The City of Baltimore has completed its feasibility study concerning the possibilty of bringing a professional soccer stadium and, more importantly, a professional soccer team into the City.
Could D.C. United be moving to Baltimore? This is just one small step towards that happening. The question is whether the team actually wants to move. I still believe this is highly unlikely. Although that could just be wishful thinking.
I haven't found a link to the study yet, but I'll post it when I do. It should be here, but it's not.
Instead, all we have to go off is the response from United's President and CEO Kevin Payne:
"We appreciate the diligence with which the Maryland Stadium Authority studied the economic impact of a D.C. United Stadium in Baltimore. The MSA and its staff are all stars. We’re not surprised at the finding that our stadium will drive tens of millions of dollars in new spending each year, attract hundreds of thousands of fans annually, help create hundreds of new jobs and generate millions of dollars of new State and Local tax revenues. We appreciate the interest that Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the City of Baltimore have shown in our team and potential stadium, and will continue our conversations as we work toward the best possible long-term home for D.C. United."
Yeah, that's barely even newsworthy.
All Payne is doing at this point is acknowledging that the study is complete, and listing the key points that would benefit Baltimore, or any other jurisdiction for that matter.
We talked back in January about how the possibility of D.C. United moving to Baltimore could be tied to the Washington Redskins' plans, and could also be tied to the potential stadium locations for the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. Well at least we have one less thing to worry about now. Unless United wants to move to Qatar.
But there is good news, and it's totally unrelated to the Baltimore feasibility study.
The economy is back!
At least in D.C. it is. Construction bidding is up, money is moving, and projects are actually starting. I don't have research to prove it, but I know this anecdotally from my real job. United may have just waited out the recession. And the Baltimore study is coming at a perfect time for the organization to not only use it as leverage against the District, but also encourage investors and developers that they should act quickly and get in on this potential new revenue stream.
Update: Thanks to Mark McClure for getting a copy of the report. It can be viewed here.