The D.C. United soccer team will stay in Washington if the city can acquire the land for a new stadium by the end of September, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser announced on Tuesday.
Bowser and the team’s owners finalized a stadium development deal designed to keep the franchise, which had considered a move to nearby northern Virginia, in the city.
As part of the deal, the city would buy a $150 million parcel of land in D.C.’s Anacostia area, and the team would privately finance a 20,000-seat arena, which has a projected price tag of $286.7 million, The Washington Post reported. The new stadium would open in 2018.
Negotiations over the stadium have been underway for more than a year as city officials tried to convince the team to put up collateral in case the city bought the land and then the team did not build the stadium, or in case of cost overruns, The Post reported.
Over the past few days, the team agreed to a $5 million escrow in case the stadium is not built — less than the $25 million the city asked for — and to split the bill for up to $20 million in cost overruns, The Post said.
In return, the team will not relocate, a concession Bowser said is important to the city’s efforts to create jobs and to revitalize the Anacostia waterfront.