The "ceremonial demolition" of a derelict shed in Washington D.C. this week brought another sign that Major League Soccer is on the way up.
D.C. major Muriel Bowser took the first swing at the shed in the Buzzard Point area of the city on Monday in what was the first tangible sign of the MLS franchise's new 20,000 seat soccer-specific stadium.
There is still another two years of work to go before the stadium is up and running, but D.C. United have released images of what it will look like when completed. The word 'prison' has been used by some to describe it.
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The images come via D.C. United themselves and, while the finished arena will finally end a 20-year pursuit of a soccer-specific home for the franchise, it isn't exactly awe-inspiring.
With the project set to cost around $300 million - a sum shared between the city and the club - fans might have been hoping for a little more than black walls and weird hexagons when they leave behind the multi-purpose Robert F. Kennedy stadium for the 2018 campaign.
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Press and staff entrance
According to reports, the stadium is set to bring a $1 billion boost to the area's economy, though, so, while it might not be the most attractive venue to look at, it does have the potential to bring in big bucks.
David Beckham must have dollar signs in his eyes as he continues his plans for a Miami-based franchise.
One cool aspect of the currently unnamed stadium is that, amongst the 20,000 capacity, 600 of those attending games will be able to do so in a standing section. With a number of fans in England currently campaigning for a return to safe standing, it will leave them more than a little jealous.
Speaking this week about the new venue, D.C.'s head coach Ben Olsen was excited for the fans:
"They've earned it going to RFK for the last 20 years. RFK is a wonderful building. It's served its purpose for us, but it's time to move on, it's time to reward them for all their support and put them in a new home."
With interest in MLS continuing to grow in recent years, it is good to see that another franchise is getting its own purpose-built stadium rather than having to share those of NFL,MLB or college teams.
Still, with the D.C. project rumored to become the most expensive stadium in MLS history to build, surely they could have made it a little more iconic.
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