D.C. United Negotiating 'Short-Term Lease' At RFK Stadium, Team Announces

If D.C. United relocates, it looks like it won't happen right now. A team spokesman says the club is negotiating a "short-term lease" to stay at RFK Stadium.

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D.C. United Negotiating 'Short-Term' Lease To Stay At RFK Stadium, Team Says

It looks like D.C. United will remain in the city for the short-term at least. The team, in a statement to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, announced that they are working on a short-term lease to remain in RFK Stadium.

"D.C. United is in negotiations with Events DC [which operates RFK] for a new short-term lease at RFK Stadium, with hopes to have discussions resolved soon," United spokesman Doug Hicks said. "However, RFK is not a long-term solution."

The quote comes after D.C. United's 2012 schedule came out and featured no references to "RFK Stadium" in the list of games. Instead, the only reference was that the games were "at home." The Black and Red will begin their season on March 10, with their opponent still up in the air.

D.C. United also acquired former Real Salt Lake defender Robbie Russell in a trade for a 2013 third-round selection in the MLS SuperDraft.

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MLS Commissioner Don Garber 'Continually Frustrated' By D.C. United Stadium Problems

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber held a conference call with reporters on Thursday to discuss the state of the league and other matters. One of the other topics raised on the call was the current D.C. United stadium situation, which has become so bad that a move to Baltimore has been raised as a possibility.

Garber reiterated his concerns with the whole saga, saying he is "continually frustrated" by the situation. Via Steven Goff of the Washington Post:

"We have to aggressively figure a solution out, and that solution needs to be figured out soon. I am concerned about where this team will be in 2012. They’ve been operating without a new lease. They’ve been in discussions on a lease to try to improve their terms. I’m shocked to say they could be paying more for their lease in RFK than any other team we have in the league. There is no doubt in my mind that it’s a stadium that is substandard to what soccer fans are able to experience in many other markets.

Garber said he will continue to push general manager Kevin Payne and owner Will Chang to find a solution, adding that if none arises in D.C. proper, he will have to search in Baltimore and maybe even beyond if that does not work out.

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Mayor Vincent Gray Says Publicly-Funded D.C. United Stadium In City 'Not Possible'

In a message that may throw D.C. United's future in D.C. in even more doubt, mayor Vincent Gray announced that it will not be possible for the city government to build a stadium in Washington D.C. through public funds. Here's the message he just sent out on his Twitter account.

We value DC United & hope they stay in DC. But District is in a challenging fiscal environment now & publicly funded stadium not possible.

It's worth noting that most fans have closed the book on a publicly-funded stadium and are instead asking for help in pursuing privately-funded avenues and other measures. Gray sent out a second tweet saying the city is still working on finding a solution along those lines.

The club currently plays in the run-down RFK Stadium, but club president Kevin Payne has said that situation is "unsustainable." Several different projects to build a new stadium in D.C. proper have fizzled, with the latest being one being at Poplar Point. Baltimore has recently entered the picture, with MLS recently distributing a survey gauging interest among residents for a possible club there.

For much more on the D.C. United stadium and relocation story, visit Black and Red United.

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D.C. United Relocation: MLS Distributes Survey Gauging Interest In Baltimore Market

A few months ago reports came out that D.C. United might consider a move to Baltimore if they would be able to secure a Stadium and the timing was right. Now, it appears as though the MLS has been investigating Baltimore as a possible location for one of it's teams, and that there is a very real possibility that D.C. United could move there, according to Steven Goff of the Washington Post.

“we’ve been saying this could happen,” United President Kevin Payne told the Insider. “This isn’t a game. This is serious. This isn’t a bluff. Part of it is trying to understand what that means for our business. From our point of view, it’s just due diligence. You have to understand your options. We’re trying to understand the depth of interest in Baltimore.”

Baltimore isn't so far away, but it would mean that a lot of United fans int eh D.C. area and more south wouldn't have the opportunity to see their team as frequently as they normally do. They might be able to get a new fanbase up in Baltimore, but it would mean alienating some of the existing group. The guys over at Black and Red United are starting to weigh their options.

Listen. I've lived in Maryland my whole life. I've supported United for its entire life. I will still support that team if its moves to Baltimore, but I know plenty of you feel differently. We'd all love to see our boys stay in D.C. But it may be time to start thinking about what we'll do if they don't.

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