rfk stadium washington
NFL football was played in Robert F. Kennedy Stadium from 1961 to 1996.
Photo courtesy of Events DC

Souvenirs mark stadium demo first step

Seats and other parts of Washington’s Robert F. Kennedy Stadium are going up for sale; asbestos abatement will follow.

August 8, 2022

Before the hard work of asbestos abatement and demolition begins at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington, sports fans in the area will have a chance to purchase memorabilia.

A report by WUSA9-TV says Events DC, the owner of the stadium, will offer stadium seats, plaques and portions of scoreboards to fans of the Washington (now Commanders) football team, Washington Nationals and DC United, former tenants of the venue.

The souvenir sale is a first step in a demolition process being overseen by Washington-based Smoot Construction Co. That firm, according to the TV station, has a $12.3 million contract to undertake the abatement and demolition project.

The stadium was built in the early 1960s and is described by Events DC as “one of the nation’s first multipurpose stadiums.” In addition to hosting two baseball teams (including the former Senators in the 1960s), and numerous football and soccer events, entertainers who performed at the venue include Elton John, the Rolling Stones, U2 and the Grateful Dead.

The project itself will move beyond the entertainment stage when Smoot and any subcontractors it hires begin to engage in asbestos abatement activities. Events DC says that process already has begun and is “expected to take several months.”

After asbestos is removed, Smoot will begin a teardown process described by Events DC as going “section-by-section using cranes and heavy equipment.” The organization adds, “There will not be a controlled implosion, like many cities have done when tearing down their old sports stadiums.”

The stadium structure is “expected to be completely removed by the end of next year barring any unforeseen circumstances,” Events DC says.

The Engineering News-Record (ENR) describes the 47,000-capacity concrete and steel-frame stadium as having nearly 800,000 gross square feet of seating and usable space.