DC United will continue playing its home games at Washington's aging RFK Stadium for the next two seasons.
The Major League Soccer franchise and D.C. officials announced Thursday that the team has renewed its lease for RFK for 2012 and 2013.
DC United has played in RFK since its inception in 1996. The stadium, built in 1961, has also been home to the Washington Redskins and baseball's Washington Senators and Washington Nationals.
The team would like to move to a new, soccer-only facility. DC United president Kevin Payne says the team looks forward to "more detailed discussions with the District about a long-term stadium solution.''
Events DC, which operates the stadium, has also announced improvements including renovated restrooms, improved concourse lighting, new bleachers and an upgraded sound system.
Events DC and United also said they will try to sell sponsorship of the playing surface at RFK Stadium and that the upper deck seating at the stadium will be covered. That means a sellout would be a crowd of 19,647 -- and would include even more sponsorship opportunities.
"The intention is to cover the upper deck seating area of the stadium for MLS games and we are presently discussing that opportunity with several prospective sponsors," team president Kevin Payne said. "It's a great branding opportunity, but it's more important that our supporters become accustomed to a 20,000-seat stadium, and we expect that limiting the capacity will encourage an increase in season ticket sales."
Some premium seating will be offered adjacent to the home team bench, too.
"I'm delighted that D.C. United has finalized their lease and will continue to play at RFK," said D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. "We are hopeful that the team remains in the District and look forward to United bringing home another MLS Cup."