- Major League Soccer franchise D.C. United has awarded Turner Construction a $150 million contract to build its new $300 million, 19,000-seat, waterfront stadium in Washington, DC, according to the Washington Business Journal.
- The District has chipped in $150 million for infrastructure, land and site work, and D.C. United will pay for the construction.
- The stadium, which is expected to open in time for the 2018 MLS season, is projected to generate approximately 1,000 construction and permanent jobs and $1 billion in economic activity. Officials said 50% of the commercial space expected to be built around the stadium will be set aside for local businesses.
The team will continue to play in the 54-year-old RFK Stadium until their Populous-designed home is ready, and team officials said actual construction will begin before the end of the year. Populous, formerly HOK Sports, also built MLB's Washington Nationals Park. There have been some opponents of the new stadium, however, who maintain that construction could have a negative environmental effect on the children and elderly living in the neighborhood.
Negotiations for the stadium were underway for more than a year before the city agreed to finance the land and associated costs. However, officials were able to finalize the deal when the team agreed to put up a $5 million escrow to protect the city in case the team's stadium plans fell through. The city also agreed to split up to $20 million on construction cost overruns with the team.
Populous is also the designer for the $150 million Minnesota United MLS stadium planned for St. Paul. The team selected Mortensen Construction to build the new facility, but groundbreaking on the new stadium has been held up by a provision in the state bill that allows a property tax exemption for the 12-acre stadium site.
In other recent soccer stadium news, the Los Angeles City Council approved the Los Angeles Football Club’s plans for a $250 million soccer stadium. Gensler designed the 22,000-seat facility, and PCL Construction will build it. The complex will feature a semi-transparent canopy, restaurants, retail, office and conference space and a soccer museum, all of which is expected to generate more than 1,200 new jobs during construction and a $274 million boost to the local economy.