RFK site as envisioned by NCPC
Events DC is hosting the first of two community meetings to discuss its study on the future of the RFK Stadium site this Wednesday. There are no shortage of plans for utilizing the area for something other than a sprawling parking lot, so let me add mine here. It's actually not too different from ideas that have already been pitched, like the grass roots effort to turn the northern piece into the Capital Riverside Youth Sports Park, or the NCPC's RFK Stadium Site Redevelopment Study from 2006 which stated that
NCPC planners believe the RFK site should be an environmentally friendly gateway into the monumental core. It should include a large waterfront park, with recreational fields and open space, augmented by commemorative works and connected to the surrounding neighborhoods by pedestrian and bicycle paths
My idea is to turn the area, at least the area east of 22nd street, into Kennedy Brothers National Recreation Area. The land is already owned by the National Parks Service and so keeping it in their hands is probably the easiest option, but other NRA's are managed by other organizations, so it might be possible to have DC Parks manage it - since technically it's a part of the federal government. With RFK Stadium and the Ethel Kennedy Bridge nearby, keeping the connection to the Kennedy's - with sports and recreation areas especially - would be great way to honor the family which includes a President, a Senator, a cabinet Secretary and a WWII aviator who died in action. Also, it would likely gain support from some MA Congress members.
Fill the area with sports fields and facilities, playgrounds, appropriate open green space, expanded trails and a simple memorial. Perhaps a museum could be included too.
The space, larger than many other urban parks, would make it possible to add some more niche facilities as well. For example, the 2012 DC Olympic bid at one time considered the RFK site for the needed velodrome (although later that was moved to Baltimore at a site TBD), but the area would be a great place to build one. Attempts have been made to build one in Long Bridge Park and more recently at Buzzard's Point, but both have fizzled. But a real velodrome - like the one in Lehigh Valley, PA or the one frequently considered outside Philadelphia, could bring regiular events to DC, while creating a unique recreation opportunity too.
Capital Riverside Youth Sports Park
It won't be easy. The politicians seem to already support a new football stadium.