Conventions, Sports and Leisure. Local governments pony up to build these venues to attract or keep teams in their towns.The Atlantic Reports: “However, according to leading sports economists, stadiums and arenas rarely bring about the promised prosperity, and instead leave cities and states mired in debt that they can’t pay back before the franchise comes calling for more. Yep it's us getting screwed.

Doug Glatt

Who is doing the estimates for these projects? The county under estimated by $10 million and the tenant is under by $12-15 million. Did someone forget to carry the one?

Chris McHale

Oh wait the decimal goes over here.

BobOhneiserEsq

All sports team owners use the same OPM technique to fool naive county bureaucrats into thinking they are making investments instead of foolish donations. How much is a BOS photo op worth to the residents of Loudoun? Maybe someday Loudoun voters will get tired enough of being ripped off to actually vote in local elections! :-)

Matthew

Complete fiscal irresponsibility once again, another $10 million of taxpayer receipts down the drain.

jke

Where is my baseball park?

Skyprince

Ever think of using the money to lower our taxes or put towards a school so our taxes don't have to pay for it? Who the hell cares about soccer, it is a lame sport and our tax dollars should not be used to support it. If they want a team here, let the owners pay for it. Dumb BOS at work! Good riddance to most of them.

RandomName2019

$10 million dollars is a rounding error with a budget as big as Loudoun's. Your sentiment is right though; cumulative spending like this is why our tax rate is where it is.

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