Last Game Ever at RFK

Posted by Dave Nichols | Monday, September 24, 2007 | , , | 1 comments »

We went to the Nats/Phils game yesterday to watch the Nats try to spoil things for the Phillies, and to say "goodbye" to dilapidated, antiquated Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. I don't see myself going to a DC United game in the next couple of years, so it's probably the last time I step foot in the place.

I'll start off by saying that I've been rooting for the tenants of that building for 35 years, give or take. That's a long time for anything. I have many, many great memories of all the Redskins teams, good and bad but mostly good. The last three years of the Nats, while the product on the field hasn't been the best, it's certainly better than not having them, and RFK has served it's purpose...simply existing so that MLB had an excuse to move them here from Montreal and give the franchise an actual chance to survive.

The day was great, with the Nats actually winning, and we had a great time with some of our baseball friends, during and after the game at the players lot. We stuck around long enough to be treated to the costume parade of the rookies--10 of them in all, with everything from Aladdin to French Maid to Justin Maxwell in a Ladybug Stripper outfit. You had to see it to believe it. They came out to the fans gathered and Jason Bergmann made sure they signed autographs for every fan left that wanted one. When I asked Bergmann for his, he said, "Sorry, today is all about the rookies". Good stuff.

I'm not going to get emotional about the Nats moving out of RFK though. The problems with RFK as a "Major League Facility" are well documented, including the locker rooms being BEYOND substandard, but I'll list just a few here as far as the fans go.

1) Aramark. Perhaps nowhere better to start than the food "services". Hot dogs but no buns. Advertisements for selections not available (salad, anyone?). Warm beer, cold dogs. Money takers that can't make change for a $10. Fewer choices than Republican Presidential hopefuls. Even fewer food stands actually open.

2) Security. There was precious little of it. No lights in the parking lots for the first two years. Players cars stolen out of the "secured" lot. Forget trying to walk back to Capitol Hill.

3) Ambiance. The concourses are narrow, dark and grimy. The few tvs on the concourse looked like they were installed when George Allen coached the Redskins. The bathrooms were unstocked and crumbling, not to mention without audio. If you left your seat for any reason, you had no idea what happened while you were gone. Coupled with long lines for food, this was a real problem.

4) Amenities. Cupholders? Nope. Informative scoreboard? Nope. Supplemental statboards? Nope. Continuous out-of-town scores? Nope. Restaurant services? Nope. Cushy club-level seating? Nope.

RFK outlived it's usefulness, but it was in the right place at the right time for DC to secure a franchise to move here, so that is it's final legacy. But for me, it'll always be the best football stadium in the country.

See you in "Nationals' Park" in April!

1 comments

  1. Maryland Orioles' Fan // September 25, 2007 at 11:19 AM  

    Good to see you both again! Be well and let's hope for the best next season for both the O's & Nats.

    - Anthony