RFK Stadium

Here's What DC's Mayor Has Planned for RFK Stadium

Mayor Muriel Bowser proposed building a new indoor recreation center with a track, a pool and space for gymnastics

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Mayor Muriel Bowser visited RFK Stadium Monday to outline development plans for the stadium and the neighborhood that surrounds it.

Bowser proposed $60 million to build a new indoor recreation center.

"There will be indoor track, and gymnastics, and swimming and other sports and recreation activities that, currently, our kids are going outside of the District to participate in," Bowser said.

Despite Bowser's plans, there's some uncertainty because the federal government owns the empty stadium and the land surrounding it.

The District is required to use the land for sports and entertainment purposes unless Congress agrees to give it to the city.

"You see 190 acres of empty grass and asphalt, and we know as a city that has to change," Bowser said.

Bowser said she's reluctant to make any major investments until D.C. has control over the land, but she's holding out hope that the Washington Commanders might build a stadium there.

"It is connected to the highways. It is connected to the Metro system. It's a beautiful view of the United States Capitol. We already know we have the best site," Bowser said.

The D.C. Council must approve the budget for the new sports complex. If approved, it could take up to four or five years to complete.

Bowser said the plan for the stadium is to tear it down in the next few years, regardless of what happens with the football team and D.C's control over the land.

Tyrance Jones has lived in the Hill East section of D.C. for 50 years.

Hill East, which is known in part for the empty football stadium and a deteriorating jail, is an eyesore, Jones said.

"As you come into Washington, D.C., that’s the first thing you see and it's an eyesore," Jones said.

But after years of stops and starts in the neighborhood, residents are finally seeing something positive happen.

"Right now, when we want to go to a store, we have to go to Maryland or Virginia," Jones said.

There are 260 units of new housing currently under construction with another 2,300 being planned, along with retail.

While Jones said he welcomes the possibility of the football team returning, he's more excited about the future of his neighborhood.

"It's a dream, and it's a dream that's coming true," Jones said. "It's going to be great. It's going to create jobs, opportunities for people here in Ward 7."

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