D.C. United stadium hearing conflicts with World Cup, fans unhappy

WASHINGTON — Amid the World Cup, some fans feel torn between their nation’s team and their city’s.

They want to watch the U.S. play in the much-anticipated international tournament while also voicing their support for a new D.C. United stadium.

However, a public hearing on the stadium is scheduled for June 26, the same day the U.S. takes on Germany in World Cup play.

“There was a lot of surprise from the soccer community and a lot of outrage for that,” says Matthew Eide, a member of the District Ultras, a D.C. United supporter group.

“In-person participation is going to be affected” by the timing of the hearing, he says. “There are a lot of D.C. fans going to Brazil.”

The hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. on the 26th, while the U.S. plays at noon that day.

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson tells WTOP they are working to accommodate fans. He says those who are in town and wish to speak, but are concerned about possibly missing the start of the World Cup game, can ask to be moved up on the witness list in order to be among the first to testify.

He says that request must be made in advance of the hearing. The Council is also accepting written statements from those who cannot attend.

D.C. United has released renderings of the stadium, which would be built at Buzzard Point in Southwest.

The cost of the $300 million project would be split between the city and the team. The stadium site would be acquired in a land swap that gives the District’s Reeves Municipal Center to a developer. Other land would be acquired through eminent domain.

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