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RFK Stadium ends 56 year era with huge turnout for DC United game

Large crowds show up for DC United match, the final at RFK Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 (Q McCray, ABC7) 

The cheering. The rocking. The goals.

An era ended Sunday night. 56 years after RFK Memorial Stadium opened, DC United became what could be last professional sports team to take the field.

The club has called RFK home for 21 years.

Johnny Zambrana was in attendance for the first game.

“It’s our stadium,” he said with a smile. “It’s DC United. It’s family over here.”

The team’s celebrated four titles over the years. The first in 1996 and again in ‘97. Bruce Arena was the championship coach then.

“We were the first professional team in DC to win a championship at home,” said Arena.

Love for the team grew with their success, so did the crowds in the stands. The club now has one of the most raucous crowds in Major League Soccer.

“It’s grand old stadium,” soccer fan Peter Nance described. “It’s a little rusty, but we love it here.”

Fans gave their all over the years and players appreciated every moment in the aging stadium.

“You always see the stadium bouncing. It’s got an old creaky feeling, but you kind of appreciate that,” said former DC goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

From its chipped paint exterior to the old broken orange seats; players and fans agree there’s no place like RFK Memorial stadium.

DC United will be playing new in a brand new stadium next year located across from Nats Park.

As for RFK stadium, now that it doesn’t have a professional home team for the first time in almost 60 years and will generate little, if any revenue, all signs point to RFK being torn down. We'll see what happens next.

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