D.C. United announced today that they have secured a sponsor for their new stadium at Buzzard Point. The team is returning to the greater VW Group by partnering with Audi, giving us Audi Field.
Jason Levien, D.C. United managing partner, had glowing things to say about the partnership with Audi:
We are thrilled to partner with such an incredible brand that is not only recognized in North America, but throughout the world Audi has transcended the automobile industry and fully embraced the culture of soccer, especially in MLS. We couldn’t think of a better partner to name our stadium and we look forward to forging extraordinary memories for years to come at Audi Field.
Loren Angelo, Audi of America Vice President of Marketing, had similar things to say:
We are excited to work with D.C. United and to continue our commitment to soccer in America as well as here in our own backyard. This commitment allows Audi to connect with passionate soccer enthusiasts of all ages and the greater community through unique experiences that further elevate their excitement in America's fastest growing sport.
The team did not announce the terms of the sponsorship deal, but it is apparently over 10 years long and is one of the richest deals in the league. According to reporting from the SportsBusiness Journal, that number is around $4M per year, which is double what San Jose Earthquakes got for their Avaya Stadium deal. This would place the deal in the top two or three in the league, with LAFC’s deal the largest.
The sponsorship deal plus no longer paying rent for RFK Stadium is an immediate cash infusion for the team, and that is even before all of the other benefits of the stadium, such as tickets, concessions, luxury boxes, and more. Dropping this information right before the final Zoning Commission hearing and right before groundbreaking is another step in the right direction.
What do you think of the new name?