Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
|Former names||District of Columbia Stadium
|Address||2400 East Capitol Street SE|
|Public transit||Washington Metro
|Owner||District of Columbia|
20,000 (2012–present) (MLS)
|Field size||Pitch Size: 110 by 72 yards (100.6 m × 65.8 m)
Left Field: 335 ft (102 m)
Left-Center: 380 ft (116 m)
Center Field: 410 ft (125 m)
Right-Center: 380 ft (116 m)
Right Field: 335 ft (102 m)
Backstop: 54 ft (16 m)
|Surface||TifGrand Bermuda Grass (Prescription Athletic Turf)|
|Broke ground||July 8, 1960|
|Opened||October 1, 1961
56 years ago
|Construction cost||US$24 million
($192 million in 2016 dollars)
|Architect||George Leighton Dahl, Architects and Engineers, Inc.|
|Structural engineer||Osborn Engineering Company|
|Services engineer||Ewin Engineering Associates|
|General contractor||McCloskey and Co.|
|Washington Redskins (NFL) (1961–1996)
Geo. Washington Colonials (NCAA) (1961–1966)
Washington Senators (II) (MLB) (1962–1971)
Washington Whips (USA / NASL) (1967–1968)
Washington Darts (NASL) (1971)
Washington Diplomats (NASL) (1974–1981)
Team America (NASL) (1983)
Washington Federals (USFL) (1983–1984)
D.C. United (MLS) (1996–2017)
Washington Freedom (WUSA) (2001–2003)
Washington Nationals (II) (MLB) (2005–2007)
Military Bowl (NCAA) (2008–2012)
Washington Freedom (WPS) (2009–2011)
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, commonly known as RFK Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Washington, D.C., located about two miles (3 km) due east of the U.S. Capitol building. It is the current home of the AT&T Nation's Football Classic.
The stadium opened 56 years ago as District of Columbia Stadium (often shortened to D.C. Stadium) in October 1961, and was constructed as a joint venture of the D.C. Armory Board and the U.S. Department of the Interior. It is now owned and operated by Events DC (the successor agency to the DC Armory Board), a quasi-public organization affiliated with the city government under a long-term lease from the National Park Service, which owns the land. The lease expires in 2038. The previous venue for baseball and football in Washington was Griffith Stadium, about four miles (6 km) northwest.
RFK Stadium has been home for a number of major professional sports teams, including the NFL's Washington Redskins (1961–1996; moved east to FedExField in suburban Maryland in 1997), the American League's Washington Senators (1962–1971; moved to Arlington, Texas and became the Texas Rangers in 1972), and the National League's Washington Nationals (2005–2007; until their permanent home Nationals Park was completed in 2008). It has hosted international soccer matches in the 1994 World Cup, 1996 Summer Olympics, and 2003 Women's World Cup. It also hosted a college football bowl game, the Military Bowl (2008–2012), before its move in 2013 to Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. The U.S. men's national soccer team played 22 matches at RFK Stadium between 1977 and 2013, more than any other stadium. From 1996 to 2017, D.C. United of Major League Soccer played its home matches at RFK Stadium prior to moving to Audi Field for 2018.
The stadium was renamed in January 1969 for U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated in Los Angeles the previous June. The announcement was made by Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall on January 18, in the last days of the Johnson Administration.
RFK was one of the first major stadiums designed specifically as a multi-sport facility for both football and baseball. Although there were stadiums that served this purpose before, such as Forbes Field in Pittsburgh (1909), Cleveland Municipal Stadium (1932), Baltimore's Memorial Stadium (1950), New York's Yankee Stadium (1923) and Polo Grounds (1890), as well as Chicago's Wrigley Field (1914) and Comiskey Park (1910), RFK was one of the first to employ what became known as the "cookie-cutter" design.
- 1 Local teams
- 2 Design
- 3 Name
- 4 Sports events
- 5 Other events
- 6 Washington Hall of Stars
- 7 Public transportation
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
The team's return to prominence as a football power began the same year (1960) that the original baseball Senators played their final season, relocating in 1961 to Minnesota as the Twins. The Redskins' first game in D.C. Stadium was a 24–21 loss to the New York Giants on October 1, 1961. The Beatles performed their last concert in Washington, D.C., on August 15, 1966, at D.C. Stadium. The team's first win in the stadium was over its future archrival, the Dallas Cowboys, on December 17. This was the only win in a 1–12–1 season, and it came on the final weekend of the regular season. The Redskins' last win at RFK was a 37–10 victory over the Cowboys on December 22, 1996. The Redskins played 266 regular-season games at RFK Stadium.
In its twelfth season, RFK saw its first pro football playoff game on Christmas Eve 1972, a 16–3 win over the Green Bay Packers. The stadium hosted the NFC Championship Game five times (1972, 1982, 1983, 1987, and 1991) and the Redskins won them all. In the Super Bowls that followed, Washington won three (XVII, XXII, XXVI) of the five.
The expansion Washington Senators of the American League played at RFK Stadium from 1962 through 1971. They played their first season in 1961 at Griffith Stadium, now the site of the medical center for Howard University.
