Snider: Hail To RFK, And Goodbye

by Rick Snider

It’s time to say farewell to our old friend RFK Stadium.

Goodbye to good memories in local sports. The Redskins teams that won three Super Bowls, that saw fans literally rocking the temporary stands. Farewell to the Senators teams that were rarely any good, but No. 1 in our hearts. See ya to the many, many rock concerts.

When DC United plays their final game on Sunday before moving to a new stadium next season, RFK won’t have a tenant for the first time since opening in 1961. The city will essentially mothball the place, with occasional events if someone can be suckered into an old venue that smells like wet dog on a good day. Maybe an international soccer match that requires more seating than United’s new venue.

But this is life support, and probably a costly one to tax players. There is no scenario that keeps RFK open indefinitely. There are three scenarios city leaders are planning for the site. While some politicians are stalling for a chance to maybe get the Redskins to return to the site in 2027, that’s really fool’s gold. It’s not happening for many reasons. Best to turn to Plan B and C and get the site ready by detonating RFK.

It will be sad to see more than a half century of sports become dust. Nobody really cried at Capital Centre’s demise, though we probably should have done so. But RFK felt more personal.

Sure it was hotter than the sidewalks to hell on summer nights, that domed roof preventing any breeze from lifting the humidity and heat away. And it wasn’t pretty like today’s new venues needed to suck every dollar out of rich folks and entertain millennials who can’t simply watch the game.

But this will be an old friend leaving, and it’s time to say goodbye rather than stand on the docks watching until the ship crosses the horizon. Have the Redskins, Senators and rock stars return for one great party in the parking lots, lift a glass to the stadium, and hit the detonating plunger.

For it’s long past time to say thank you and farewell.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.

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