Are you guys ready for a laugh?
Go ahead and read this quote from a man named Gerry Evans, who is part of a group representing the Major League Lacrosse franchise the Chesapeake Bayhawks that is looking into building a 25,000 seat stadium in Bowie, MD.
"There's no reason why the stadium couldn't be used for soccer," Evans said. "We haven't had much luck reaching out to D.C. United, but we've tried."
So let me get this straight… There’s a group that wants to build a 25,0000 seat sports complex within 10 miles of D.C., and United isn’t taking their calls? This sounds like a miracle. A sudden turn of events that could quickly change United’s fortunes. And they’re going to ignore it?
Here’s the response from United’s VP of Communications Doug Hicks, who spoke to Ben Giles, the author of the article for the Washington Examiner.
We've not spoken to anyone, either at the Bayhawks or with P.G. County," Hicks said. "That said, our focus right now is on the District of Columbia and Baltimore."Something sounds fishy here. So who is this Gerry Evans anyway?
Oh wait. He’s THAT Gerry Evans. He’s the Gerry Evans who is sometimes known as Gerry Millionaire. Because he’s the highest paid lobbyist in the state of Maryland. Evans also happened to have been sentenced to 30 months in prison back in 2000 for fraud, and for purveying "a culture of corruption" in Annapolis.
Evans has since been released from prison, and went right back to lobbying. His group was apparently instrumental in legalizing slot machine gambling in Maryland, and now his attention has turned to the Maryland Stadium Authority, and a quest to make Bowie, MD the lacrosse capital of the world.
The stadium authority board must vote to conduct the study, and it's not clear what it would cost. Evans said he's gathering a group of private investors to help pay, though the project has no developers lined up at this time.
The study would also examine the possibility of a lacrosse complex without the stadium.
"If the Bayhawks stadium can't move forward for whatever reason, we still want to move forward and build more fields to bring more sports to the area," Peters said.
So as United fans, what should we think of this new development?
Well on hand, we could say that it’s nice that D.C. United is being considered by other groups. It can’t be a bad thing that whenever anyone is thinking about building a large sports complex in the DMV, the United name enters the conversation. And it should be said that, despite his flaws, Evans gets shit done.
On the other hand, this sounds awfully shady. Evans represents the Bayhawks, not United. Perhaps he’s just throwing the United name into the conversation because he thinks that will help inspire the Stadium Authority to vote in favor of conducting a feasibility study. Also, Bowie isn’t quite the most ideal location for United to move. A good location must meet the following two qualifications in my opinion: (1) within 5 miles of the Capital Beltway and (2) within 1 mile walking distance of a Metro stop. Sure, Bowie is connected to the WMATA system via buses, but its not quite what we’d consider ideal. But maybe its still better than Baltimore.
At this point, it’s hard to call this any sort of a positive development for United. As of now, the team doesn’t appear to be quite desperate enough to get themselves involved in another political mess in PG.