Yanki - what's the word on the street regarding the Balto United talk? Would they initially play at the Ravens Stadium? Would be hard to imagine MLS without DCU?
While the Ravens love the revenue for a once a year big international friendly or maybe som potential World Cup games that will be staged in an air conditioned Island based stadium in Quatar--I don't think that they want a soccer team messing up there turf on a regular basis. Of course, any potential overlap would only be from August until early November. Maybe they will charge an arm and a leg and do it for a partial season or so.
Word on the street is that DCU is trying to find some leverage with DC and the incoming mayor elect to actually try and get a deal done in DC (which they have always preferred). If the econmoic feasibility report being worked on comes back favorable, then United will say, "hey, if the Maryland Stadium Authority and Baltimore City government are willing to help get us in a stadium then we will see ya later".
In doing so, they will be risking losing most of their strong Northern VA base and DC base. They will also lose a lot of the Suburban MD (Metro DC area) fans as well. A lot of people are not going to travel to B'more to support the team.
I personally don't think that Baltimore can support the team without bringing fans in from the South. United ain't the Orioles--pre-Washington Nationals when all it took was a nice tradition and beautiful new ballpark. They still draw from the South but not like they used to (mostly coz they have been awful and the Nationals arrived).
DC United doesn't want to leave DC. Garber and Payne barking and talking smack hasn't helped the situation. RFK just won't work for the club economically. I noestly forget how sorry a stadium it is until I go visit someplace else. Chang is looking for new investor(s) for United.
Baltimore is a bluff unless DC, Suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia don't come through--and that would be the order that I rank as far as where would be most likely to come up with a stadium--for a club that doesn't want to spend very much of it's own money to build one.
For United, Baltimore is like the chick who is a 2 at 10PM but becomes a 10 at 2AM when they are closing the club to the guy who went out looking to hook up who realizes that he had better take what he can smooth talk before there are no options left...
That's what we are if we are keeping it real.