D.C. United’s new, probably raccoon-free stadium sadly draws praise from rivals

D.C. United has joined the ranks of MLS teams playing in their own stadiums. Of course, United’s stadium won’t materialize over night, but today, the Washington D.C. City Council voted and approved plans for a 20,000-25,000 seat stadium in Buzzard Point.

This is huge news for one of the league’s founding franchises, which has been paying rent to operate in quite possibly the worst standing structure in the United States. The franchise’s current home, RFK Stadium, is believed to have been built by Druids in the 16th century (not true), and has been crumbling ever since.

If you’re not familiar with United’s current home, RFK Stadium was the one Magneto picked up and threw at the White House in that X-Men movie. There’s a lot of CGI involved, but the trickery is only to make RFK look habitable to children who don’t know better.

Adults with emotional ties to the bombed out and depleted former home of the Washington Football Team and the Senators have continued this charade, arguing that the “stadium” has character when faced with mockery. But those who can detach themselves from nostalgia know code for “needs to be condemned” when they hear it.

In an era of season ticket holders pounding champagne and tossing back shrimp in $2,500-a-game luxury boxes, D.C. United’s home features a tree that managed to take root inside and grow through the stadium concrete (true), an upper-deck that was condemned by the city and deemed unsafe for visitors (true), and a legendary tribe of raccoons that fed generations by working their way onto United’s payroll (half-true). A change of scenery makes perfect sense, especially for D.C. fans, assuming they’re OK with public funding being used for the stadium. But when you look around the league, that’s where you find the biggest problem. You’d think that United’s eternal rivals would want to see RFK collapse with United in it, during a game they had to win to avoid becoming the worst team in MLS history.

But as we’ve seen time and time again, that isn’t the case.

Cut it out, other MLS teams. Either MLS is a league that buys and sells canned “Rivalry Week” twice a year in an attempt to have those games actually mean something, or we all hold hands and skip through the grass together, like the kind of family that gives all the kids presents when it’s someone’s birthday.

Sure, congrats on getting a new stadium, D.C., but everyone else should be highly disappointed that other MLS teams didn’t respond to the stadium news with Vines from their sexy suites, with people in the cocktail attire yelling, “Butter leather couches since 2009, tho!”

Where’s the spirit of competition?

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