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Md. Comes Courting in D.C. United's Stadium Search

Comptroller Peter Franchot has asked the Maryland Stadium Authority to meet with United officials.
Comptroller Peter Franchot has asked the Maryland Stadium Authority to meet with United officials. (Kevin Clark - Twp)

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Puddester, who has been in his post at the Maryland Stadium Authority for 2 1/2 months, said yesterday that he has not spoken with United since the spring. But Puddester said he has been in touch with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, which he said has talked more recently with the team.

Fenty administration officials said they remain open to working with United to find a suitable new home in the city. The team plays at 46-year-old RFK Stadium.

Under his initial proposal, MacFarlane offered to pay for the stadium, estimated to cost between $150 million and $200 million, if the city allowed him to develop 8 million square feet at Poplar Point. MacFarlane also has asked the city to contribute $350 million in infrastructure for the overall development project.

But under the terms of the competitive bidding process established by Fenty, developers have been asked to submit proposals that limit development to about 4 million square feet. Bids are due Nov. 2.

"DC United has told us they would explore their options both inside and outside the District and they've also told us they are still working with a developer to possibly submit a proposal for Poplar Point," Neil O. Albert, deputy mayor for economic development, said in a statement.

Council members Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who is chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue, and Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), who represents the area where Poplar Point is located, said yesterday that they support MacFarlane.

"I don't blame Maryland for trying to get" United, Barry said. "They've got more sense than the Fenty administration does."

Staff writer Steven Goff contributed to this report.

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