77.4 F
Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Home​NewsAttend Community Meeting With Bowser on Future of RFK

Attend Community Meeting With Bowser on Future of RFK

UPDATE: Due to technical difficulties, this meeting will not be streamed. However, a recording will be available. 

UPDATE, Oct. 19: See our report on this meeting here.

If you want to stir something up on Hill social media, ask what will become of the RFK Stadium Campus. For extra spicy comments, mention three letters: “NFL”.

It isn’t the first time the two have been mentioned as part of future planning for the site. But the discussion was given new life on July 27, when Mayor Muriel Bowser announced DC is edging closer to a way to develop RFK Campus that could bring a major league stadium to the site. At the same time, she announced the city would hire a private contractor to study the best way to fund a new stadium.

And a community group wants to talk to her about it on Oct. 18.

This Wednesday, join a community discussion on the topic with Friends of Kingman Park Civic Association Community Meeting and featuring Mayor Muriel Bowser.

The meeting will take place Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Benedict the Moor Church (320 21st St. NE, Entrance through the parking lot on the 300 block of 20th St. NE)

The group organized following the July announcement. But they were further energized in late September, when the House Oversight Committee advanced a bill that would allow DC to develop the site. Currently the RFK Campus is owned by National Park Service (NPS) and managed by DC in a lease expiring in 2032 designating the site for recreational use only.

The RFK Future Task Force is a community-led group of neighbors from Kingman Park, Rosedale, Hill East, River Terrace and Capitol Hill. They’ve worked over the past summer to develop a survey to assess what development the community would like to see on the site.

That survey is available online at www.rfkfuture.org. The group also canvassed door-to-door, hoping to get 100 percent participation from the neighborhood. A $350 grant from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation (CHCF) helped fund the website and study.

Task force member Diana Lee recalled that about 6 years ago, Events DC held a series of community meetings on the same topic. “I don’t remember any community member being in favor of bringing back NFL to the RFK campus,” Lee said.

Events DC held a series of meetings on the future of the campus in 2017. While an NFL stadium was presented as part of a long-time vision, with Evetns DC reportedly assessing community response to the idea, the general mood expressed by residents at meetings was opposed into late 2018.

However, then Events DC CEO Gregory Dell declined to make a public statement opposing the use of public funds for an NFL Stadium as the District agency considered redevelopment plans for the site (Dell stepped down from the role in April 2022).

Lee said that out of those meetings, the community came up with a plan for a campus full of community recreational activities, children’s play grounds, a dog park, a new market for the current outdoor farmer’s market held on Oklahoma Avenue weekly, an outdoor amphitheater, swimming facilities and other indoor and outdoor sporting activities that community members of all ages could benefit from.

Those components, however, were presented as “short-term plans” even as ground was broken on The Fields.

And none of it has been built, other than The Fields, Lee noted. Those are heavily used by DC residents. But “the community always knew would they be gone in a heart beat if the city could get the football team to come back to RFK,” Lee said.

That’s what makes it all the more important that the community is heard again now, she said.
Join in person Oct. 18. You can also join the meeting on Zoom


Meeting ID: 812 9787 1348
Passcode: 989930

Related Articles