Morning Rundown

Bike to Work Day (Photo via Twitter/ Charles Allen)

Capitol Hill Intersection Named Among Most Dangerous for Cyclists — The intersection of 8th and F streets NE was listed among those with the most reported accidents involving bicycles. [Washingtonian]

Car Catches Fire Near Capitol Hill Hyatt — Yesterday morning a car fire broke out near the intersection of 1st and E streets NW behind the Capitol Hill Hyatt. Nobody was in the car at the time and authorities successfully put out the fire. [WJLA]

Alcoholic Control Board Approves Bulldog Bagel Application in Eastern Market — The District Alcoholic Control Board approved Bullfrog Bagel’s application to serve bagels, brunch and booze at their new location at 317 Seventh St. SE near Eastern Market. [Hill Rag]

Survey Showing Native Americans’ Indifference to ‘Redskins’ Name Could Affect Decision on New Stadium — A Washington Post poll that found that most Native Americans are not offended by the Redskins name, which could affect how officials view the push to move the team’s stadium back into the District. [Washington Post]

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RFK Stadium (Photo via Wikimedia/MSGT KEN HAMMOND)

The organization managing the RFK Stadium campus last night officially revealed what it might do with the property in the coming years.

Events DC announced it has three general ideas for the 190-acre site:

  • Build a 65,000-seat National Football League stadium for the Redskins.

  • Build a 20,000-seat sports arena that could host the Wizards and Capitals, replacing the Verizon Center.

  • Build no professional sports facilities, but construct a concert hall, aquarium or other cultural attractions.

Which redevelopment plan do you support? You can weigh in through the poll and in the comments.

Photo via Wikimedia/MSGT KEN HAMMOND

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RFK Stadium (Photo via Wikimedia/Ben Schumin)

Hill Now periodically publishes opinion pieces from our readers. Have something you want to share with the Capitol Hill community? Email us at [email protected].

by Chan Han

Here is a question I do not think anyone has asked as of yet, especially Events DC: What is the current NFL design standards for a stadium today and can the city handle it?

Let me start off by saying that I used to work at a architecture firm that designed football stadiums for several teams, such as the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and the Minnesota Vikings. I can assure you, a standard does exist.

For example, new stadiums must be able to seat between 60,000 and 100,000 people. A minimum of 80 to 100 acres of undisturbed land must be dedicated solely to the stadium itself. No eminent domain, no easements and no wetlands issues must be present. To accommodate the traditional tailgaters, it is preferred to have at least an additional 100 to 120 acres for dedicated parking.

So now you are talking 180 to 220 acres of land for a current, up to date, modern stadium. The RFK site only has 190 acres total, which is on the low end of what the NFL standards for new stadiums demand. The fact that it is mostly wetlands only diminishes the usable amount of land for a stadium.

Now comes the question, do we just renovate RFK? The problem is RFK can only hold 49,000. FedExField can hold 79,000. That’s 30,000 possible season ticket holders unaccounted for, a huge loss in revenue.

The other issue is the age of RFK Stadium. To upgrade the stadium itself will be astronomical. The stadium and all of its utilities will have to be upgraded to meet today’s building codes. Honestly, it will be cheaper to build a new stadium from scratch. The average price for a new stadium today with amenities can range from $700 million to $1.5 billion.

Another question: Has anyone even asked Dan Snyder if he will seriously consider moving back into D.C.? If the owner of the Redskins is not even considering moving back into the city, why are we wasting our time and resources planning for it?

And my last question: Has anyone read the development report made by the National Capital Planning Commission on the RFK Stadium grounds? Most of its findings are very logical and thorough, not to mention, along the lines of what the Kingman Park neighborhood is looking for.

Given all of this info, RFK realistically can no longer be used as a stadium. We should put our efforts into developing a plan which would benefit the neighborhood and the city.

Han is an architect and a contractor, who lives in Kingman Park.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hill Now.

Photo via Wikimedia/Ben Schumin

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RFK Stadium (Photo via Wikimedia/Ben Schumin)

(Updated at 12:40 p.m.) Locals are calling on city officials to “focus on District-wide priorities, not football” for the RFK Stadium campus as D.C. works to redevelop the area.

