RFK Stadium Nears Its 50th Birthday

09/29/2011 12:02 pm ET | Updated Nov 29, 2011

WASHINGTON -- The stadium that many Washingtonians love to hate is turning 50 years old. RFK Stadium, formerly the home of the Redskins, the Senators and the Nationals, will hit its mid-century mark on Saturday. D.C. United still calls the "iconic" concrete hulk on the edge of Capitol Hill home, as do special events.

As The Hill Is Home writes, the stadium, renamed in memory of Robert F. Kennedy in 1969, "was touted as a modern marvel because it could be transformed from a baseball diamond to a football rectangle thanks to sections of seats being built on tracks so they could be moved to allow for the different configurations."

Back in the day, that was revolutionary. RFK was the "the first of 11 cookie-cutter circular stadiums that spread from Philadelphia to Oakland," Washington Examiner sports columnist Rick Snider writes. Now, as those sibling stadium facilities like Shea, Busch and Three Rivers are no more, RFK remains. "The place needs plenty of tender-loving care, but it's beloved by a generation or two of Washingtonians even though it was nearly abandoned in 1996 when the Redskins left for FedEx Field," Snider writes.

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