Jack Johnson on D.C. United

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Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson appeared on WAMU 88.5 this afternoon and talked a bit about the proposal for a new stadium for D.C. United in the county. Here are most of his comments. Of particular interest are his thoughts on stadiums as a revenue producer.

“The folks from D.C. United approached us I guess a couple years ago I believe when they felt they were not making progress in the District. They were very clear that they wanted to be in the District but they were also seeking alternatives. So when we began the conversation the conversation was like ‘if it doesn’t happen in the District would we be helpful?’ And we worked out and we pretty much closed the deal.”

“The location will be in the Largo area, we know that…probably at [Morgan] Boulevard, right around that area. We’ll make some decisions based on some things the team has to do.”

“It’s a three-part deal as we understand it. The stadium authority will be financing a part of it. [United owner Victor] MacFarlane will be financing a part of it. And then as you know there are revenues generated from games and Prince George’s County would use those revenues to finance its portion. So I think that’s basically what will happen, so it really doesn’t cost the county any funds.”

“I don’t know whether people believe you make money out of these situations, but whether or not there is some public interest or public benefit to having a team, that’s the answer for Prince George’s County.”

“The reality is all of us know that most stadiums are not used very often. I think that’s a reality. And the reality is it’s not a big economic boom for the community. I think it’s an opportunity to grow things around the stadium and I think we can do some development there. But I don’t think it’s going to create a lot of revenue.”

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