A group called “Prioritize DC” has started an online petition to urge Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Council to add playing fields and other green spaces to the RFK grounds, but not a new Redskins football stadium, which the petition says is a “misplaced priority.” The organization says it supports “good decisions for the District.”

“As residents of D.C., we oppose any proposed plan to build a new football stadium for Dan Snyder and the Washington Football Team,” the petition says. “The reason for the opposition is simply a matter of priorities. Football stadiums are very expensive and, unlike baseball and other sports stadiums, used only a handful of times each year. There are much more important and impactful ways to spend a billion or more dollars.”

The petition came after two community meetings in which residents blasted the prospect of the Redskins returning to the RFK campus and pushed for more green space within the property in the future. In a Hill Now poll on what the area should have in the future, more than half of the respondents said as of this morning they want green space, but no professional football.

Events DC, the host of the meetings, is working on recommendations for the land’s redevelopment. The organization, which oversees RFK Stadium, the D.C. Armory and surrounding grounds, is expected to reveal its recommendations for the 190-acre space by January.

“Our goal is to ensure that any future development at the RFK site will benefit District residents, create quality jobs, and spur economic opportunity and amenities for the entire community,” Bowser spokeswoman LaToya Foster said in an email. “We look forward to reviewing the RFK study upon its completion and working with Events DC to ensure the future use of the RFK site serves the needs of District residents.”

But the mayor has told ANC 6B commissioner Brian Flahaven that she is planning to put a new football stadium on the RFK campus and Events DC’s recommendations for the land will serve as a contingency plan.

Councilman Charles Allen of Ward 6 has rallied against a new Redskins stadium on the property, encouraging locals to speak out about what they want for the RFK grounds.

“I don’t believe that putting an NFL stadium at the site of RFK is in the best interest for our city,” Allen said, drawing large applause this week at Events DC’s most recent community meeting.

So far, the petition has secured more than 100 supporters.

Photo via Wikimedia/Ben Schumin

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RFK Stadium (Photo via Wikimedia/MSGT KEN HAMMOND)Two key players in any decision to bring the Redskins back to the RFK Stadium campus have not spoken with the District’s events authority after locals blasted the possibility of professional football in the area during a meeting with the organization last month, its leader said last night.

Neither the Redskins nor Mayor Muriel Bowser, who would have to sign off on the team returning to RFK’s grounds, have had talks with Events DC since the events authority met with locals on Sept. 16 to solicit their ideas for the land, said Gregory O’Dell, the organization’s president and chief executive officer. Events DC, which manages the RFK Stadium campus, is expected to reveal its recommendations for the area by January.

“Nothing’s changed from our perspective,” O’Dell told dozens of locals at a community meeting yesterday evening. “We have not talked to the Redskins or the mayor about the study. The mayor is aware obviously that we’re doing this study . . . and she fully expects us to exhaust this process to get feedback and make recommendations on our options.”

Bowser told ANC 6B commissioner Brian Flahaven before the Sept. 16 meeting that she is planning to put a new football stadium on the RFK campus and Events DC’s recommendations for the land will serve as a contingency plan.

Neither a representative of the mayor’s office nor the Redskins was immediately available to comment.

During the two community meetings, locals suggested turning the the RFK campus into athletic fields, parks and other green spaces. But many residents have spoken out against having the Redskins at RFK again.

“Prioritize community benefits first over big sports arena facilities,” Rosedale resident Rob Stephens, 51, said last night. “Make the community the priority, not an afterthought.”

Photo via Wikimedia/MSGT KEN HAMMOND

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RFK Stadium (Photo via Wikimedia/MSGT KEN HAMMOND)

The organization managing the RFK Stadium campus is scheduled tomorrow to host its second meeting with the public on what to do with the land in the coming years.

The gathering, set for 6 to 9 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mt. Vernon Place NW), is intended to give locals another opportunity to share ideas about what they would like to see on the RFK grounds in the future.

Events DC, which oversees the stadium, D.C. Armory and surrounding property, also held a meeting earlier this month soliciting suggestions for the land. Many locals pushed for green space, including athletic fields and parks.

But the organization has not ruled out a proposal to bring the Redskins back to the property despite significant resistance from residents who live near the area.

