D.C. Armory

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D.C. Armory
D.C. Armory - Washington, D.C..jpg
Location 2001 East Capitol Street SE,
Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°53′19″N 76°58′32″W / 38.8886°N 76.9755°W / 38.8886; -76.9755
Owner United States of America[1]
Operator Military – District of Columbia National Guard[citation needed]
Nonmilitary – Washington Convention and Sports Authority
Capacity 10,000
Opened 1941
Tenants
Georgetown Hoyas (NCAA)
Washington Diplomats (NASL)
D.C. Armor (AIFA)
DC Rollergirls (WFTDA)
1947–49
1978
2009

The D.C. Armory is an armory and a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena located in Washington, D.C. managed by the Washington Convention and Sports Authority. The Armory was constructed[2] and opened in 1941, as the headquarters,[3] armory, and training facility[2] for the District of Columbia National Guard. In recent years it has also become a venue for a broad range of events.[2] It was designed by noted New York architect Electus D. Litchfield.[4]

The Armory's Drill Field is approximately 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2)[2] and has hosted trade shows, concerts, warehouse sales,[5] the Washington Auto Show,[6] sporting events, and Presidential inauguration balls.[2]

The Washington Diplomats played indoor soccer at the armory in 1978.[7][8] It was the site of WCW Capital Combat in 1990, served as a preliminary tryout venue for American Idol, a performance by Marilyn Manson,[2] and hosted the Longest Yard Football Classic, a charity game pitting Members of Congress (aided by former NFL stars) against the Capitol Police.[2] The Armory has been home to the DC Rollergirls, D.C.'s female flat track roller derby league, since February 2008. In 2009, the Armory became home to the D.C. Armor, an American Indoor Football Association team. Popular Dutch trance artist Armin van Buuren played a 6 hour set at the Armory in 2011.[9]

During World War II, the Armory was used by the FBI Identification Division to house fingerprint records.[10] Inauguration balls spanning from the presidencies of Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama have also been hosted at the Armory.[2] Frank Sinatra and Peter Lawford produced President Kennedy's pre-inaugural gala at the Armory on January 19, 1961. The cast of performers included Harry Belafonte, Milton Berle, Leonard Bernstein, Joey Bishop, Nat King Cole, Tony Curtis, Jimmy Durante, Ella Fitzgerald, Gene Kelly, Alan King, Janet Leigh, Ethel Merman, Louis Prima, Keely Smith, Pat Suzuki, and Helen Traubel.

The Armory is served by the Stadium–Armory station on the Blue and Orange Lines of the Washington Metro. The Armory shares a 10,000 car parking lot with the adjacent Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.[11]

Initially, nonmilitary use of the Armory was facilitated by the D.C. Armory Board, which was formed in 1948.[2] During its existence the board oversaw the use of both the Armory and RFK Stadium.[2] In 1994 the board was dissolved and the city’s use of the Armory came under the authority of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission (DCSEC), which later became the Washington Convention and Sports Authority.[2][12]

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