Boys’ soccer wins, girls lose narrowly at RFK

On Friday, October 4th, Burke soccer players and fans shuttled across town for the annual homecoming soccer games, which took place in the shadow of a D.C. sports landmark that has created many memories over the years.

Whereas previous games had taken place at Catholic University or Burke’s neighbor, University of the District of Columbia, these were at the brand new 27-acre Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Campus Fields complex. With the historic building in the background, the girls’ team lost narrowly to Washington Waldorf, and the boys edged out an equally close extra-time win over Waldorf on a goal by Paul Keenan ‘20.

The D.C. government announced that they are planning to tear down the iconic stadium by 2021, due to the substantial costs to maintain it. The once multi-purpose venue hasn’t hosted a Washington team since 2017 when D.C. United moved to the newly completed Audi Stadium.

RFK was known as District of Columbia Stadium when it opened in October 1961. It was renamed after the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1969.

The stadium’s first tenants were the Redskins and Senators. The Redskins’ glory days came while they played at RFK as they appeared in four Super Bowls and won three. Over the 36 years the team played at RFK, they posted a record of 173–102–3 at home. RFK was the place to be on Sunday. Since the completion of FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland in 1997, the team has won fewer than half their games at the new home.

Despite the Redskins’ success and loyalty from their fanbase, the Washington Senators’ tenure at RFK was a different story. The Senators’ lack of success forced the team to relocate to Texas, leaving behind a small but outraged fan base.

In 2005, baseball did eventually make its highly anticipated return to RFK after a 33-year absence from the nation’s capital. The Montreal Expos relocated their franchise to Washington and became the Nationals due to poor attendance and performance in Montreal. The Nationals played at RFK until 2008 when construction finished on nearby Nationals Park.

The stadium’s management team, Events DC, has said that there may be opportunities for fans to purchase memorabilia from the stadium.