What should the RFK campus have in the future? You can weigh in through the poll and in the comments.

Photo via Wikimedia/MSGT KEN HAMMOND

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Morning Rundown

NoMa bikers

Man Shot Near Florida Avenue NE — A man was shot in the leg about 10:30 p.m. yesterday on the 1100 block of Staples Street NE, just outside of Ward 6. [Frozen Tropics]

Capitol Hill Among Most Bike-Friendly Neighborhoods in D.C. — Capitol Hill is the third best neighborhood for bikes in D.C. according to real estate site Redfin. Navy Yard and NoMa also ranked in the top 10. [Washington Business Journal]

Redskins Won’t Change Name for New Stadium — Redskins president Bruce Allen said on Monday that the football team will not consider changing its controversial name if it becomes a barrier to building a new stadium in the District. The Obama administration has indicated that it’s unlikely to support the Redskins returning to property occupied by RFK Stadium unless the team has a different name. [WTOP]

New Restaurant Garrison on Barracks Row Earns Positive Early Reviews — Chef Rob Weland’s restaurant Garrison on 8th Street SE has received mostly positive reviews since opening several weeks ago. [Eater]

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Morning Rundown

NoMa Storey Park

Values ‘Trump’ Plans for Eatery — Celebrity chef José Andrés spoke out yesterday about withdrawing plans to open a restaurant in the Trump International Hotel that is under construction in downtown D.C. His statements follow Donald Trump’s controversial statements about immigration and a viral petition started by a Capitol Hill resident. [WTOP]

Redskins Trademark Must Go — A federal judge yesterday ordered the revocation of federal trademark registrations attached to the Redskins, after activists and the Obama administration have argued that the name is offensive. Redskins President Bruce Allen said the team would appeal. [Washington Post]

Southeast Boulevard Study — The D.C. Office of Planning has released the final version of its study on Southeast Boulevard SE between 11th Street SE and Barney Circle SE. Proposals in the report include “elevating the road to the height of L Street [SE] directly to the north and the extensions of 13th, 14th and 15th streets [SE], along with varying approaches to including residential development in the median (or not) and including (or not) the underground bus parking so close to [the District Department of Transportation’s] heart,” according to JDLand. [JDLand]

“AlleyPalooza” — Mayor Muriel Bowser and DDOT announced yesterday they will renovate D.C. alleys,  including some in the Capitol Hill area. The event follows “Potholepalooza,” which the mayor started in March to fix potholes. [Hill Now]

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Morning Rundown

July Fourth National Parade

July 4 Barracks Row Parade — Blogger Larry Janezich braved the rain Saturday to capture scenes from this year’s Independence Day parade on 8th Street SE. [Capitol Hill Corner]

Remembering Roberta Weiner — A memorial service for longtime community news reporter Roberta Weiner will be held tonight at 6 p.m. at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE). [Hill Rag]

The Bard Barters — Shakespeare Theater Co. and development partner Erkiletian announced modifications to plans for the group’s new space in Southwest. Residents around the site at 6th and I streets SW said they felt the building is “out of place” in the neighborhood. [SWTLQTC]

The Washington . . . Rebels?  — While owners of Washington’s football team are fighting a battle in federal court to trademark their name, business students at Virginia Commonwealth University are brainstorming non-offensive mascots. They’ve suggested “The Rebels,” which the students’ professor said was inspired by the rebellion that spawned the United States.  [WAMU]

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Redskins helmet (Photo via Flickr/Keith Allison) The Obama administration has indicated that it’s unlikely to support the Redskins returning to property occupied by RFK Stadium, posing a challenge that may keep the football team from D.C., The Washington Post reported today.

In order for the Redskins to make their home on the RFK Stadium grounds again, the team would need approval from the National Parks Service, which owns the land. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who oversees the agency, told Mayor Muriel Bowser earlier this year that the Obama administration isn’t inclined to let the Redskins build a new stadium on the property unless the team has a new name.

Bowser is trying to lure the Redskins from Maryland to the District.

Would you back the Redskins returning to the land beneath RFK? You can weigh in through the poll and in the comments.

Photo via Flickr/Keith Allison

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