Washington, DC – Saturday, June 8, 2019 – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) were joined by Events DC, the District’s convention and sports authority, to celebrate the opening of The Fields at RFK Campus with city dignitaries, professional athletes and the DC community. The Fields at RFK Campus have transformed 27-acres of asphalt into three new state-of-the-art artificial turf recreational fields with community amenities. The Fields mark the first of five short-term program elements that are part of restoring the Campus as one of the District’s original sports and entertainment corridors in the city.
“The opening of The Fields at RFK Campus marks the culmination of our efforts working with the community to make RFK accessible as a vibrant recreation destination worthy of the sports capital of the world,” said Mayor Bowser. “This first phase is just the beginning for this campus as the District continues to seek full ownership in order to unlock its true potential with housing and other multi-use development. Through smart planning and a little creativity, we can have it all – the amenities of a big city, a vibrant waterfront, and ample green space.”
“The RFK stadium site is owned by the federal government, and is the most valuable, underdeveloped land in DC, but the District is doing the right thing in making the full use allowed by the lease,” said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. “Pending passage of my bill to sell RFK to the city, the baseball and soccer fields we are opening today are in keeping with the permitted use of this site for recreational purposes.”
The three multi-purpose recreational and community playing fields are made of artificial turf and will be available to the public during day and evening hours for open play. The fields will also be reserved for amateur sports programs, leagues and tournament. The fields include layouts to accommodate soccer, kickball, lacrosse, baseball, softball and more. In addition to the fields, there is a 6,000-square-foot celebration pavilion, public restrooms, a playground and picnic space. The complex also highlights increased green space, walking and bike paths, dedicated parking and mobile chargers for parents-on-the-go. The Fields represent a new connection for the Campus to the Anacostia River and surrounding communities.
“After two years in the making, Events DC couldn’t be more excited to mark the opening of The Fields at RFK Campus, as the first completed element of the reimagined 190-acre RFK redevelopment project. We listened to the community’s desires, collaborated with our stakeholders including Council and acted quickly to turn 27-acres of asphalt into a new recreational hub for residents and future generations to enjoy,” said Max Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Events DC. “The District is a sports capital – and sports and recreation help drive tourism, provide community benefits and create jobs to drive our city’s future forward. We thank Mayor Bowser for her vision in making this all a reality and the Events DC Board of Directors for their leadership.”
Events DC first presented the RFK redevelopment plan to the community in 2016 which included recommended program elements from community, stakeholder and city official feedback. The new complex was named “The Fields at RFK Campus” by community-casted votes on social media. The fields have now transformed 27-acres of asphalt into a new vibrant sports and recreational destination within the District.
“Today’s ribbon cutting on the new multi-purpose recreational fields at the RFK Campus signifies another step forward on our collective vision to restore the Campus as a vibrant sports, recreational and entertainment hub in the District,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer. “At Events DC, we are so proud to share these fields with DC residents and their youth to enjoy and be inspired for generations to come. By creating this new space, it is our goal to better serve our city and its neighborhoods through recreational activities that will also drive economic development and opportunities.”
Events DC is the owner and manager of The Fields at RFK Campus and will be responsible for ongoing oversight, facility maintenance and security. Events DC has subcontracted to Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park (CRYSP) as the operator of The Fields. As the daily operator, CRYSP will be responsible for managing the scheduling and field operations to ensuring the utilization of the fields complex for sports clubs, leagues, individuals and other groups seeking to rent and/or use the space. Their responsibilities will also include managing the permitting process, collecting rent, preparing the fields for use and monitoring its daily use. As the operator, their role will also assist with developing operating policies, procedures, schedules and will participate in any community engagement activities related to the fields.
For more information on The Fields at RFK Campus and reserving the fields, visit RFKCampus.com.