In its ten seasons as the Senators' home field, RFK Stadium was known as a hitters' park. Slugger Frank Howard, (6 ft 7 in (2.01 m), 255 lb (116 kg), hit a number of tape-measure home runs in his career, a few of which landed in the center field area of the upper deck. The seats he hit with his home runs are painted white, rather than the gold of the rest of the upper deck. Left fielder Howard came to the Senators from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1965. He also hit the last home run in the park's tenure as the Senators′ home field, in the sixth inning on September 30, 1971. With two outs in the top of the ninth, a fan riot turned a 7–5 Senators lead over the New York Yankees into a 9–0 forfeit loss, the first in the majors in 17 years.
The Senators only had one season over .500, in 1969, and never made the postseason. The stadium hosted the All-Star Game twice, in 1962 (first of two) and 1969, both won by the visiting National League. President Kennedy threw out the first ball at the 1962 game.
Formerly the Montreal Expos, the Washington Nationals of the National League played their first three seasons (2005–2007) at the stadium, moving to Nationals Park in 2008. While the Nationals played at RFK, it was the fourth-oldest active stadium in the majors, behind Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, and Yankee Stadium.
Unlike the Senators era, as the Nationals' home field, RFK was known as a pitchers' park. While Howard hit at least 44 home runs for three straight seasons (1968–70), the 2005 Nationals had only one hitter with more than 15 home runs, José Guillén with 24. However, in his lone season with the team in 2006, Alfonso Soriano hit 46 home runs.
D.C. United of Major League Soccer played at RFK Stadium from the team's debut in 1996 until 2017. When the Nationals shared the field from 2005 to 2007, there were criticisms regarding problems with the playing surface and even the dimensions of the field. With its new stadium, Audi Field, due open in June 2018, D.C. United played its final game at RFK Stadium on October 22, 2017, completing 22 seasons at the stadium, during which the team won four league titles. At the time, RFK Stadium was the longest-used stadium in MLS since the league's inception. D.C. United′s departure left RFK Stadium with no professional sports team as a tenant. After moving to Audi Field, however, D.C. United will continue to use the outer practice fields at RFK Stadium for training and will lease the locker rooms and basement space at RFK.
Other former tenants
- George Washington University football (NCAA, 1961–1966).
- EagleBank Bowl (2008–2009)
- Military Bowl (2010–2012)
- Washington Whips (USA; 1968)
- Washington Darts (ASL/NASL; 1967–71)
- Washington Diplomats (NASL; 1974–81, 1991)
- Team America (NASL; 1983)
- Washington Freedom (WUSA 2001–2003; WPS 2009–2010‡)
The stadium's design was perfectly circular, attempting to facilitate both football and baseball. It was the first to use the so-called "cookie-cutter" concept, an approach also used in Philadelphia, New York, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, San Diego, Cincinnati, Oakland, and Pittsburgh. Except for the stadiums in Houston, San Diego, and Oakland (the former is still standing but is no longer actively used, while the latter two are still active), RFK Stadium ultimately outlasted all of the aforementioned stadiums.
However, as would become the case with every other stadium where this was tried, the design was not ideal for either sport due to the different shapes and sizes of the playing fields. As the playing field dimensions for football and baseball vary greatly, seating had to accommodate the larger playing surface.
As a baseball park, RFK was a particular target of scorn from baseball purists, largely because it was one of the few stadiums with no lower-deck seats in the outfield. The only outfield seats are in the upper deck, above a high wall. According to Sporting News publications in the 1960s, over 27,000 seats—roughly 60% of the listed capacity of 45,000 for baseball—were in the upper tier or mezzanine levels. The lower-to-upper proportion improved for the Redskins, with end-zone seats filling in some of the gaps. On the debit side, however, the first ten rows of the football configuration were nearly at field level, making it difficult to see over the players. The baseball diamond was aligned due east (home plate to center field).
A complex conversion was necessary, at a cost of $40,000 per switch, to convert the stadium from a football configuration to baseball and back again; in its final form, this included rolling the third-base lower-level seats into the outfield along a buried rail, dropping the hydraulic pitcher's mound 3 feet (0.9 m) into the ground, and laying sod over the infield dirt. Later facilities were designed so the seating configuration could be changed much more quickly and at a lower cost. The conversion was only required several times per year during the Senators' joint tenancy with the Redskins, but became much more frequent while the Nationals and D.C. United shared the stadium during the mostly concurrent MLB and MLS seasons; in 2005, the conversion was made more than 20 times. Originally the seats located behind the stadium's third-base dugout were removed for baseball games and put back in place when the stadium was converted to the football (and later soccer) configuration. When these sections were in place, RFK seated approximately 56,000 fans. With the Nationals' arrival in 2005, this particular segment of the stands was permanently removed to facilitate the switch between the baseball and soccer configurations. These seats were not restored following the Nationals' move to Nationals Park, leaving the stadium's seating capacity at approximately 46,000. The majority of the upper-deck seats normally were not made available for D.C. United matches, so the stadium's reduced capacity normally was not problematic for the club.
The football/soccer field alignment is northwest to southeast, approximately along the baseball diamond's first base line.
During the years when the stadium was used only for Redskins games, the rotating seats remained in the football configuration. If an exhibition baseball game was scheduled, the left-field wall was only 250 feet (76 m) from home plate, and a large screen was erected in left field for some games.
Some of RFK's quirks endear the venue to fans and players. The large rolling bleacher section is less stable than other seating, allowing fans to jump in rhythm to cause the whole area to bounce. Also, despite its small size (it never seated more than 56,000 people), because of the stadium's design and the proximity of the fans to the field when configured for football, the stadium was extremely loud when the usual sell-out Redskins crowds became vocal. Legend has it that Redskins head coach George Allen would order a large rolling door in the side of the stadium to be opened when visiting teams were attempting field goals at critical moments in games so that a swirling wind from off the Potomac and Anacostia rivers might interfere with the flight of the kicked ball.
