Citing mounting opposition to the proposed new DC United stadium in Prince George’s County, Maryland, United team President Kevin Payne today sent an e-mail to supporters asking them to contact legislators to express their feelings on the project.
It’s a good idea. Though it’s left to wonder on two fronts. One, if it shouldn’t have been done in the couple days after the plan was announced last month, so that supporters of the plan could get the jump on their opponents and plant the seed in the head of those in the Maryland General Assembly that the project was in fact a good idea (if they didn’t already believe so). Two, how much will the legislators take all the e-mail carpet bombs from those on both sides of the issue into consideration when considering their vote.
There’s also the matter of whether or not the plan is even going to get voted on. The Maryland House Approprations Committee has a hearing on the bill scheduled for March 17 at 1 p.m., and according to the Payne letter, the Senate Tax and Finance Committee will also take up the bill next week.
But the General Assembly session, a 90-day free for all of fun where more than 2,000 bills are introduced, ends on April 13. A delay in considering the bill at this point could lead to it not being acted upon until 2010, putting a grand opening into 2013, if construction were on schedule. This could be trouble if it’s decided at some point along the way that RFK Stadium is no longer structurally suitable to house United, or if the club feels it can no longer make a successful go of it there.
I do wonder if I’m the only one who gets a sense of impending doom when reading the close to Payne’s letter (the bold and italics are his emphasis by the way, not mine):
I hope this deal gets done …