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Is D.C. United Stadium the Next Big Catalyst for Gentrification?

While the D.C. United Stadium has the potential to become Major League Soccer's best and biggest development ever, it also has the potential to gentrify the residents of Buzzard Point, while putting Washington in debt. The D.C. United deal will cost a total $286.7 million with the district paying almost half of the bill. The financing plan calls for the District to issue $105 million in new debt and to shift $32.6 million of capital funding. The hopes for the 20,000-seat stadium are that it will bring in $1.6 billion in "economic opportunity," while serving as a catalyst for economic development for Southwest Washington. There are fears, though, that it will instead become a catalyst for the redevelopment of the 1,000 units of subsidized or public housing within a few blocks of the stadium.

Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser has commented that she hopes to preserve affordable housing in the area and expects that the stadium will have "absolutely no impact on the public housing there." While she says this, there are already plans to convert a low-income complex into mixed-income housing. Additionally, the neighborhood's draft agreement with D.C. United only requires the team to provide community benefits, such as summer youth soccer scholarships and summer youth jobs, and there is no guarantee that the housing will be preserved.
· Borrow it: How D.C. will fund its share of the D.C. United stadium [Washington Business Journal]
· A Home for Soccer, and Renewal, in Washington [The New York Times]
· D.C. United Stadium to be MLS' Priciest Crown Jewel [Curbed DC]
· Rounding Up the Criticisms of the D.C. United Stadium Deal [Curbed DC]