Arent Fox Work on DC United Soccer Stadium Named ‘Deal of the Year’ by Washington Business Journal
The deal represents the culmination of 15 years of work by Arent Fox, which helped the franchise secure rights to develop the new state-of-the art $300 million soccer stadium. Those efforts include both the development of the 20,000-seat arena, including its 15,000 square feet of retail, and the imminent related development of multiple city blocks on vacant land adjacent to the site.
Arent Fox represented the owner of DC United in structuring and documenting a public-private partnership between the DC Government, which assembled the site, and the team’s ownership, which entered into a long-term ground lease and development agreement under which the stadium was developed and the adjoining sites are to be developed.
The firm’s role included the negotiation of the transaction with the District of Columbia and the design-build arrangements for the stadium. Arent Fox’s role also involved more than 12 years of advocacy work, which resulted in DC United securing the rights to develop the stadium in December 2014. For over a decade, DC United had sought to find a site to build its own stadium, a process that included lengthy negotiations and challenges over cost, appropriate sites, and changes of ownership at the club. The project involved negotiation with Major League Soccer, the District of Columbia, and numerous labor unions. Ultimately, DC United secured $150 million in financing and $43 million in tax incentives towards the estimated $300 million costs.
The new state-of-the-art soccer stadium is a keystone to the development of Buzzard Point and secures the long-term presence of a major MLS team in DC for at least 30 years. Together with Nationals Park and the Capital One Arena, this stadium puts the District in the forefront of the region as a sports, entertainment, and tourism center.