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.
April 11, 2009, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"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."

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Published on Thursday, April 9, 2009 in The Gazette
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