Events D.C. —the city agency which operates RFK Stadium— began a strategic planning process in November 2013 to study options for the future of the stadium, its 80 acres (320,000 m2) campus, and the nonmilitary portions of the adjacent D.C. Armory. Events D.C. said one option to be studied was demolition within a decade, while another would be the status quo. The strategic planning process also included design and development of options. The agency said that RFK Stadium has generated $4 million to $5 million a year in revenues since 1997, which did not cover operating expenses. In August 2014, Events D.C. chose the consulting firm of Brailsford & Dunlavey to create the master plan.
The dimensions of the baseball field were 335 feet (102 m) down the foul lines, 380 feet (116 m) to the power alleys and 408 feet (124 m) to center field during the Senators' time. The official distances when the Nationals arrived were identical, except for two additional feet to center field. After complaints from Nationals hitters it was discovered in July 2005 that the fence had actually been put in place incorrectly, and it was 394.74 feet (120.3 m) to the power alleys in left; 395 feet (120 m) to the right-field power alley; and 407.83 feet (124.3 m) to center field. The section of wall containing the 380-foot (116 m) sign was moved closer to the foul lines to more accurately represent the distance shown on the signs but no changes were made to the actual dimensions.
The stadium was opened in October 1961 as the District of Columbia Stadium (D.C. Stadium for short). The stadium was renamed in January 1969 for U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated in Los Angeles the previous June. The announcement was made by Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall on January 18, in the last days of the Johnson Administration.
As attorney general in the early 1960s, Kennedy's Justice Department played a role in the racial integration of the Redskins. Along with Udall, Kennedy threatened to revoke the team's lease at the federally-owned stadium until it promised to sign African American players.
On April 14, 2005, just before the Nationals' home opener, the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission announced an agreement with the Department of Defense under which the military would pay the city about $6 million for naming rights and the right to place recruiting kiosks and signage in the stadium. In return, the stadium would be dubbed "Armed Forces Field at RFK Stadium". This plan was dropped within days, however, after several prominent members of Congress questioned the use of public funds for a stadium sponsorship.
Similar proposals to sell the naming rights to the National Guard, ProFunds (a Bethesda, Maryland investment company), and Sony were all potential names in 2005 and 2006, but no agreement was ever finalized.
- April 9, 1962: The Washington Senators defeat the Detroit Tigers 4-1 in the first baseball game played at D.C. Stadium. President John F. Kennedy – the brother of the stadium′s future namesake, then-United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy – throws out the ceremonial first pitch.
- July 10, 1962: With 45,480 in attendance, D.C. Stadium hosts its first Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the first of two All-Star Games Major League Baseball held during the 1962 season. President John F. Kennedy throws out the first pitch. The game ends in a 3-1 National League win.
- June 12, 1967: The Senators defeat the Chicago White Sox 6-5 in the longest night game in major league history up to that time. The 22-inning game lasts 6 hours and 38 minutes and ends at 2:43 a.m. EDT.
- April 7, 1969: With President Richard Nixon and a crowd of about 45,000 looking on, Ted Williams makes his managerial debut as manager of the Washington Senators in a game against the New York Yankees at RFK Stadium. The Yankees win 8-4.
- July 23, 1969: The stadium hosts its second and last Major League Baseball All-Star Game, a National League 9–3 victory before 45,259 fans. Postponed by a rainout the night before, the game takes place in the afternoon, the final MLB All-Star Game played during daylight hours on the United States East Coast. President Richard Nixon, scheduled to attend and throw out the first pitch the evening before, misses the game because of the postponement, and Vice President Spiro Agnew throws out the first pitch.
- September 30, 1971: In the Senators' final home game, the Senators lead the New York Yankees 7–5 with two outs in the top of the ninth. After an obese teenager runs onto the field, picks up first base, and runs off, fans storm the field and tear up bases, grass patches, and anything else they can find for souvenirs. The Senators are ruled to have forfeited the game, 9–0. It is the last game played in Washington by a Washington, D.C., MLB team until 2005.
- July 19, 1982: At an Old-Timers' Day exhibition game attended by over 29,000 fans, 75-year-old Hall of Famer Luke Appling hit a home run against the National League's Warren Spahn. Although he had a .310 lifetime batting average, Appling only hit 45 home runs in 20 seasons. However, because the stadium had not been fully reconfigured, it was just 260 feet (79 m) to the left-field foul pole, far shorter than normal. However, Warren Spahn applauded him as he rounded the bases.
- April 5, 1987: RFK Stadium hosts an exhibition game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets, the first MLB game played in Washington, D.C., since a pair of exhibition games in 1972. The game is a sell-out, with 45,614 tickets sold, and a crowd of 38,437 actually attends on a cold, rainy afternoon. Mets pitcher Sid Fernandez throws a one-hitter, and the Mets win 1-0.
- April 14, 2005: The Washington Nationals (formerly the Montreal Expos) defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5–3 before a crowd of 45,596 in their first game in Washington, D.C. President George W. Bush throws out the first pitch. The Nationals go on to sweep the four-game series.
- June 18, 2006: Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who will become known as "Mr. Walk-Off" for his penchant for hitting game-ending home runs, hits his first walk-off home run off New York Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Nats a 3-2 victory.
