DC envisions new sportsplex at RFK Stadium site, with or without NFL football

By: John Domen 

It started with athletic fields on the north end of the RFK Stadium complex, and now D.C. leaders are envisioning a new indoor sports complex on what is currently 190 acres of asphalt and a dingy RFK Stadium.

But a lot of it hinges on D.C. finally acquiring the land from the federal government — something the city has spent years trying to do without much success.

Touting her new budget proposal in the Hill East neighborhood with the stadium in the backdrop, at one point Mayor Muriel Bowser turned around and pointed at the stadium, which, from a distance, had visible signs of peeling paint and years of neglect.

“‘Do you want the only memorial to RFK in the District to look like this?’” was the question Bowser said she put forward to a member of Congress.

She blamed the National Park Service and Congress for the current state of repairs, even as the city makes plans to eventually demolish the structure.

Under the terms of the lease D.C. has with the federal government, which runs until 2036, the land can be used for sports and recreational purposes. A new NFL stadium would fit the bill.

But until the federal government goes ahead and turns control of the site back to the city — the goal of negotiations the city has spent years involved in — it’s moving ahead with plans for a new indoor sportsplex, too. Read more at WTOP.

Photo: DC Mayor Bowser speaks about her new budget proposal in front of RFK Stadium. WTOP/ John Domen

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