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May 22, 2009

MacFarlane bows out of D.C. United, gets friendly with Real Madrid


This has been coming for some time now, but it’s official and we’re not surprised. Victor MacFarlane, building developer/player, sold his shares of D.C. United to his long time partner, Will.i.am Chang. Mr. Chang is also a partial owner of the Baseball San Francisco Giants. What does this mean for footy in DC?

I’ve always figured Victor MacFarlane to be a mini-me developer type in the mold of Phillip Anschutz, whom he purchased the team from. The plan is simple: buy a second tier sports team; measure the mark (local community); use the local goodwill of the sports team, combined with the ‘economic benefit’ (as defined by your own research) to tout a public-private stadium deal; then use it as your 21st century “anchor tenant” for your mixed-use property development. That’s the money maker, and I bet if we could do the math, we would see that on a long haul. Having an anchor tenant makes it all that much solid. Sports teams are the new development anchor tenants (until the Wal-Mart competitive sports league is formed in 2023).

Mr. MacFarlane seemed to wear out his welcome, with his shifting of stadium sites, and his whining for the “same deal” the Nationals received with the Poplar Point project in DC. He should of argued that the Nationals suck and soccer could be successful faster, but he didn’t.

Mr. Chang seems more committed to the team than MacFarlane, but has largely remained in the shadows. He’s going to have to come out of the shadows, and in an interview with The Washington Post, he talks about the team staying, somewhat:

“I’m not looking for a big real estate deal as part of a stadium project. I’m looking for a bread-and-butter stadium [without ancillary elements]. I’m not looking for a Poplar Point project [with mixed-use development]. I am just looking for a home for this team. I want to go to a place that wants a stadium and wants us.”

Not very enticing, but at the same time, he also said Team President Kevin Payne ran point. However, all employees take their marching orders from their boss, and Kevin has a new boss now. Tell us what you want to do Mr. Chang, and I bet you could get a decent collection of government officials to sign up. He should try a few things. He should realize that the three local governments (four if you count uncle sam) will be hard pressed to agree on anything, especially if money is involved, and they may want some of it.

Then we top off the DC United stories with a rumour that the friendly between DC United and Real Madrid, is scheduled for August 9th. Tickets supposedly to go on sale Tuesday, May 26th. Right when I’m not in town!

Sources:
DC United Press Release
matchfitusa: macfarlane-cuts-bait-on-dc-united



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6 Comments


  1. The Fan's Attic

    I have to admit, I never looked at that angle of “sports entity as anchor tenant of a mixed used development” as a business plan to develop more land rather than a a business plan to expand the coffers of an existing sports entity.

    Very interesting. I guess that’s what they have tried to do in KC and SJ, but the economic situation just isn’t working out like planned.

    Well done Moonshine Mike. I guess you finally crawled out of your mason jar long enough to write a piece.


  2. oyeoro

    Seriously, that is the motivation behind colorado rapids buy by Stan K., KC’s project as well as the Saint Louis bid. Lets be Frank here, most of the developments of soccer staduims in the US are going to have some form of Anchor tenant appeal to draw the capital needed. Sorry but teams have not been around long enough to generate the emotional attachment required to risks $40MM on a staduim without some significant additional future cash flow. my 2 cents.


  3. oyeoro

    Willing to get the tickets to the real madrid game if it pans out. WHO’s In?


  4. Mr. Aggro

    the real madrid friendly has not been “100%” confirmed. if and when it does, Barra Brava will have our normal sections, and you guys should get tickets through us and see how amazing we truely are.


  5. JT

    Mr. Aggro: sounds great to me


  6. MoonshineMike

    I’ll have to crawl out of the hovel that I’m in to attend the match in August.



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