Erick Thohir and Jason Levien were introduced as D.C. United's new managing partners at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, and spent most of the 30-minute long availability expressing their confidence in securing a new soccer-specific stadium for the MLS club.
"We see a pathway and know we have to use a machete to get there," said Levien, a graduate of Georgetown University who is the founder of sports and media investment firm LSRI and a minority owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, as is Thohir. "We know there are hurdles along the way and excited and energized to take them on."
"We are excited to get out of [RFK Stadium] and excited for a new home and a great new home," Levien said in response to another question about the stadium. When asked when he would begin discussions about a new stadium with city authorities, Levien looked at his watch and said "the ball starts rolling in about 15 minutes."
It is believed that United are looking to build a new stadium at Buzzard Point in Southwest Washington, with current plans calling for the city to chip in the cost of land acquisition and infrastructure.
Will Chang, formerly the sole investor in United, will continue to hold a stake in the club, with Levien joking that Chang would be the club's "grandfather" and Thohir, co-founder of the sports and entertainment holding company Mahaka Group, would be its "rich uncle."
With Thohir and Chang based in Indonesia and San Francisco, respectively, it is apparent that Levien will be the face of the ownership in D.C. Indeed, Chang closed the press conference by saying that he and Levien would greet fans who attend D.C. United's friendly with Paris Saint-Germain at RFK Stadium July 28.
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