Maryland Stadium Authority approves study for new soccer stadium for future DC United affiliate team

The Maryland Stadium Authority approved conducting a study for a new soccer-specific stadium in the Baltimore area operated by D.C. United for a future affiliate team.

The study was unanimously approved during the authority’s monthly meeting held Tuesday. The secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce made the request on behalf of the team to study the Baltimore metro area and the surrounding area for a new multiuse soccer stadium.

The study costs $50,000 with United and Maryland Stadium Authority splitting the cost. Crossroads Consulting Services will be hired to complete a “market and economic analysis” of five potential sites, which will take six to eight months to complete.

When asked if this meant United, which currently plays in D.C.’s Audi Field, would move to Baltimore, Gary McGuigan, the Maryland Stadium Authority’s Executive Vice President, said this is for a team that would play in MLS Next Pro, a new third-division professional soccer league.

“It’d be kind of a feeder team similar to minor league baseball,” McGuigan said.

While the preference is the Baltimore area, D.C. United has an “open mind” for the best location, he added. No specific locations were discussed during the meeting.

“This is really a high-level study, looking at market, looking at five locations and basically analyzing the benefits and the negatives of each site,” McGuigan said. “It’s the first step in a process.”

MLS Next Pro began play in March with 21 founding clubs, the majority of which are affiliated with a Major League Soccer franchise.

United already fields an affiliate team, Loudoun United, which plays in the second-division USL Championship in its own stadium, Segra Field in Leesburg. However, an agreement with Loudoun County, Virginia, and the soccer club stipulates that Loudoun United remain a second division side.

It is not the first time D.C. United has flirted with bringing soccer to the Baltimore region. During the club’s attempts to secure a land deal with the District for the construction of Audi Field, MLS officials commissioned a survey for possible expansion or relocation to Charm City.

Recently, Baltimore and D.C. came together to jointly bid on hosting soccer matches and fan events during the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

D.C. United declined to comment on the study at this time.

Jose Umana

José Umaña is a digital editor for WTOP. He’s been working as a journalist for almost a decade, covering local news, education and sports. His work has appeared in The Prince George’s Sentinel, The Montgomery Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, PressBox and The Diamondback.

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