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D.C. seeks to demolish RFK Stadium in the next two years

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The entity that oversees the stadium is currently searching for contractors

An aerial view of an empty football stadium. An armory building and homes are in the distance behind it.
RFK Memorial Stadium seen from above
Corbis via Getty Images

Just as professional football season is about to get underway, District officials are prepping for the demolition of the city’s former NFL venue: Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. The stadium, which has remained largely empty since D.C. United vacated the site in 2017, would be torn down by fall 2021 under plans described in a request for proposals released Thursday by sports authority Events DC. The Washington Post first reported on the plans.

“Events DC desires to demolish RFK Stadium as part of the overall redevelopment of the RFK Campus,” the solicitation explains. “The general scope of work includes abatement, selective demolition, super structure demolition, cutting/capping of utility infrastructure, removal and disposal of all debris and contaminated soils, and filling and grading the site.” Events DC administers the 190-acre stadium campus and this past June opened three new recreational fields there. It is looking for qualified contractors who could perform the work.

A street grid showing a former football stadium along a river and near homes.
RFK Stadium site
Events DC

While the District oversees activities at the RFK site through Events DC, the U.S. Department of the Interior owns the underlying land and leases it to the city. As of now, the lease permits only recreational, stadium, or open-space uses. Due to this setup, the campus’s future is still somewhat unclear. A bill authored by the District’s congressional delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, would facilitate the sale of the land to the city and allow for mixed-use development. But it is also possible that D.C.’s NFL team, which now plays in Maryland, may return to the site. D.C. officials have said there are no concrete plans for the team to come back to the city.

Events DC is requiring interested contractors to visit the open-air stadium September 20. Bids are due by October 25, and the sports authority says “for this [request for proposals], technical quality is more important than cost or price.” The stadium, which boasts 47,000 seats and includes 800,000 gross square feet across five levels, originally debuted in 1961.

RFK Stadium

2400 E Capitol St NE, Washington, D.C. 20003 (202) 587-5000 Visit Website