- September 16, 2006: The Washington Nationals' Alfonso Soriano steals second base in the first inning of the game against the Milwaukee Brewers to become the fourth player to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in a season.
- September 23, 2007: The Washington Nationals defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 5–3, before a crowd of 40,519, in the final baseball game played at RFK Stadium. The win gives the Nationals an overall home record of 122–121 in three seasons at the stadium.
- December 20, 2008: Wake Forest defeats Navy 29–19 in the inaugural EagleBank Bowl before a crowd of 28,777 in the first bowl game to be played in Washington, D.C.
- December 29, 2009: UCLA defeats Temple 30–21 before a crowd of 23,072 in the second annual EagleBank Bowl.
- December 29, 2010: Maryland defeats East Carolina 51–20 before a crowd of 38,062 in the 2010 Military Bowl, formerly the EagleBank Bowl. Great fan turnout from both universities set a bowl attendance record in Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen's final game.
- December 28, 2011: Toledo defeats Air Force 42–41 before a crowd of 25,042 in the 2011 Military Bowl.
- December 27, 2012: In the last Military Bowl hosted at RFK Stadium, San Jose State defeats Bowling Green 29–20 in the 2012 Military Bowl before a crowd of 17,835, the lowest bowl attendance figure since the 2005 Hawaii Bowl had only 16,134 attendees. Beginning in 2013, Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, replaced RFK Stadium as the site of the Military Bowl.
- November 27, 1966: The Washington Redskins beat the New York Giants 72–41. The 113 combined points are the most ever scored in an NFL game.
- November 20, 1972: RFK Stadium hosts its first Monday Night Football game. The Washington Redskins defeat the Atlanta Falcons 24-13.
- December 31, 1972, the Redskins defeat the Dallas Cowboys 26–3 in the NFC Championship Game to earn a trip to Super Bowl VII.
- October 8, 1973: In a Monday Night Football game, Redskins safety Ken Houston stops Cowboys' running back Walt Garrison at the goal line as time expired to secure a win.
- December 17, 1977: The Redskins defeat the Los Angeles Rams 17–14 in what would be head coach George Allen's final game with the team.
- October 25, 1981: The Redskins narrowly beat the New England Patriots 24–22 to earn head coach Joe Gibbs his first win at RFK Stadium.
- January 22, 1983: The stadium physically shakes as a capacity crowd of 54,000 chant "We Want Dallas" taunting the hated Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game. The Redskins go on to defeat the Cowboys 31–17 to earn a trip to Super Bowl XVII where they beat the Miami Dolphins 27–17 to claim the franchise's first Super Bowl win.
- March 6, 1983: The Washington Federals of the United States Football League play their first game, losing to the Chicago Blitz 28-7 before 38,007 fans at RFK stadium in the USFL's first nationally televised game. The Federals never draw more than 15,000 fans again.
- September 5, 1983: Redskins' rookie cornerback Darrell Green chases down Cowboys' running back Tony Dorsett from behind to prevent him from scoring. However, the Redskins ended up losing late in the fourth quarter.
- May 6, 1984: The Washington Federals play their final game, losing in overtime to the Memphis Showboats at RFK Stadium before 4,432 fans, the smallest crowd in USFL history.
- November 18, 1985: Giants' linebacker Lawrence Taylor sacks Redskins' quarterback Joe Theismann, severely breaking his leg and ending his NFL career. Backup quarterback Jay Schroeder comes in and leads the Redskins to a 23–21 victory on Monday Night Football.
- January 17, 1988: Cornerback Darrell Green knocks down a Wade Wilson pass at the goal line to clinch a victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game. The Redskins go on to defeat the Denver Broncos 42–10 in Super Bowl XXII.
- January 4, 1992: In a pouring rain, the Redskins beat the Atlanta Falcons 24–7 in the Divisional round of the playoffs. After a touchdown scored by Redskins fullback Gerald Riggs with 6:32 remaining in the fourth quarter, the fans shower the field with the free yellow seat cushions given to them when they entered the stadium.
- January 12, 1992: The Redskins beat the Detroit Lions 41–10 in the NFC Championship Game earning a trip to Super Bowl XXVI where they beat the Buffalo Bills 37–24. This was the last time the RFK held a post-season game.
- December 13, 1992: Redskins' head coach Joe Gibbs coaches what would be his last win at RFK Stadium. The Redskins defeat the Cowboys 20–17.
- September 6, 1993: RFK Stadium hosts its last Monday Night Football game as the Redskins open their season by defeating the Dallas Cowboys 35-16.
- December 22, 1996: The Redskins win their last game in the stadium, defeating their arch-rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, 37–10. In a halftime ceremony, several past Redskins greats were introduced, wearing replicas of the jerseys of their time. After the game, fans storm the field and rip up chunks of grass as souvenirs. In the parking lot, fans are seen walking away with the stadium's burgundy and gold seats.
Although not designed for soccer, RFK Stadium became a center of American soccer, especially in the last 30 or so years before D.C. United departed, rivaled only by the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, in terms of its history as a soccer venue. It is the only facility in the United States that hosted the North American Soccer League's Soccer Bowl (in 1980), the FIFA World Cup (in 1994), an Olympic group stage (in 1996), the MLS Cup (in 1997, 2000, and 2007) and the FIFA Women's World Cup (in 2003). The United States men's national soccer team played more of its matches at RFK stadium than at any other site, and D.C. United played 347 regular-season matches there. Notable soccer dates at the stadium include:
- August 6, 1977: Playing for the New York Cosmos, Pelé plays his final regular-season game in the North American Soccer League, facing the Washington Diplomats at RFK Stadium. He scores the Cosmos' only goal, but the Diplomats upset the Cosmos 2-1 before 31,283 fans.
