Overview and Fast Facts

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 EagleBank Bowl, D.C.’s college football bowl game.

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 their 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 and women’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 19 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 continue to host a number of regular season matches at RFK each year.

Music fans have been thrilled by performances under the stars at RFK by artists such as Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, U2, the Eagles and the Grateful Dead. The stadium grounds currently host popular festivals each year including ShamrockFest and the DC101 Chili Cook-off featuring regional and national acts.

RFK has also served as a rallying point for various volunteer and benefit projects including “A Day of Service for Our Military,” where over 12,000 volunteers from the District and cities around the country joined Michelle Obama, Jill Biden and dozens of dignitaries on the stadium field to create more than 85,000 care packages for troops serving overseas, and the service project benefiting families of troops serving overseas on the first annual “9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.” And 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.

Since 2008, RFK Stadium has hosted the District’s first and only college bowl game, the EagleBank Bowl. Wake Forest defeated Navy in the inaugural game while UCLA rallied for a victory over Temple in 2009.

Facts About RFK Stadium

  • Opened as the District of Columbia Stadium October 1, 1961
  • Renamed Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium January 18, 1969
  • Seating capacity is 45,523
  • Natural grass playing field
  • 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 over 10,000 cars
  • Open air arena for large-scale civic events