Buzzard Point: the possible site of D.C. United's new soccer-specific stadium. - Tammy Whiting
Black and Red United visited Buzzard Point this past weekend. We walked the route from the two closest Metro stations to the stadium location, and we took a lot of photos along the way. Come take a look.
We've read a lot about D.C. United's proposed new stadium at Buzzard Point. Articles about D.C. United, the District, and Pepco discussing the new stadium (with a great map showing how the stadium might be situated given the existing streets and property lines). Articles giving an insider's view of what Buzzard Point is like. And marketing websites for the property under question on Buzzard Point. We even have an entire section here on Black and Red United devoted to all our stadium coverage.
Now let's add to this collection of articles and websites a complete photo tour of Buzzard Point from a fan's perspective.
Let's first get oriented. Buzzard Point is the part of DC that is southwest of Washington Nationals Park, and is formed by the confluence of the Anacostia River and the Potomac River. It's officially known as Greenleaf Point, and is a peninsula with ready access only from the north. Because all traffic (except for boats and helicopters) has to come from the north to get onto Buzzard Point, traffic planning and management will be a HUGE issue. We'll write more about this in another post, but it appears the overwhelming majority of fans attending games at a new D.C. United stadium on Buzzard Point will have to either take the Metro or park outside of Buzzard Point (at Nationals Park, for example) and then walk to the stadium.
As the Buzzard Point map shows, the new stadium location is almost exactly the same distance (approximately 0.8 miles) from the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro Station and the Waterfront Metro Station. In normal weather for a person with good mobility, it takes about 15 minutes to walk comfortably to either Metro Station. If you had to make these walks with 10,000 or so of your closest friends, however, it remains to be seen how long it would take.
For this tour, we started at the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro Station. The photo gallery below shows the route from this station down to the intersection of Potomac Ave SW and First St SW, where the new D.C. United stadium would be located. Since it is believed that D.C. United will likely use the parking garages at Nationals Park due to the lack of parking on Buzzard Point, this gallery also shows the route fans who drive and park at the ball field will use as well. As you can see in the gallery, the walk around Nationals Park is very easy with wide sidewalks that will be able to accommodate thousands of fans. Once you cross South Capitol St, however, you enter an area that is completely unprepared for individual pedestrians, let alone thousands upon thousands of energized United fans. And make no mistake, how thousands of fans will cross South Capitol St will be another HUGE issue.
The second gallery below shows the area where the proposed stadium will sit. Starting at the intersection of Potomac Ave SW and First St SW, we show the area along First St SW all the way down to V St SW. This part of the property includes the Pepco power plant property that is key to the overall stadium deal. At the far south end of Buzzard Point, along V St SW, are the headquarters of the United States Coast Guard and James Creek Marina. We then show the area coming north on 2nd St SW up to R St SW. To the west of this area is Ft. McNair, an Army post that is home of the Department of Defense's National Defense University. The rectangle bounded by First St SW, V St SW, 2nd St SW, and R St SW is the heart of where the new stadium complex will be located. And, since the area to the south (the Coast Guard Headquarters and the Anacostia River) and the west (Ft. McNair) is immovable, maximizing space to the east (where the Pepco property sits) and to the north will be crucial to making the stadium a reality.
The final gallery shows the area from the intersection of 2nd St SW and R St SW north up to P St SW, then west on P St SW to 4th St SW, and finally north on 4th St SW until it crosses M St SW where Waterfront Metro Station is located. Most of this path is a beautiful walk along tree lined residential streets, but even some of these streets (particularly 2nd St SW) would need significant upgrades to handle the number of pedestrians that would flow through this area on a game day. How thousands of fans would cross M St SW will be another HUGE issue for the city's urban planners.
Finally, here's something that would be cool about the route between Waterfront Metro Station and the possible new D.C. United stadium on Buzzard Point, with a prediction thrown in as well:
1. It's almost certainly a bridge too far for a number of reasons, but if the city agreed to block off 4th St SW (south of the Waterfront Metro Station), P St SW, and 2nd St SW for pedestrians in the 2 hours before and after a home match, this would instantly become an awesome route for a massive D.C. United fan march into the stadium! Perhaps something similar could be done on the other route from Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro Station and Nationals Park (and since most parking will likely be at Nationals Park, I would hope the team and city would figure out how to do it), but the route from Waterfront Metro Station to the Buzzard Point stadium location is tailor made for a fan march.
2. The squirrels in the stately trees along 4th St SW and P St SW will become legendary among D.C. United fans. This has nothing to do with soccer. But it will happen. Mark it down. You're now the first to know. You're welcome.
Photos by Tammy Whiting
We'll have a separate post with our overall impressions after having visited Buzzard Point. But what are your impressions? What do you think about Buzzard Point as the home of D.C. United's new stadium?