- October 6, 1977: The United States men's national soccer team played its first match at the stadium versus China.
- September 21, 1980: In the Soccer Bowl '80, before a crowd of 56,768, the New York Cosmos defeated the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 3–0.
- April 23, 1983: Team America, a Washington, D.C.-based NASL franchise, plays its first game, defeating the Seattle Sounders 1-0 at RFK Stadium.
- September 3, 1983: Team America plays its last game, a 2-0 loss to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at RFK Stadium. The team folds after a single season, leaving Washington, D.C., without a professional soccer franchise until 1996.
- August 21, 1988: In the first game of the 1988 American Soccer League finals, the Washington Diplomats defeat the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 5-3 before 5,745 fans at RFK Stadium. The Diplomats will defeat the Strikers again at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for a surprising American Soccer League championship in the league's first season.
- August 21, 1993: A.C. Milan defeats Torino F.C. 1–0 to win their second consecutive Supercoppa Italiana.
- June 29, 1994: Saeed Al-Owairan of the Saudi Arabia national football team sprints the length of the field and weaves through a maze of Belgium national football team players to score a stunning individual goal, giving Saudi Arabia a 1-0 upset victory over Belgium in Group F of the FIFA 1994 World Cup. The goal later is voted the sixth-greatest FIFA World Cup goal of the 20th century. The win helps Saudi Arabia to advance to the second round of the FIFA World Cup for the first time.
- July 2, 1994: The 1994 FIFA World Cup concludes its play in RFK as Spain defeats Switzerland 3–0 in the Round of Sixteen (RFK had earlier hosted four group-play games).
- June 18, 1995: In the U.S. Cup the United States defeats Mexico 4-0, with goals by Roy Wegerle (3' min), Thomas Dooley (25' min), John Harkes (36' min) and Claudio Reyna (67' min).
- April 20, 1996: D.C. United plays its first game at RFK Stadium, losing 2-1 to the LA Galaxy.
- July 24, 1996: Soccer at the 1996 Summer Olympics includes the final match for the US side, which needed a win against Portugal to advance out of group play, but tied 1–1 (five other Olympic matches were played in RFK as part of the Atlanta Olympics). Attendance for the U.S. match versus Portugal was 58,012 – the largest crowd ever for a sporting event at RFK Stadium.
- October 30, 1996: Ten days after winning the first Major League Soccer title, D.C. United defeats the Rochester Raging Rhinos 3–1 in the U.S. Open Cup final, achieving the first "double" in the modern American soccer era.
- October 26, 1997: D.C. United defeats the Colorado Rapids 2–1 to win their second consecutive MLS Cup.
- August 16, 1998: D.C. United defeats CD Toluca of Mexico 1–0 to win the CONCACAF Champions' Cup, becoming the first American team to do so and marking their first victory in an international tournament.
- October 15, 2000: the Kansas City Wizards defeat the Chicago Fire 1–0 to win their first MLS Cup.
- April 11, 2001: D.C. United defeats Arnett Gardens 2–1 in the second leg of the CONCACAF Giants Cup quarterfinals.
- April 14, 2001: The Washington Freedom defeats the Bay Area CyberRays 1–0 in the inaugural match of the Women's United Soccer Association.
- August 3, 2002: In the MLS All-Star Game, a team of MLS players defeat the U.S. Men's National Team 3–2. D.C. United midfielder Marco Etcheverry is named MVP.
- July 30, 2003: Ronaldinho makes his debut for FC Barcelona against A.C. Milan in a pre-season tour of the United States. Ronaldinho had a goal and an assist as Barcelona defeated defending European champion Milan 2–0 in an exhibition game that drew 45,864 to RFK Stadium.
- April 3, 2004: Freddy Adu debuts with D.C. United at RFK with a capacity soccer crowd of 24,603. At age 14, Adu was, and still is, the youngest player to play in MLS.
- November 6, 2004: D.C. United win the Eastern Conference final by tying the New England Revolution 3–3 and advancing on penalty kicks in what is generally regarded as one of the greatest games in MLS history. They would go on to defeat the Kansas City Wizards 3–2 in the MLS Cup.
- July 31, 2004: RFK Stadium hosts its second and last MLS All-Star Game. The East beats the West 3-2.
- August 9, 2007: David Beckham debuts for the MLS Los Angeles Galaxy, losing to home team D.C. United before a sellout crowd of 46,686 fans, the fourth largest to watch MLS at RFK Stadium.
- September 2, 2009: Seattle Sounders FC defeats D.C. United 2–1 in the 2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. This marked the first of Seattle's record-tying three consecutive Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles.
- October 23, 2010: Jaime Moreno scores on a penalty kick in his final game as a D.C. United player to retire as the all-time leading scorer in MLS history. United would lose the match, 3–2, to Toronto FC.
- June 19, 2011: Quarterfinal of 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, USA vs. Jamaica. US defeats Jamaica 2–0 and moves onto the Semi-Final. In the second game of the double header El Salvador played Panama to a 1–1 tie. Panama won in a shoot out in front of 46,000 people.
