The new owners of D.C. United have hit the ground running.
Claims that Jason Levien and Erick Thohir would make a stadium plan in the District their top priority came to life earlier this week. Levien and Kevin Payne met with Mayor Vincent Gray on Wednesday, according to the Mayor's twitter feed.
Its doubtful that this meeting was held to discuss anything besides United's plans for a construction of a new stadium in D.C. Just meeting with the Mayor is an important step towards building relationships, establishing trust, and identifying shared interests. This is yet another positive development in a long line of positive developments that ultimately lead to land procurement, to architectural drawings, and to shovels and hard hats.
Gray might not be the most popular man in his city at the moment, but he still has the title, and the power to get things done. The team now has a significant element that its never had before: enough cash to finance the construction of a new stadium. United will still need plenty of help from Gray's office and other groups, but it's clear that the team is now farther along than its ever been before.
In his appearance on the Capital Soccer Show last week, Levien discussed the idea of making D.C. United an international brand. He implies that United is already on its way to making that happen; that United is already one of the most recognizable American clubs in Asia and elsewhere abroad, second only to the LA Galaxy. Brand building is the mission. Not brand reconstructing. D.C. United is the brand. Not Baltimore United, or any other city in the U.S.
This team is here to stay.
Its understandable if some of your friends have been hesitant to become fully invested in D.C. United, due to the possibility that the team may have moved if presented with a better opportunity. That possibility is gone. Those hesitations should be gone as well. Invest away. This team is here to stay.