Groundbreaking Marks the First of Five Short-Term Program Elements Planned for the Campus
Washington, DC – Wednesday, August 29, 2018 – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by Events DC, the District’s convention and sports authority, to break ground on the multi-purpose recreational fields, the first phase of the RFK Campus redevelopment project short-term plan.
The groundbreaking celebrates the beginning of the short-term plan to reimagine the 190-acre campus and the fields will transform nearly 27 acres of asphalt into three new state-of-the-art artificial turf fields with community amenities. The recreational fields are the first of the 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 community has waited a long time to see this land put to good use, and today, we are all proud to get this project started,” said Mayor Bowser. “When these fields are complete, this will be the community space our residents deserve. Here at RFK, Washingtonians will have it all – the amenities of a big city, access to a thriving waterfront, and fantastic outdoor fields and play space.”
The three multi-purpose recreational and community playing fields will be made of artificial turf and will be available to the public during day and evening hours. The layout includes one youth soccer field, two baseball diamonds, two full soccer fields and two lacrosse fields with bleacher seating for approximately 300 people. In addition, there will be a picnic area and playground, as well as a 6,000-square-foot pavilion with food and beverage stations and restrooms with changing areas.
“Over the past several years, we have worked closely with the community on the planning of the RFK Campus redevelopment project, to ensure it would serve our neighbors needs and bring wanted long-term recreational amenities to both residents and visitors. Today’s groundbreaking on the multi-purpose-soccer, baseball, and lacrosse- fields signifies the start of a collective vision coming to life,” said Max Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Events DC. “This 190-acre campus has given us all a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine how we use this space to drive future economic activity and create new recreational and entertainment opportunities for all. This spring, we will celebrate a successful first project on the RFK Campus as we watch DC youth enjoying the fields and families gathering where we stand today.”
The fields represent a new connection for the Campus to the Anacostia River and surrounding communities. The redeveloped site will provide much needed green space, landscaping and will use bioretention to prevent run-off to the river. Investments in transportation infrastructure surrounding the fields will include building walking and bicycle paths in addition to a dedicated parking site.
“Today’s groundbreaking signifies the beginning of the construction for the RFK Campus redevelopment short-term project with three multi-purpose fields. The multi-purpose fields are the first of five short-term program elements planned for the 190-acre Campus,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer. “During our planning, the community provided us with great input, and we thought hard about how people would interact and connect here. By creating this space, we are bringing in more pedestrian access, investing in transportation infrastructure and opening access to the river. These fields will support youth as well as adults, and inspire not just our residents, but become a beacon for the region.”
Events DC will manage the fields in collaboration with an operator for local scheduling and maintenance assistance. The estimated total cost for the fields is $32M. Construction on the multi-purpose recreational fields will begin in September 2018 and the fields are estimated to open for play in March 2019.
Simultaneously, while actively continuing Campus programming and construction on the fields, Events DC remains focused on advancing the additional RFK Campus redevelopment project short-term program elements. Those elements will be designed and built out over the next two to five years as part of the larger redevelopment efforts.
The four additional short-term program elements for the RFK Campus redevelopment project include:
- A Market Hall, conveniently located next to Kingman Park, which offers concessions, prepared food and groceries for both neighborhood residents and visitors to the site;
- A Sports and Entertainment Complex, housing a variety of sport programs for families, youth and amateur sports; to be developed with a partner and identified as a destination, in addition to a neighborhood amenity;
- Three pedestrian bridges that will connect the main site to Kingman and Heritage Islands, each of which fits with ease and comfort into the surrounding site for better pedestrian flow and access; and
- The RFK Democracy Center, a memorial that will serve as a place to engage visitors and educate the next generation.
Events DC will be announcing the next phases of the redevelopment in the coming months, as well as updates on the fields construction progress. In addition, the “Asphalt to Action” campaign continues to make waves in an effort to increase awareness and support for both the short and long-term redevelopment efforts of the RFK Campus among the Washington, DC community.
Renderings of the multi-purpose recreational fields, a fact sheet and photos from the groundbreaking can be downloaded here. To learn more about the overall RFK Campus redevelopment project visit www.RFKCampus.com.
Note: Renderings of the multi-purpose recreational fields, a fact sheet and select photos from the groundbreaking can be downloaded here.
About Events DC
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the nation’s capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy that hosts more than 1.7 million visitors and generates more than $400 million annually in total economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the RFK Stadium-Armory Campus (RFK Campus), including Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Festival Grounds at RFK Campus, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and Skate Park at RFK Campus. Stay current on the 190-acre RFK Campus Redevelopment Project at www.RFKCampus.com. Events DC also built and serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. Events DC manages Gateway DC, R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center and is building the Entertainment and Sports Arena (www.ESAontheRise.com), all conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. For more information, please visit www.eventsdc.com and find us on social media – Facebook (Events DC), Twitter (@TheEventsDC) and Instagram (@EventsDC).