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RFK Stadium: D.C.'s Unofficial Monument

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call
RFK Stadium is now home to D.C. United, the city’s Major League Soccer team. In its 52-year history, the stadium has played host to football, baseball and soccer games, as well as some notable musical acts such as The Beatles and Bob Dylan.

However, whether it is because of the sensitivity of the future United stadium plans, the stalling of Reservation 13 development or just that it’s on the back burner, there is very little vision for a path forward.

In the meantime, the memories pile up for what Washington Post sports writer Barry Svrluga once called “the beat-up concrete yard known as RFK Stadium.”

Negative experiences get exorcised, like the Washington Senators’ last RFK game on Sept. 30, 1971. The Senators, on their way to Texas to become the Rangers after the 1971 season, forfeited the game to the New York Yankees because the crowd rushed the field and tore up the grass. When the Montreal Expos needed a new home in 2005, though, RFK was ready. The new Washington Nationals made it their home until the opening of Nationals Park in 2008.

“Without RFK, who knows where we would be? We might still be in Montreal. We could be somewhere else,” relief pitcher Chad Cordero told Svrluga in 2007.

So while RFK is not an official monument, for Washingtonians, their teams and their memories, it’s as close as it gets.

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