- June 2, 2013: The United States defeated #2 ranked Germany 4–3 in a friendly commemorating the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Soccer Federation.
- October 20, 2014: The United States women's national soccer team defeats the Haiti women's national football team 6-0 in the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship, which also acts as a qualifying tournament for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.
- October 22, 2017: In front of 41,418 fans (the highest attendance at the stadium since David Beckham's debut game), the New York Red Bulls beat D.C. United 2-1 in United's last match at RFK Stadium.
United States men's national team matches
The United States men's national soccer team has played more games at RFK Stadium than any other stadium. Some have suggested that due to the nature of RFK and its quirkiness that it would be a suitable national stadium if US Soccer were ever to seek one out. Several prominent members of the national team have scored at RFK, including Brian McBride, Cobi Jones, Eric Wynalda, Joe-Max Moore, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, and Landon Donovan. Winners are listed first.
- May 22, 1993: Riddick Bowe records a second-round knockout over Jesse Ferguson to retain his WBA heavyweight title; Roy Jones records a unanimous decision over Bernard Hopkins to capture the vacant IBF middleweight title. Attendance: 9,000
- On July 21, 2002, the American Le Mans Series held its first event in Washington, D.C. The Grand Prix of Washington, D.C. was run on a temporary circuit laid out in the RFK stadium parking lot, and was the first major motor sports event held in the District of Columbia in 80 years. Originally a ten-year agreement was signed to host the race on a yearly basis. Residents living near the stadium were concerned about traffic and parking, but also about the excessive noise levels, the lengthy event would create. Citizens were outraged when they learned that District officials had ignored laws and regulations requiring an environmental impact assessment for the race, and that Le Mans officials had lied to the city about noise levels. Local citizens were further angered when American Le Mans racing officials reneged on a promise to remove the Jersey barriers outlining the racecourse from stadium parking lots, leaving the unsightly structures behind and preventing the lots from being used for parking. When the American Le Mans organization tried to hold a second race at RFK in 2003, outraged residents successfully forced D.C. officials to cancel the city's ten-year lease with the company (no more races were ever held).
- On January 19, 2009, the day before the presidential inauguration, A Day Of Service for Our Military was held at RFK Stadium as a part of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service. This was a joint operation by Serve DC and Operation Gratitude. At this event, 12,000 volunteers made over 80,000 care packages for American troops overseas.
The stadium was prominently featured in the climax of the film X-Men: Days of Future Past, released in May 2014. In the film, Magneto uses his powers to place the stadium as a barricade around the White House; the stadium is partially damaged. At the end of the film, a newspaper article announces the stadium is to begin reconstruction. (RFK is shown being prepped for a baseball game; however, the movie is set in 1973, two years after the Senators left for Texas.)
Washington Hall of Stars
- See also Washington Nationals Ring of Honor
During the Redskins' tenure, the Washington Hall of Stars was displayed on a series of white-and-red signs hung in a ring around the stadium's mezzanine, honoring D.C. sports greats from various sports. With the reconfiguration of the stadium, it was replaced by a series of dark-green banners over the center-field and right-field fences in order to make room for out-of-town scoreboards and advertising signage. There are 15 separate panels honoring 82 figures. Nationals Park also hosts a smaller version of the display.
- Panel 1 (furthest to the left when viewed from home plate, names read there from left to right are listed from top of display to bottom): Redskins football players Cliff Battles, Charley Taylor, Bobby Mitchell, Chris Hanburger, Jerry Smith, Len Hauss, Sammy Baugh and Pat Fischer.
- Panel 2: Redskins Brig Owens, Larry Brown, Sonny Jurgensen, team founder-owner George Marshall, Vince Lombardi (who coached them for one season before his death), Dave Butz, Art Monk and Dick James.
- Panel 3: Redskins Vince Promuto, Russ Grimm, Joe Jacoby, Mark Moseley, Doug Williams, John Riggins, coach George Allen and Ken Houston.
- Panel 4: Redskins Joe Theismann, Billy Kilmer, Wayne Millner, Sam Huff, Gene Brito, Eddie LeBaron, Charlie Justice and Bill Dudley.
- Panel 5: Edward Bennett Williams, Arthur "Dutch" Bergman and Jack Kent Cooke. Williams and Cooke were Redskins owners. Bergman coached in D.C. at The Catholic University of America, and then ran the corporation that lobbied for the building of RFK Stadium.
- Panel 6: "New Senators" manager Gil Hodges, "Old Senators" player and manager Joe Cronin, New Senator Frank Howard, Old Senator owner Clark Griffith, and Old Senators Goose Goslin and George Case.
- Panel 7: Josh Gibson, Bucky Harris, Walter Johnson, Chuck Hinton, Eddie Yost and George Selkirk. Gibson played for the Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues. Harris, Johnson and Yost played for the Old Senators. Harris also managed the Old Senators. Hinton played for the New Senators. Selkirk, who played for the Yankees, was the general manager of the New Senators.
- Panel 8: "Old Senators" Mickey Vernon, Roy Sievers, Cecil Travis, Early Wynn, Joe Judge, Harmon Killebrew, Ossie Bluege and Grays star Walter "Buck" Leonard. Vernon also managed the New Senators.
