(Washington, DC) – Today, at a #SportsCapital rally inside Nationals Park, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the creation of a Sports Team within the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) to plan, coordinate, and support professional and recreational sports in Washington, DC. The DMPED Sports Team will work closely with the District’s professional teams and coordinate across District agencies and with Events DC to maintain, expand, and attract world-class sports teams and sporting events in Washington, DC.
“Today, we are celebrating our status as the Sports Capital. We are proud that so many world-class teams and athletes represent DC, and we’re committed to maintaining, expanding, and attracting sport in DC – from our professional athletes to the future all stars in our rec leagues,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are also celebrating a new opportunity to unlock the full potential of the RFK campus, to build on our waterfront as a Sports Capital destination, and to transform a sea of asphalt into jobs, housing, and amenities for DC residents.”
A focus of the DMPED Sports Team will also be to develop the next generation of DC athletes and coaches. Last year, as part of her focus on creating more sports and recreation opportunities in DC, the Mayor’s budget included $60 million to create the SportsComplex@RFK, an indoor sports complex that will accommodate gymnastics, indoor track and field, boxing, and more.
The DMPED Sports Team will also commission a “DC Sports Study” to identify funding mechanisms to support the goal of maintaining, expanding, and attracting sports in DC.
“We know how important sports are not only to DC’s economy by creating jobs and generating tax revenue, but also to our culture by celebrating traditions that bring us together as a city,” said Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Keith Anderson. “DMPED and our Sports Team are excited to work with District agencies and our partners to support the success of our teams, both on and off the field.”
This fall, after the study is complete, the Mayor and the DMPED Sports Team will host a DC Sports Summit to bring together owners, staff, and stakeholders from the District’s professional sports teams. A date and more details will be announced later.
The Mayor and District officials also celebrated progress at the RFK Campus with the introduction of the “D.C. Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Revitalization Act” by Congressman James Comer and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. The legislation would extend the District’s lease of the RFK site for 99 years and allow for mixed-use development of the site.
Today’s announcement comes amidst a particularly exciting sports week in Washington, DC. Last week, Audi Field hosted the 2023 Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Star Game, with a sell-out crowd of 20,621 fans in attendance. Events DC and Destination DC estimated that the All-Star Game would have an economic impact of over $11 million for the District. Soccer fans have also been cheering on the U.S. Women’s National Team, which includes four players from the Washington Spirit, in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Last week also marked a new chapter for the Washington Commanders with the approved sale of the team to Josh Harris and the Washington Commanders Ownership Group. And this weekend, DC is preparing to kick off the Mubadala Citi DC Open at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center. The annual tournament, featuring some of the world’s top tennis players, will run from July 29-August 6.