GAITHERSBURG, Md. (CBSDC) — A proposed multipurpose arena in Montgomery County is close becoming a done deal and that could mean another pro football franchise for the D.C. region.
Development group D&A Sports has been trying to build an indoor arena next to the Shady Grove Metro station in Gaithersburg for the past six years, but D&A co-owner Tom Doyle said they’re closing in on a deal. Doyle said the group just needs to strike a deal with WMATA officials to turn the current Metro parking lot into a 6,500-seat arena.
“This is as close as we’ve been and we feel good about that,” Doyle said.
Doyle envisions building a $50 million “utility arena” that could host a variety of events and sports, including indoor lacrosse and, potentially, indoor football. The Arena Football League has reportedly expressed interest in bringing a football team to the D.C. metro area.
The arena’s location — next to Metro’s red line, Interstate 270 and the Intercounty Connector — means it would be easily accessible to people from all over the D.C. metro area, Doyle said.
Doyle also said the arena could host Montgomery County high school graduations and high school sporting events.
“Early on there was a study commissioned by the state of Maryland that overwhelmingly shows how successful this could be,” Doyle said.
The AFL season runs opposite of the NFL season, starting in March and ending in August. The league currently has 15 teams spread across four divisions, and if a D.C. team was added, it likely would join the Philadelphia Soul, Cleveland Gladiators and Pittsburgh Power in the American Conference’s East Division.