DC mayor asks Trump to return control of RFK Stadium land for new development
- Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser has petitioned President Donald Trump for full ownership of Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and other nearby land parcels or, at the very least, a 100-year lease extension, according to the Washington Business Journal.
- The three sites in question — RFK, Franklin Park and the Langston Initiative, which includes three golf courses — are currently under National Park Service jurisdiction.
- If the administration chooses the lease option, Bowser wants to be able to develop the RFK property without being restricted to stadium and recreational uses only. She said the RFK site could host a new stadium in the future, but that the rest of the land could be utilized for housing and retail space.
Bowser pitched a similar idea to the Obama administration, but the possibility of a Washington Redskins return to the RFK site made the issue a nonstarter unless the team agreed to change its name. The only team that still plays at the aging stadium is D.C. United, the MLS soccer club, but the team is moving as soon as its own DC stadium is complete, which will leave RFK unoccupied.
Earlier this year, Events DC, the District's convention and sports authority, proposed a $500 million repurposing of the parking lots around RFK Stadium including a 47,000-square-foot market hall, multi-use athletic fields, a 350,000-square-foot indoor sports and leisure venue and a new memorial to Robert F. Kennedy. Events DC said the project was in response to the city's lack of recreational spaces and could move forward with or without a professional team to take over D.C. United's slot in the stadium.
The Redskins, the most likely team to take up an offer to move to the DC area, has a lease at FedExField in Maryland until 2027 but has been scouting stadium sites in the DC area. Team owner Daniel Snyder commissioned Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group to design the venue. The stadium concept from BIG would feature a semi-transparent main arena and a surrounding moat for seasonal sports like kayaking and ice skating. However, it remains to be seen whether DC will be amenable to the team moving to the area without changing its name.
- Washington Business Journal D.C. mayor to Trump: Can we have RFK Stadium land back?
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