Washington Sports and Entertainment today announced an agreement for the team to play its home games at RFK Stadium for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. RFK Stadium has served as the team’s home stadium since its inception in 1996.
Washington Sports and Entertainment President explained: "D.C. United is a valued member of the local sports landscape and community, and we are excited the team will continue playing its home games in the nation’s capital.
RFK Stadium has been home to many special memories for the team, and we look forward to many more. United President commented: "We appreciate the spirit of our relationship with Events DC, which is reflected in this new agreement and the improved economics to be enjoyed by D.C.
United. We worked hard with Greg and Bill Hall, who chairs the sports committee of the, and arrived at an agreement which is fair to both parties. We now look forward to engaging in more detailed discussions with the District about a long-term stadium solution for D.C.
United." In addition to the lease agreement, Washington Sports and Entertainment also announced a multi-million dollar capital improvement project on the Stadium-Armory campus that will enhance the fan experience at games and events.
The project will include improved concourse lighting and renovated restrooms at the stadium and new bleachers, upgraded sound system and renovated restrooms at the DC Armory. Also, Washington Sports and Entertainment and United will partner to sell presenting sponsorship of the playing surface at RFK Stadium, and are actively seeking area companies interested in the opportunity.
Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said about: "I’m delighted that D.C. United has finalized their lease and will continue to play at RFK. We are hopeful that the team remains in the District and look forward to United bringing home another MLS Cup."
Capacity for Major League Soccer matches at RFK Stadium during this lease will be limited to the Mezzanine level and lower seating bowl. Full sale of the 19,647 seats for any of United’s League fixtures will constitute a sellout.
D.C. United has also added a premium seating opportunity adjacent to the home team bench and has additional premium seating plans in development. Payne also added: "The intention is to cover the upper deck seating area of the stadium for MLS games and we are presently discussing that opportunity with several prospective sponsors.
It’s a great branding opportunity, but it’s more important that our supporters become accustomed to a 20,000 seat stadium, and we expect that limiting the capacity will encourage an increase in season ticket sales."
To assist with funding improvements and to support ongoing operations on the campus, a facility maintenance fee will be assessed on all ticketed events on the campus. For RFK Stadium events, the fee is $2.25 per ticket and for events at the DC Armory and on the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds, the fee is $1.25 per ticket.
For D.C. United games, the fee will be implemented on all tickets sold starting Friday, March 16. Ticket plans and individual game tickets already purchased will not be assessed this charge retroactively.