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Additional renderings and details of the new D.C. United stadium released

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Things like stadium capacity and tailgating at the new place appear to be coming into focus.

Monday evening, D.C. United tweeted out some updated renderings of the stadium location at Buzzard Point with the promise that more would be forthcoming. Tuesday morning, the Washington Business Journal included more drawings (amusingly enough, I found those via a tweet from the District Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Development). But who wants to wait when you can peep them now, right?

The new drawings reflect more of the work being developed around the stadium, including things like a two-way public road (controlled and maintained by the team) along 1st street on the East side of the stadium. There is also plans for a plaza to the Northeast (perhaps where the mini pitch was originally going to be placed).

However, we've found both the updated stadium renders and supporting documents. These are available to view on the City’s Zoning Office website (similar to those discovered in January) and can be found at the bottom of this post. Among the details in this latest release:

  • Stadium capacity leaning more towards 19,000? A huge caveat here: there is no uniform number in the documents, so the team still may very well not know just how many people Buzzard Point will be able to hold, and is working on ways to  bump this up. The document mentions 20,000 from the earlier Buzzard Point Vision Plan document. However, numbers such as 19,400 for fan entrances (with approximately 75% of those going through one gate at Potomac Avenue, of 3 total), and 19,100 for MLS stadium seat comparison, are included. Assuming either number is accurate it would still fall below the number of 20,225, the average capacity of MLS soccer stadiums opened in the last 10 years that these documents mention.
  • The reiteration of just how difficult this is. The above ground easement (shown in the January drawings and a little more refined here), combined with how narrow the parcel is impact a number of things. Things like placement of seats, both at the sideline (opposite the team benches) and more premium priced seats simply aren’t feasible in Buzzard Point. To get to where these drawings are now, in the words of the design team, "... it required a design that contradicted all best practices for seat locations in typical stadium design."
  • Replicating tailgating. There is a section detailing a "Fan Matchday Plaza," that will include food trucks, beer garden, merchandise, kids’ area and an area for pre- and post-game appearances from the broadcast team.
  • 3,950 parking spaces have been secured with commitments. Almost half (1,695) can be found just north of Nationals Park.
  • The team expects the land parcel next to the stadium to be one building that includes "...a hotel, office space, event space, and/or retail/restaurant space." They expect to begin development in 1-2 years.
  • Making the waterfront more accessible. In light of recent news that Akridge bought the land that connects said waterfront to the stadium, a road to connect 1st street along the East side of the stadium (to be closed on matchdays) was a natural decision to make.
  • Multi-use configuration layouts for other sporting events (football, rugby, lacrosse) and concerts.
  • Bike valet!

Feel free to click through to the documents below and let’s get your thoughts.