- Panel 9: Basketball figures Bones McKinney, Arnold "Red" Auerbach, Abe Pollin, Bob Ferry, Phil Chenier, Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes. McKinney played for the NBA's Washington Capitols. Auerbach played in D.C. for George Washington University and coached the Capitols. Pollin owned the Baltimore Bullets and moved them to Washington, where they became the "Capital Bullets", "Washington Bullets" and now the "Washington Wizards." He also founded the NHL's Washington Capitals and built two area arenas: The now-extinct Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland and the MCI Center (now the Capital One Arena) in downtown Washington. Ferry played for the Bullets in Baltimore and was their general manager in Washington. Chenier, Unseld and Hayes played for the Bullets in both cities. Unseld later coached them.
- Panel 10: Olympic swimming gold medalist Melissa Belote, broadcaster Jim Gibbons, and golf figures Lee Elder and Deane Beman.
- Panel 11: Capitals hockey star Rod Langway, tennis players Pauline Betz Addie and Donald Dell, and jockey Sonny Workman.
- Panel 12: Boxers Bobby Foster, Marty Gallagher, Holly Mims, Sugar Ray Leonard and Steve Mamakos.
- Panel 13: Soccer player Theodore "Ted" Chambers, soccer player and coach Gordon Bradley, sportswriters Morris "Mo" Siegel and Shirley Povich, and Griffith Stadium and RFK Stadium public-address announcer Charles Brotman.
- Panel 14: "Heroes of September 11th."
To the right of Panel 15 are four banners honoring D.C. United's MLS Cup wins: 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004. To the right of these banners is D.C. United's "Tradition of Excellence" banner, which honors John Harkes and Marco Etcheverry. To the left of those banners are four banners honoring D.C. United's MLS Supporters Shield wins: 1997, 1999, 2006 and 2007.
RFK Stadium is within 1⁄2 mile (0.80 km) of and easily accessible from the Stadium-Armory station of the Washington Metro. The station is served by the Blue, Orange, and Silver Lines. It is also served directly by Metrobus lines B2, D6, E32 (at Eastern High School), 96 and 97.
- "50 Years: Willie Leak maintains TifGrand bermudagrass at RFK Stadium". SportsTurf. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- "Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium". Ballpark Tour. Archived from the original on April 6, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- "A Classic is Marching into D.C. – Nation's Football Classic".
- DeBonis, Mike (August 2, 2013). "City Will Study RFK Stadium Options in Wake of Soccer Deal". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
- Patterson, Chip (May 20, 2013). "Military Bowl Moving to Annapolis, Adds Conference USA for '13". CBS Sports. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "Stadium renamed for Robert Kennedy". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. January 19, 1968. p. 16A.
- "D.C. Stadium name changed to honor R.F.K". Chicago Tribune. UPI. January 19, 1969. p. 2, section 2.
- Goff, Steven, "American soccer made its home at aging, funky RFK Stadium," washingtonpost.com, October 20, 2017.
- "Fans' farewell: 'Short stinks'". Milwaukee Journal. press dispatches. October 1, 1971. p. 14, part 2.
- Lowitt, Bruce (October 1, 1971). "Fans 'finish off' Senators". Free Lance-Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. Associated Press. p. 6.
- "Senators last 'hurrah;' fans cause forfeit 9-0". Chicago Tribune. UPI. October 1, 1971. p. 1, section 3.
- Romano, Ross (September 24, 2007). "Nats Move From Halfway House to Home". GW Hatchet. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
- Goff, Steven, "D.C. United celebrates its past on emotional final day at RFK Stadium," washingtonpost.com, October 22, 2017.
- When we played football: the GW boys of fall, 1890–1966 Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine., The GW Hatchet, August 30, 1999.
- Cooper, Rebecca (November 27, 2013). "Events D.C. Looks at Next Steps for RFK". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
- Sernovitz, Daniel J. (August 18, 2014). "Events D.C. to Award Contract for RFK Memorial Stadium Master Plan". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
- RFK Stadium. Ballparks.com. Retrieved on December 24, 2011.
- Wallace, William N. (November 30, 1964). "Jurgensen Hurls 4 Scoring Passes; Mitchell, Carpenter, Taylor and Cola Elude WeakenedDefensive Secondary". The New York Times. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "Draft Choices to Play in U.S. Bowl". Lewiston Morning Tribune. January 6, 1962. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "Larry Brown Gains 1,000-Yard Club". The Free Lance–Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. December 14, 1970. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "Redskins Smash Giants". The Palm Beach Post. December 6, 1971. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- Izenberg, Jerry (November 28, 1972). "Packer Rookie Picked Clean". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "1973 Washington Redskins Schedule". National Football League. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- Harving, Al (November 6, 1975). "Grambling Is Seeking Bid to Bowl". The New York Times. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "Sunday Scouting Report". Los Angeles Times. September 19, 1975. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- Shapiro, Leonard (November 28, 1977). "Cowboys Win, 14–7, on Dorsett's TD". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
- Snyder, Cameron C. (November 29, 1982). "Redskins Nip Eagles to Stay Undefeated". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "Redskins Run Over Cowboys as Riggins hits 10,000 Yards". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. October 15, 1984. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- Mihoces, Gary (August 30, 1988). "Redskins Reload; Champs Have Firepower to Win Again; Prospects of Repeating Downplayed". USA Today. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "Pro Football, NFC: Young and Rice Re-Ignite 49er Fireworks". The New York Times. November 29, 1993. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "USA vs. Germany friendly at RFK Stadium". The Washington Post. June 2, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Smith, Thomas G., – Showdown: JFK and the Integration of the Washington Redskins, Beacon Press (2011), pp. 1-2
- Smith, Thomas G. (2011-09-04). "A 'Showdown' That Changed Football's Racial History". NPR. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- "RFK's Field May Be Named For Military".
