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Gilbane Wins Contract To Demolish RFK Stadium, Expected To Start In 2022

RFK Stadium in D.C.

D.C.'s RFK Stadium is one step closer to being torn down, with Events D.C. selecting a contractor to manage the demolition.

Events D.C., the sports and convention authority that operates RFK Stadium, announced Thursday it selected Gilbane Building Co. to demolish the 59-year-old stadium.

The selection comes one year after Events D.C. issued a request for proposals for demolition contractors. Gilbane, a Providence, Rhode Island-based company with an office in Arlington, will now begin working with Events D.C. on planning and pre-demolition activities and expects to raze the stadium in 2022.

Gilbane has previously worked with Events D.C. as a partner on the construction of the Entertainment and Sports Arena at the St Elizabeths East campus. It has also performed demolition services at St Elizabeths East, Walter Reed and the D.C. General Family Shelter.

"We are excited to partner again with Events D.C. on another historic project in the District," Gilbane Building Co. Vice President Matt Sarver said in a release. "Gilbane has a long history working in Washington, DC and we are honored to be a part of the final chapter of the RFK Memorial Stadium."

The demolition project budget is estimated at $20M. Events D.C. says it remains committed to a pledge of achieving 65% participation from Certified Business Enterprises and having at least 40% of the work performed by Small Business Enterprises. 

The 47,000-seat stadium, which sits less than 2 miles due east of the U.S. Capitol, lost its last professional team in July 2018 when D.C. United began playing at Audi Field on Buzzard Point. It previously hosted the Washington Football Team until it moved to Landover, Maryland, in 1996, and the Washington Nationals in their first seasons after moving from Montreal. 

“While it is bittersweet to see this treasured 59-year-old stadium go, we look forward to paving the way for the future of this historic site, building on the stadium’s legacy and re-imagining the full 190-acre campus with amenities for residents and visitors to enjoy," Events D.C. CEO Gregory O'Dell said. 

Events D.C. in 2018 opened three multipurpose turf fields on former parking lots as part of the $490M short-term plan for the 190-acre stadium property. The short-term plan also includes a 350K SF sports and recreation complex and a 62K SF market hall. 

The long-term plan for the campus depends on whether the District secures a deal to build a new stadium for the Washington Football Team, which has a 2027 lease expiration at FedEx Field in Landover. D.C. has sought to gain control over the site from the federal government to allow mixed-use development to be built, but a bill to sell the property remains stuck in Congress.