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Reports: Washington Spirit practicing at local high school

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As the Washington Spirit gear up for the playoffs, they’ll do so at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, according to reporting by The Athletic.

The team has reportedly been training there since Saturday. Prior to that, they had trained at Audi Field in southwest D.C., and more recently at D.C. United’s new training facility.

Reportedly, their move to Alexandria comes as Spirit ownership and D.C. United heads are at odds over the terms of the Spirit’s long-term agreement to use United’s new training facility.

In a 10-year agreement signed between the two teams in 2019, the Spirit were given use of Audi Field. Additionally, the agreement stipulated that the Spirit would move into United’s training facility upon its completion, with a fee for said use to be negotiated in “good faith” at a later date.

According to the reports, United are asking the NWSL club to pay $16,000 a month for use of a lit, grass field. That number includes rent and maintenance of the field, as well as the cost of its replacement in five years. Reportedly, that number averages out to about $75,000 a year.

Originally wanting more from the Spirit, United reportedly dropped their price after negotiating with current Spirit president and former D.C. United player and manager Ben Olsen.

Olsen has been working closely with co-owner Michele Kang in the negotiations, according to sources. Kang has been caught in a power struggle with fellow co-owner Steve Baldwin for much of the past year. Baldwin hired Olsen and has recently announced he will sell his shares of the Spirit following fan protests and player demands.

Kang and those at the Spirit are said to be hesitant to commit to long-term agreements until the potential sale of the Spirit is completed. Kang has also reportedly floated building the Spirit their own training facility.