Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, the historic D.C. sports venue that has entertained spectators with its crowd-pleasing sightlines since 1961, is affectionately known as “RFK” around the globe. The home turf for professional, collegiate and high school games during its history, RFK was the first major stadium designed specifically as a multisport facility for both football and baseball and is the current home for Major League Soccer’s D.C. United and the Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman.
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 NFL’s Washington Redskins flourished at the stadium for 36 seasons from 1961-1996. RFK also served as the home field for the expansion Washington Senators of the American League from 1962-1971 and hosted two Major League Baseball All-Star Games during its tenure. The National League’s Montreal Expos relocated to the Nation’s Capital as the Washington Nationals in 2005 and played at RFK through 2007. The Nationals then moved to Nationals Park, which opened in March 2008.
In recent years, soccer has kept the stadium rocking. RFK has served as the home of four-time MLS Cup Champion D.C. United since its inception in 1996 and was the first venue to host the MLS Cup Championship three times. The stadium’s storied bouncy seats and nostalgic charm add to the authentic soccer atmosphere that fans relish. In addition to the MLS Cup, RFK has hosted several memorable soccer matches, including World Cup games in 1994, Olympic men’s soccer in 1996, Women’s World Cup in 2003 and the 2002 and 2004 MLS All-Star games. The stadium has hosted the U.S. Men’s national soccer team 20 times and has been the site of 12 U.S. wins – more than any stadium in the world.
The Washington Freedom women’s professional soccer team called RFK home for its first three seasons (2001-2003). Introducing women’s professional soccer to the District with a bang, the Freedom captured the WUSA league title at the stadium in 2003. The Freedom continues to host a number of regular season matches at RFK each year.
Music fans have been thrilled by performances under the stars at RFK featuring such artists as Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, the Eagles and the Grateful Dead, just to name a few. The stadium was electric as Michael Jackson headlined the United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert held in tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
RFK has also served as a rallying point for various volunteer projects, including the January 19, 2009 “A Day of Service for Our Military,” where more than 12,000 volunteers from the District and cities around the country joined Michelle Obama, Jill Biden and dozens of dignitaries on the stadium’s field to create more than 85,000 care packages for troops serving overseas. Major religious groups have also found the facility quite suitable for open-air convocations.
With its rich history, convenient location, adaptable field and facilities, RFK is the perfect location for the District’s first and only college bowl game. The Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman is both excited and proud to hold its game at historic RFK Stadium.
Facts About RFK
- Opened as the District of Columbia Stadium in 1961
- Renamed Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in 1969
- 45,000+ seating capacity
- Natural grass playing field
- State-of-the-art electronic display scoreboard and videoboard
- Hall of Stars honoring local sports and entertainment greats
- Modern locker rooms and lounge areas
- Club rooms for private and group affairs
- Metro accessible
- Parking for more than 10,000 cars
- Open-air arena for large-scale civic events
RFK Stadium – The Proud Home Of:
- The Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
- D.C. United
- Washington Redskins
- Washington Nationals
- Washington Senators
- Washington Freedom
- 1994 FIFA World Cup
- 1996 Summer Olympics
- 2003 Women’s World Cup
- MLS and MLB All-Star and Championship Games
- NFL Conference Championship Games
- Concerts including: the Grateful Dead, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Elton John and Bruce Springsteen