D.C. Stadium Bill is Really TOD Bill in Disguise

This column argues that legislation to build a new stadium for Washington D.C.'s professional soccer team is also a move to jumpstart development around many of the area's transit stations.

"Included in the last-minute crush of bills that the Maryland General Assembly will consider next week is a much-reported-on piece of legislation that would provide the state's Stadium Authority with the wherewithal to further study and evaluate the economic costs, feasibility and impact of locating a professional soccer stadium for D.C. United in Prince George's County. It's important to note that the proposed legislation doesn't build a stadium. Instead, it allows for further study of the possibility of using a world-class entertainment and office venue to jump-start sorely-needed transit-oriented development at a Metro site in the county."

"The promise and the disappointment of transit-oriented development investment in the county have been addressed by outside observers such as regional economist Stephen Fuller, and local, state and regional policymakers at all levels. The proposed solution: create a sufficient density of uses and activities to generate transit ridership by encouraging, stimulating, supporting and combining private uses that will capitalize on public investment. A professional soccer stadium complex, along with ancillary offices, practice fields, public recreation amenities and opportunities for use by local school and community teams, might just provide the catalyst to kick-off private and public investment at one of the county's Metro sites."

Full Story: Stadium is an opportunity to score one for transit-oriented development



stadia & smart growth

While PG County desperately needs TOD around its Metro stations, moving major urban venues to suburbs is a step in the wrong direction. The NFL Redskins already moved to PG County about a decade ago. Now they play at a less central location where the city loses out on tax revenue, there's less infrastructure already in place to handle development, and sprawl and greenfield development are catalyzed. It's harder to get to FedEx Field by transit and easier for many people to use their cars. Nationals Park was just built adjacent to the Navy Yard Metro station, and I believe DC is taking good steps to encourage TOD to flourish there. Sports teams should play in urban centers. What PG County needs is retail and JOBS JOBS JOBS. Another stadium won't help PG much, and would hurt the region.

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