The Council finds that:
(1) RFK Stadium is no longer suitable as a home for D.C. United in that it was not designed to host soccer, but was designed for football and baseball, has a capacity much larger than current Major League Soccer Stadiums, is more than 50 years old, is in deteriorating condition, and is near the end of its useful life.
(1A) The acquisition of land for, construction of, and operation of a new stadium for D.C. United in itself serves a public purpose, in particular because the stadium will promote the recreation, entertainment, and enjoyment of the public.
(2) In addition, without the development of a new soccer stadium, it is likely that D.C. United would ultimately move to another jurisdiction where it could participate in the development of a modern, state-of-the-art, outdoor soccer stadium, which would cause the District to lose the economic and fiscal benefits associated with the team's location in the District.
(3) The development and operation of a new, state-of-the-art, LEED certified outdoor soccer stadium at Buzzard Point and the planned development on its ancillary site will increase economic activity.
(4) The stadium is proposed to be located in Buzzard Point, an underutilized industrial area that has long been targeted for redevelopment and, in anticipation of that redevelopment, has been rezoned for higher density use, but that, without a catalytic, public-sponsored project, is not likely to see significant redevelopment for a minimum of 8 years and likely longer.
(5) Developing a state-of-the-art, LEED certified outdoor soccer stadium at Buzzard Point will serve to accelerate that redevelopment as well as promote economic development in the Buzzard Point and Capitol Riverfront neighborhoods and enhance economic vitality in the District of Columbia.
(6) Improvements in the physical environment of Buzzard Point catalyzed by the soccer stadium will connect Buzzard Point to the emerging Capitol Riverfront area to create a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood with improved pedestrian circulation and continuous public access to the water, offer new development opportunities that could promote mixed-use development and increase the inventory of affordable housing through inclusionary zoning, and provide ways to improve the environmental health of Buzzard Point.
(7) Improvements and infrastructure investments represented by the development of a new, state-of-the-art soccer stadium project at Buzzard Point will leverage other nearby District investments such as the South Capitol Street Bridge project and the parking facilities for Nationals Park and, along with the successful and planned development at the Yards and the Wharf, combine to anchor a new, mixed-use neighborhood that would reconnect residents to the waterfront, enhance the natural environment, and establish an attractive gateway to the District while improving conditions for nearby residents.
Effect of Amendments
The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 would have added (1A); and would have added “In addition” in (2).
Applicability of D.C. Law 20-233: Section 301 of D.C. Law 20-233 provided (1) that the act shall apply upon the date of inclusions of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan; (2) that the Chief Financial Officer shall certify the date of the inclusion of the fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, and provide notice to the Budget Director of the Council of the certification; and (3) that the Budget Director shall cause the notice of the certification to be published in the District of Columbia Register and that the date of publication of the notice of the certification shall not affect the applicability of the act.
For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 101 of the Soccer Stadium Development Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-557, Dec. 30, 2014, 62 DCR 448, 20 STAT 4467).
For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Soccer Stadium Development Technical Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-59, May 8, 2015, 62 DCR 5962, 21 DCSTAT 1434).
For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2182(b) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).
For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Soccer Stadium Development Technical Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-17, July 22, 2015, 62 DCR 6876).