Photo provided by Curbed DC
That's right, the highly anticipated home for the D.C. United will be opening its brand new doors to the public on July 14! The Robert F. Kennedy Stadium was nice while it lasted, but many will agree that it was in desperate need of repairs. One major update from RFK Stadium to Audi Field: accessibility.
Transit convenience was key when building the stadium, hence its prime real estate spot in between The Wharf and Nats Park. So how are they planning to achieve this? In 2017, we looked at some of the most transit-friendly NFL stadiums and noticed a trend in increasing access to public transit options while minimizing traffic. Well, Audi Field will be no exception to that trend.
Audi Field is stationed almost equidistant from the Waterfront Metro stop and the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro stop — less than a 10-minute walk! There's even talk about changing the Navy Yard station to "Sports District" in order to encourage fans of both D.C. United and the Washington Nationals to use the station.
You've heard of valet service for your car, but what about your bike? The biggest concern for bikers is coming back to a bike that's missing a wheel... which is never fun. That's why Audi Field will be offering a bike valet on game days in addition to other secure locations to park your two-wheeled friends. Maybe Two Wheel Valet will become a staple at the stadium as well!
Capital Bikeshare is expected to be installed at the stadium for those who would like to bike, but don't have one to call their own. Feel like hitting up a Nats game after an afternoon at Audi Field? Go ahead and bike from stadium to stadium using the multiple Capital Bikeshare stations around Nats Park! And you can be sure to find a dockless bike anywhere you look.
Coming from Alexandria? Hop on the Baseball Boat at the Alexandria Marina to take a hassle-free ride across the water directly to The Wharf or Dock 79. The Wharf is just a quick Uber or bike ride to Audi Field, whereas Dock 79 will put you right behind Nats Park (a quick 5-minute walk to the soccer stadium). The Potomac Riverboat Company is looking to get cozy with D.C. United and have more boats dedicated to the team throughout their season.
For Audi Field, "pedestrian-friendly" does go hand-in-hand with "transit-oriented." They're making sure to create multiple areas for crosswalks to make sure it's easy to get around. You can also anticipate a drop-off area specifically for ridesharing vehicles to make sure the traffic doesn't get too out of control.
Another bonus: To help keep peace in the surrounding neighborhoods, the Traffic Operations and Parking Plan (TOPP) will ban non-residential street parking and increase metered parking to be the same price for blocks to prevent people from driving around in circles in search of cheaper parking. (Psst... this plan should also help decrease carbon emissions from cars, too.)
So there you have it — no matter how you want to get down to Audi Field without a car, you'll find a way. As a heads up, you might even be able to use a TransitScreen to get home. 👀