Mayor Bowser Pushes for Downtown, RFK Stadium

The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR4984 last week, which would allow the D.C. government to begin to redevelop the RFK Stadium area.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a prepared statement: “[Wednesday night’s] vote was a significant step forward in our efforts to unlock the full potential of the RFK campus—for our residents and visitors, the community, and D.C.’s comeback. We look forward to working with the Senate to swiftly advanced this legislation.”

The bill calls for D.C. to pay all costs for the demolition of the RFK site and all costs related to the transfer. All this is to make way for a contemporary stadium and a mixed-use development. As part of the recent bill passed, there would be 30 percent of land available for open space to be used for outdoor recreation.

In addition to the RFK site, Bowser recently announced two plans to support and drive Downtown DC revitalization. The Downtown Public Realm Plan and the Downtown Action Plan are hoping to revitalize downtown’s commercial core and public spaces that will attract more residents, businesses and tourists.

“With the future of Downtown, we have a unique opportunity—and responsibility—to be bold, creative, and collaborative,” Bowser said in a press release. “These plans give us a roadmap for how our community can work together to deliver on the enormous potential of our beautiful Downtown DC.”

More on the mayor’s efforts can be found here.




One comment on “Mayor Bowser Pushes for Downtown, RFK Stadium”

  • Skip Strobel says:

    The bill to revitalize RFK Campus has passed in the House and is on its way to the Senate. It’s good to see bipartisan support on this issue, however, a few things need restating or clarifying.

    NFL stadiums do not make money for local economies. Period. A study that I suggest DC Council members read is, “The Impact of Professional Sports Franchises and Venues on Local Economies: A Comprehensive Survey”, published in 2022. It researches 130 existing studies over 30 years and came to this conclusion: “This literature contains near-universal consensus evidence that sports venues do not generate large positive effects on local economies.”

    Other studies echo that same conclusion. The false narrative that NFL stadiums bring jobs and economic benefits to cities just is not true! If you want a stadium, fine; just quit dressing it up as a great economic benefit when you know it isn’t.

    Mayor Bowser (D) says this legislation when passed, will “unlock the full potential of the RFK Campus”. A monolithic stadium used only 10 days a year but is present in the community for 365, is a roadblock to that very idea. Sacrificed amenities, because of a stadium, are slaps to residents’ faces. RFK Campus should be a mixed-use community providing much-needed residential and commercial development including affordable housing, retail (especially a grocery store), a Sports Complex, a daycare center, an RFK Democracy Center, parkland, space for future amenities, and other things.

    Nostalgia for the old days is all well and good, but it can also be a barrier to progress. We should cherish our memories of “our beloved RFK” but be open to embracing a new and promising future for a vibrant RFK Campus.

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