Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Originally named D.C. Stadium
Tenants: Washington Senators (AL; 1962-1971); Washington Nationals (NL; 2005-); Washington Redskins (NFL; 1961-1996); DC United (MLS; 1996-)
Architect: George A. Dahl (Dallas), Osborn Engineering (Cleveland) and Ewin Engineering Associates (Washington, DC)
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Location: Corner of Independence Avenue and 22nd Street in Southeast Washington D.C.
Dimensions: Left field: 335 ft.; left-center: 380 ft.; center field: 408 ft.; right-center: 380 ft.; right field: 335 ft.; backstop: 60 ft.
Fences: Left field: 7 ft. (wire screen).
The Montreal Expos announced they were moving to Washington, DC on September 29, 2004. A move had been in the works since the team was bought by the other 29 Major League Baseball team owners in 2002. On November 22, 2004, it was announced that the team would change its name to the Washington Nationals.
A September 2004 agreement between the Expos and Washington Mayor Anthony A. Williams calls for the team to play for three seasons at RFK Stadium while a new ballpark is built. However, the relocation is subject to certain contingencies, including a vote by team owners and passage of legislation by the Washington's City Council to finance the entire cost of a ballpark on the Anacostia River waterfront, south of the Capitol. Votes scheduled for November 2004 by both of those bodies on their respective issues were delayed.
On December 14, 2004 the District of Columbia Council voted to require private financing for at least half the cost of a new ballpark. However, when MLB voiced its opposition to the provision, it was quickly overturned by the council in favor of a plan to solicit private proposals to assist in financing a new ballpark.
The Nationals are scheduled to move into their new stadium on the Anacostia riverfront in April 2008.
After the 1960 season, the original Senators moved to Minnesota. However, Washington, DC was granted an expansion team, also called the Senators, for the next season. The new team played its first season at Griffith Stadium, then moved into the new DC Stadium in 1962. The Washington Redskins of the National Football League had already played here the previous fall, as the stadium was ready by October of 1961.
While the Redskins flourished at the stadium, the Senators never did. They moved to Arlington, Texas after the 1971 season. In the top of the ninth inning of the last Senators game at RFK Stadium, with the Senators leading 7 to 5 and two out, several hundred youths in the yelling crowd of 14,460 surged onto the playing field. The field was vandalized as fans took souvenirs, and the Senators had to forfeit to the Yankees.
RFK Stadium Trivia:
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Wide angle view of RFK stadium © 2005 by Paul Munsey.
Updated September 2007
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