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D.C. United has chosen Populous as the architects for the Buzzard Point stadium

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Progress is progress, but the newest renderings look to be a step backward.

courtesy D.C. United

The stadium developments just keep coming, slow and steady. The latest update comes from - who else? - Jonathan O'Connell at the Washington Post, who reports that D.C. United have selected Populous to design the new soccer stadium on Buzzard Point in Southwest DC. Populous, perhaps best known nationally for their work on Camden Yards in Baltimore, has also tested their hands several times in the soccer stadium business, designing Sporting Park in Kansas City, BBVA Compass Field in Houston, Dick's Sporting Goods Park near Denver, and the yet-to-be-constructed stadium for Orlando City SC. Populous also provided the beautiful renderings we've obsessed over the last couple seasons (including the one at the top of this post).

Unfortunately, it looks like the rendering at the top of this post is now out of date. Two new renderings published in the online version of O'Connell's story show a markedly less ambitious stadium, with uncovered seats at the north and south ends of the field and no dramatic triple-decker seating on the western sideline. This isn't altogether surprising, given the challenges the site presents, including a PEPCO electrical transmission cable that will run directly under the building and prevent the field from being below grade. It is a bit disappointing, though, given that many fans (myself included) felt their pulses quicken when looking at that previous set of renderings.

But good news is good news, and the selection of a well regarded architecture firm is certainly that. Click over to O'Connell's story, and then come back here to let us know what you think of United's choosing Populous, as well as their newest renderings.