Report: 76ers minority owners to invest in D.C. United

United (Getty)

D.C. United are on the verge of a new era in ownership.

Philadelphia 76ers minority owners Erick Thohir and Jason Levien have reached an agreement to become co-owners of United, according to sources cited by ESPN NBA writer Marc Stein. As part of the deal, current United owner Will Chang will retain a stake in the club.

The report states that Thohir, an Indonesian media magnate, and Levien, who worked as an NBA player agent and also had a stint in the Sacramento Kings' front office, will make building United a soccer-specific stadium their top priority.

Share your thoughts below.

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34 Responses to Report: 76ers minority owners to invest in D.C. United

  1. Badwolfdc says:

    This is great news. Will Chang has been struggling to find investors. IMHO he has always had the “best in mind” for the club….I wonder how quickly a deal can be signed for a new stadium? Not that long I’m guessing

  2. Seriously says:

    This was a long time coming. DCU fans have been talking about Thohir on BigSoccer for quite some time. Sounds like Chang finally got what he wanted and maybe this can help them push through a stadium with new money.

  3. Michael Vann says:

    This has been in the rumor mill for a while now and I’m glad it’s finally coming to fruition. DCU and its supporters deserve a stadium of their own and deserve to have a strong ownership group supporting their cause. Chang has done what he can by himself but having a new group will spread his work load.

    Off subject, I didn’t realize until recently Marc Stein is a huge soccer fan and grew up playing the game. His only downfall is his massive support of Man City. Better than Man United, I guess!! Stein played in Steve Nash’s charity event in NYC and wasn’t too shabby.

  4. Oshi says:

    Insert obligatory Union jokes about owning DCU here.

  5. Duneman says:

    What would DC do with RFK if United leave for an SSL? Really? Even if they retro-fit an SSS “inside RFK or just bring it down and put an SSS in its spot (maybe even make it a larger SSS like 40,000 or so if the area is worried about loosing a large venue for other events).

    If anything was to play in RFK it would need a lot of investment to fix it up….and if an MLS team cant make it work, not sure what would. I dont see any NFL team looking to go back to RFK. I say sell the seats and signs and doors and such to fans who love the history of RFK…but build something better in its place.

    DC has had to rebuild the White House and make some add on improvements with the times. Even the Capital Dome has gone through a few changes. DC shouldnt keep RFK just to keep RFK. I think there are a few zoning laws or something though like if RFK looses a tenant then the land goes back to the city or something which can make a real change tricky….maybe the city is looking to do just that and figures it might be good if United leaves and then the stadium land can go to some new land development deal or something.

    Anyway….hoping good things are coming DC’s way..and its about time.

  6. mlsfan says:

    pwned

  7. JoeW says:

    The rumor is that Daniel Snyder wants to move the Skins back to DC and so it would start by destroying RFK and building a new stadium. In any case, it’s Federal land so doing anything there is complicated.

  8. elgringorico says:

    Eastern conference standings show not many will take that joke too seriously at this point ;)

  9. fischy says:

    No one is “keeping” RFK. It will be demolished. The question is what will follow. Some would like to see a stadium there for the Redskins. Others would like a grand park on the edge of the Anacostia. The National Capital Planning Commission wrote a report suggesting the redevelopment of the area around the stadium, and building some sort of grand entrance to the city there, with a statue/fountain/monument.

    As for sports — the Redskins are the only real option. There is no other team to play there…unless plans change drstically and things move very quickly in the direction of building a soccer stadium there. While it’s possible to erect two stadiums there, a lot of things would have to happen first, including legislation from Congress and a massive environmental clean-up…and probably significant highway construction as well, to expand access to 295.

  10. elgringorico says:

    Wasn’t the most recent report that they were going for a stadium by Nats stadium in SW?

  11. fischy says:

    Buzzards’ Point, baby!!!

    I thought one of the delays was the search for a local partner. Wonder what happened on that front. Perhaps there’s a piece missing from this reporting.

  12. fischy says:

    Yes. A couple of blocks away. There are two main hang-ups. One is that the District owns a pretty good chunk of land that would be involved. So, the city would have to agree to turn that land over to the team..and make commitments on infrastructure — access from the South Capitol Bridge would need to be improved, and the city would probably have to make some commitment regarding the streetcar that is on the drawing boards right now.

    The other piece is the PEPCO power plant being decommissioned. The utility has said they have not been contacted about selling the property…and that they have no intention of doing so. Otherwise, they have to shift design plans and move the stadium a block to the north…and deal with the owners of that property.

  13. KEEP says:

    Great news.

  14. fischy says:

    WHile the team is focused on the Buzzards’ Point property, that is in part because they do not think there is much chance of getting a new stadium built on the RFK grounds. Because of the subway and highway access to RFK, I think the team would probably prefer to be there. If the city stepped up and pushed for that, plans could change. It’s just there’s very little chance of that happening.

  15. Dan says:

    Praying this means a move to Baltimore!

  16. Michael K in San Diego says:

    Just chiming in with an out-of-town opinion, but I have been to a DCU home game, and it was so simple and convenient to get to RFK that I’d love to see something in that same location, or, at least something easily accessible using public transportation. A big plus for fans to not have to drive to a game, at least in my opinion. Is downsizing and refurbishing RFK (pull off the upper deck?) for soccer an option? The great fan base that I remember really deserve a great venue.

