Bargaining chips | D.C.’s Barry says soccer ‘makes sense’

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Marion Barry. Link to Washington Post article.Washington | D.C. Council member and former mayor Marion Barry has reversed position on a proposed new stadium for D.C. United to be located in Poplar Point, in the district Barry represents in Anacostia. Realizing that the stadium could represent a $1 billion investment windfall for the primarily low-income area and provide much-needed low-wage housing, Barry has thrown his critical support behind a 27,000-seat stadium. “It makes sense,” Barry said of the plan put forth by the Major League Soccer club, which currently plays in RFK Stadium, home of the Washington Nationals baseball team.

Kevin Payne, the club’s chief executive, has pledged United’s commitment to providing jobs for area residents as well as youth internships. The team already has held soccer clinics in the area and has sponsored public meetings such as the one where Barry showed his support. “I want to make sure that this is not one of those events where people come in and feed these black folks, give them something cold to drink and tell our kids they can practice with the team every now and then,” said Anacostia resident Paul Kearney.

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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