- "Investing Firm Close to Deal on Renaming RFK".
- "Surround sound". Washington Business Journal.
- Montella, Paul, "This Date In Baseball," Associated Press, March 29, 2012, 7:58 a.m. EDT.
- Lowry, Philip (2006). Green Cathedrals. Walker & Company. p. 239. ISBN 978-0-8027-1608-8.
- "Old Timers Game to be Played Again". Gainesville Sun. December 1, 1982. p. 5D. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Tom (last name unknown), "Baseball is Back at RFK Stadium in 1987," ghostsofdc.org, May 8, 2012.
- Boswell, Thomas, "WASHINGTON'S BASEBALL MORSEL," washingtonpost.com, February 24, 1987.
- Mearns, Andrw, "Looking back at five great baseball moments at RFK Stadium," mlb.com, October 22, 2017.
- Ladson, Bill (September 16, 2006). "Soriano Joins Elite Group". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- Solomon, Jon (December 28, 2012). "Military Bowl reports college football's smallest bowl crowd in 7 years". AL.com. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
- funwhileitlasted.net "1983-1984 Washington Federals"
- Anonymous, "August 6, 1977 – Washington Diplomats vs. New York Cosmos," funwhileitlasted.net,
- funwhileitlasted.net "1983 Team America"
- Tom (last name unknown), "Belgium v. Saudi Arabia: ’94 World Cup Game at RFK Stadium," ghostsofdc.org, March25, 2012.
- Anonymous, "Diego Maradona goal voted the FIFA World Cup™ Goal of the Century," fifa.com, 30 May 2002.
- 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 543.
- "Ronaldinho Gives Glimpse". Sports Illustrated. July 30, 2003. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
- "Ronaldinhosamba barcelona career life info barca report knowledge". 24 March 2007. Archived from the original on 4 January 2008.
- Connolly, Marc (April 3, 2004). "Adu Starts Well Out of the Blocks". ESPN. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
- "Dempsey, U.S. Stun Germany in 7-goal Thriller". ESPN. June 2, 2013. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
- "U.S. Ready for 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinal Match Against Jamaica". US Soccer. June 17, 2011. Archived from the original on January 30, 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "RFK as our National Soccer Stadium". Match Fit USA. October 20, 2009. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- Simmons, Bill (October 16, 2009). "Every Big American Soccer Game Should Be Played in RFK". ESPN. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "National Capital Grand Prix". DC Pages. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "National Grand Prix of Washington". DC Watch (Press release). August 9, 2001. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- Kovaleski, Serge F. (May 19, 2002). "D.C. Panel Ignored Car Race's Environmental Impact". The Washington Post; Kovaleski, Serge F. (July 20, 2002). "Unwillingly, Grand Prix Neighbors Off to Races". The Washington Post; Kovaleski, Serge F. (July 28, 2002). "Grand Prix Firm Misled D.C. Agency On Sound Barrier". The Washington Post.
- Kovaleski, Serge F. (April 3, 2003). "Car-Race Barriers Still Clog RFK Lots". The Washington Post.
- Kovaleski, Serge F. (March 9, 2003). "D.C. Panel Blamed in Canceled Race". The Washington Post; Kovaleski, Serge F. (April 5, 2003). "D.C. Agency Cancels Grand Prix Contract". The Washington Post.
- Lewisohn, M: "The Complete Beatles Chronicle", pages 229–230. Harmony Books, New York, 1992.
- "Grateful Dead: Listing of shows by year".
- U2 Washington, September 20, 1987, Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, Joshua Tree Tour - U2 on tour. U2gigs.com. Retrieved on August 12, 2013.
- Colton, Michael (July 30, 1998). "A Flash of Fame For a Good Cause". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
- KBS (July 4, 2003). "Korean-American Peace Festival". KBS World. South Korea: Korean Broadcasting System. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
To commemorate the centennial of Korean immigration to the United States, a music festival featuring Korean pop singers was held on June 28 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Exactly 100 years ago, scores of Koreans arrived in Hawaii, beginning the history of Korean immigration. With the number of Koreans currently residing in the U.S. exceeding one million, a series of festivals and seminars had been scheduled in both countries to celebrate and reflect on the past 100 years. Organized by the Hankook Ilbo, sister paper of The Korea Times, and the television network SBS, the concert featured scores of famous musicians such as BoA, NRG, Babyvox, Cho Young-nam, Patty Kim, Kim Gun-mo and Jo Sung-mo, under the title "Korean-American Peace Festival". The top stars visited the Korean War Veterans Memorial at the National Mall in the capital on the eve of the concert. According to The Korea Times in New York, a local daily for Korean-American society, a large number of Korean residents throughout the U.S. attended the concert and took part in a Washington, D.C. tour package, to help local travel agencies suffering from recession. The four-hour concert will be shown here in Korea on SBS on July 17, Korea's Constitution Day.
- RFK Stadium – A Historic Venue. eaglebankbowl.org
- "X-Men Movie Swings and Misses on D.C. Baseball History (Video)".
- "Remembering RFK as a Truly Multipurpose Stadium" (September 2007), The Washington Post
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.|