  17. Rez says:

    We have needed our own stadium for a long time now. I hate being a fan and now a volunteer for the team and see them lose money to the D.C. government for paying to much to play at rundown R.F.K. I hope this plan and deal goes through. VAMOS UNITED!!!

  18. Matt says:

    + 10

  19. Matt says:

    I still say demolish RFK and play at UMD while a new stadium is built. Build the new stadium where RFK was.

  20. abc says:

    Mark Stein does the ESPN soccer podcast with Steve Davis every week, out of Dallas, it’s one of the half dozen or so soccer podcasts worth listening to.

  21. fischy says:

    It’s great that you say that. Perhaps, you could say that to a bunch of City Councilmembers, and United Staes Representatives and Senators. Maybe you could help make that happen. Also, approach Dan Snyder, to break the Redskins’ lease for FedEx Field — because the only way your vision is gonna happen is if two stadiums are built — no one would agree to build a new, smaller stadium on the land they want to save to entice the Redskins back to town.

  22. Tyler says:

    Yea DC politics are so darn complicated. RFK will be demolished if we leave, and then they will debate about the next potential use of the land. PEPCO has said they could be persuaded to sell, but don’t have any plans to do so right now. If DCU has the stadium costs covered you have to think that the city would be more than willing to facilitate infrastructure upgrades around buzzard point, especially given the jobs and commercial revenue it would generate for the city.

  23. curmudgeon says:

    I really don’t want the Washington Racist Nicknames to move back to the RFK campus — I like being able to park in front of my house.

  24. curmudgeon says:

    In my fantasy land, I still think the best place for a DCU stadium now would be the north side of Lot 7, near Benning Road. Metro access; access by streetcar to both the bars and restaurants along H Street and also Union Station; freeway access via Benning Road (which will include people coming from VA once the 11th Street Bridge project is complete).

    Plus, I can still walk to matches.

  25. JoeW says:

    No, downsizing RFK is not an option. The stadium is literally falling apart. I did some training there for the Nationals (when they played at RFK). Water was dripping down from the ceiling of the room we were using for training (probably about 10-14 spots…there were pans on the floor to collect it). It hadn’t rained in over a week at that point. Another story…the Nationals staff pointed out an area to me in right field where people showed up for work and there was a giant sink hole. Lights go out. Doors are rusted shut. Maybe by Brasilian standards, RFK is a great stadium. But there are increasing safety issues with the place, let alone a whole series of modern amenity and business requirements that the stadium doesn’t have.

  26. slowleftarm says:

    Just curious: why does every article about the Red Bulls reference the fact their stadium is in NJ, but it’s not big deal that the Redskins play in Maryland?

  27. DCUPedro says:

    Well, DC is a very tiny district that is about 10 miles square. It has 500k residents. We dont even have a vote in congress. As a result, the suburbs of VA and MD are very much integrated into the city’s community. I realize that folks in New Jersey consider themselves part of the NY metro area, but I think the expectations are different for DC, which is really a very tiny jurisdiction by comparison.

    Also, the Redskins have at least played in DC at one point in their history. The Red Bulls assumed the NY name without ever having played there.

  28. Theakinet says:

    “The report states that Thohir, an Indonesian media magnate, and Levien, who worked as an NBA player agent and also had a stint in the Sacramento Kings’ front office, will make building United a soccer-specific stadium their top priority [in Baltimore or Atlanta or Miami or Charlotte].”

    Fixed it for you. I can’t see the DC government being bamboozled like they were with the Nationals’ stadium.

  29. abc says:

    Because let’s face facts, NFL and MLS are not the same thing. For proof you only need to look at Foxboro, home to the Patriots who play in front of a sellout crowd because people will travel to the middle of nowhere for 8 football games a year, and the Revolution, who play in front of 10k every weekend.

  30. Brett says:

    Here is the problem: the City Council wants to bring the Redskins back to the District in 12 years when their lease is up at FedEx field. The only place they could build a stadium is RFK. So in the mean time, so they are making at least making some money they rent RFK to DCU. So why would the city council approve DCU getting to build their own stadium? They need them to stay at RFK to pay the bills for the time being so they will not be given a stadium somewhere else (Buzzard Point) in the District. Hopefully this new owner has deep pocket cause that is what it will take. Otherwise they are going to need to show they mean business by leaving and going to Baltimore. If they move to Baltimore they will change the name of the Club and then they will return to the District in the Future maybe building a SSS next to the new Redskins stadium where RFK is now.

    Hopefully I am wrong.

  31. VADCUfan says:

    Uh, the investors will be paying for the stadium. The district might help out a bit with infrastructure in the area, but otherwise these guys are coming in with the cash and intention of building a stadium. For all those misinformed people out there, these two stadium situations are not similar.

  32. Jacknut says:

    I wonder if Snyder’s Enormo-Dome could even be built on the RFK property. It would have to be at least the size of the Cowboys Stadium, and possibly larger. That will be a tough sell in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood where parking already is at a premium.

  33. AltiCooper says:

    Anyone know how much they bought in for and what percentage they got?

  34. drew11 says:

    Exactly. There is never going to be a SSS built in the district because the politicians want DCU to be the second tenant in a Redskin stadium. Until DC supporters accept that they can’t move forward.

    The best thing would be for DCU to leave, build a SSS elsewhere and then negotiate a return with the District in 15-20 years. They have been chasing fools gold for over a decade in the district and look at what is has got them. Nothing.