Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com
D.C. United is not going anywhere. At least not in the next two years, anyway.
The club agreed to a two-year lease extension with RFK Stadium operator Events D.C. over the weekend and announced the terms on Thursday. The new agreement ensures United of staying in the only home stadium they have known through the 2013 MLS season. With the foreseeable future sewn up, the club can turn its full attention to finding the answer to the new stadium question that has lingered for years.
"We now look forward to engaging in more detailed discussions with the District about a long-term stadium solution for D.C. United," club president and CEO Kevin Payne said in a team statement.
As part of the new deal, capacity for D.C. United home games is going to be limited to 19,647, with fans restricted to the mezzanine and lower bowl levels.
"The intention is to cover the upper deck seating area of the stadium for MLS games and we are presently discussing that opportunity with several prospective sponsors," Payne said. "It's a great branding opportunity, but it's more important that our supporters become accustomed to a 20,000 seat stadium, and we expect that limiting the capacity will encourage an increase in season ticket sales."
Outside of the deal, renovations at RFK will be done to improve the restrooms and the lighting on the concourses. To help raising the funds for those improvements, a service charge of $2.25 will be included on all ticket sales for events at RFK starting on Friday.
Events D.C. and the club are also looking to sell presenting sponsorship of the playing field at RFK as another way to increase the club's income.
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