Loudoun Supervisors Pour $10M More into DC United Soccer Deal

The risings costs of Loudoun’s new soccer stadium complex at Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park have given some supervisors pause, as the tenants—DC United and Loudoun United—were granted $10 million more in government financing, almost doubling the original agreement.

The county board had already agreed to issue government bonds to finance up to $15 million of the cost of the project, which the team has committed to pay back over time. But according to a staff report, the project has seen cost overruns of around $12 million to $15 million. The teams requested $8.7 million in additional county financing to help cover that costs, but county staff members estimated at least $10 million is needed for that work, which includes paying water and sewer fees to the Town of Leesburg, installing restroom facilities, installing sanitary and storm sewer systems, and work on land preparation and the training facility area. Water and sewer availability fees alone are expected to cost $1.77 million.

The stadium, Segra Field, was opened in August and Loudoun United played their first home games there this year. The training facilities and other fields remain under construction.

The tenants offered two offsets to boost the value of the deal to the county, which has guidelines for return-on-investment when using county money or debt financing to support a private business.

First, the team offered a marketing and exposure partnership with the county to promote Loudoun, which was compared to an agreement the county formerly had with the Washington Redskins. The teams valued that at about $900,000 annually, although the county’s own Department of Economic Development pegged its value at closer to $650,000 a year, based on how much it would cost to buy those services.

Secondly, the team offered up the new agreement with Washington Spirit professional women’s soccer team, which will co-locate its headquarters and training center with the DC United and Loudoun United teams and play four or five home games a year at Segra Field. The team will also partner with the county on marketing in a similar way. The Department of Economic Development opined that would add to the Loudoun brand, and bring about $3.72 million in economic activity to the county each year.

Supervisor Kristen C. Umstattd (D-Leesburg), who opposed the first deal with DC United over concerns about traffic and conflicts with the Town of Leesburg, also opposed expanding the deal with additional financing.

“I am not persuaded that the county is going to see the kind of return on its investment that we normally would expect in, in the time period that we normally would expect to on the first part of this deal,” Umstattd said. “And the second part, I think, makes it even more difficult to recoup and recover our expenses.”

Supervisor Ron A. Meyer Jr. (R-Broad Run), although supporting the additional financing support, also expressed reservations.

“I think it’s something that the next board really needs to watch to make sure we are getting our money’s worth,” Meyer said.

Supervisors approved the new financing on a 7-1-1 vote, with Umstattd opposed and Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) absent.

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4 thoughts on “Loudoun Supervisors Pour $10M More into DC United Soccer Deal

  • 2019-12-04 at 4:46 pm

    Let’s see.

    $15M for the initial deal.
    Plus $7M for the parking lot that apparently no one saw coming.
    Plus $19.7M for a portion of Crosstrail Boulevard which only purpose for years to come is to serve Segra field.
    Plus this latest $10M cost overrun.

    Total: Over $50M now, and counting.

    What a deal! Thank you supervisors, for working behind your constituents backs for two years on this super secret arrangement. Worth every penny.

    What a disgraceful boondoggle.

    • 2019-12-04 at 10:28 pm

      100% correct. Did anyone do due diligence on other cities contributions to privately owned sports teams? Tax payer money to help private business. I didn’t notice this happening for many other businesses in Loudoun County or Leesburg. Everyone who voted for this additional funding needs to be fired for negligence.

  • 2019-12-06 at 3:27 pm

    It’s not a boondoggle Mr. Mach. It’s fraud.

    Everyone tracking this knew it was going to be far in excess of what Board members willfully and negligently told taxpayers. The Board pushed a lie. Either they all knew it, or they’re painfully ignorant. I’m betting the former. They knew. They knew all along, and likely pressured staff to slow walk the true costs. And they’re not done yet. Loudoun taxpayers will never be paid back for the 15 million in public monies given to a private corporation. The “promoting Loudoun” brand effort is not based in real numbers. There was no referendum vote by the people, and now we know why. The Board knew the costs were false.

    If this was a private business engaged in this type activity, they’d speaking with investigators right about now. In fact, I want to know why there isn’t an investigation into this matter. I’ve said all along, some smart aggressive reporter could really make a name for themselves if they started peeling back layers and looked into this.

    • 2019-12-13 at 7:54 pm

      I can’t name such a facility that hasn’t cost vastly more than initial estimates. The board is talking about a few “Affordable Dwelling Units” in western Loudoun while they are wasting tens of millions on a sports plaza that solely benefits the wealthy owners of a private sports team.

      Don’t rule out “AND” when it comes to “lying” or “idiots.” I saw the board in action this week and I was not impressed with the vast majority of their statements.

      Remember, they claim they didn’t know the true operational costs of the metro extension either.

      Welcome to Fairfax County, West Annex.

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