Support for DC United Stadium at Poplar Point

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The Honorable Adrian M. Fenty
Mayor of the District of Columbia
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Dear Mayor Fenty:

As a resident of the DC Metro area and a D.C. United supporter, I am writing to register my firm support for the development plans at Poplar Point that have been proposed by the D.C. United ownership group, which would include a soccer stadium.

First and perhaps foremost, D.C. United's plan brings badly needed revitalization and focus to the Ward 8 area. Through an integrated plan that combines commercial, residential, retail, and entertainment venues, D.C. United's vision for Poplar Point would not only create needed jobs in a part of the city which is currently horribly underutilized, but would also provide badly needed focus in an historic and vital part of this great city. Increased revenue, not just from District residents but from D.C. United fans in Maryland and Virginia, would not only boost the city's tax base, but also boost the quality of life of Poplar Point's neighbors. D.C. United has demonstrated its strong commitment to the District and its residents through outreach like Kicks for Kids and soccer programs in the District supported by its non-profit philanthropic arm United for D.C., Inc. As you know, Ward 8 Councilman Marion Barry has been a vocal and strong supporter of the D.C. United plan. His leadership on this issue embodies the support from residents of Ward 8.

Second, D.C. United's project would cement a relationship with an important group of influential, experienced, and successful urban developers which includes Mr. Chang and Mr. MacFarlane. These are individuals who not only can help the District in the short term through their plan for Poplar Point, but in the long term with the prospect of other projects in the District. Moreover, the D.C. United group is willing to pay for the projecta concept almost unheard of in the recent history of stadium building nationwide.

The District has a unique opportunity to partner with a nationally renowned developer to revitalize an historically under-served neighborhood (one that has been, for the most part, left out of the District's recent redevelopment boom), and to do so while providing, in a fiscally responsible fashion, a new home for one of the city's most successful sports franchises. The lesson of the $611 million giveaway to Major League Baseball is not to never build another stadium again; rather, it is that the right combination of large-scale private investment with responsible government incentives can result in a win-win situation for the neighborhood, for the District at large, and for the private investors. Please do not allow this historic opportunity to pass the District by.