On Sept. 30, 1971, the Senators played their final game at RFK Stadium, a loss to the Yankees witnessed by 14,460 fans. That was a good crowd the final first two games of the final set against the Bombers drew only 7,245.
Well, "good" isn't exactly the word for that bunch. The Senators were leading the Yankees 7-5 with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. One batter to go, and the Senators, despite their dismal season, would at least leave D.C. on a winning note. But fans stormed the field before the final out, causing a forfeit. Washington drew just 655,156 fans that season.
While baseball has been gone for 34 years, RFK has remained a busy place, hosting concerts, gatherings, soccer, a USFL franchise, and the Redskins until the end of the 1996 season. Some baseball has even been played: exhibition, old-timers, and college games.
So we give you the 10 most memorable moments in RFK history since the Senators left town. But we're purposely avoiding making this an all-Redskins list.
|Greatest D.C. Moments|
|From John Riggins' Super Bowl run to the Senators' World Series triump to Georgetown's national title, check out Page 2's list of greatest sports moments in D.C. history (published in 2002).|
10. Tibetan Freedom Concert (June 13, 1998)
Lightning came crashing down during a heavy rainstorm, causing a suspension, but 66,000 fans waited around anyway, hoping to see Tracy Chapman, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M, Beck, and Radiohead. It wasn't to be. Several concertgoers had been struck by lightning, and the promoters weren't going to take any chances. Said one unlucky spectator who was hit by the searing, mercurial air inferno, "The top of my head felt like it was on fire. I'm sitting here listening to Herbie Hancock, and all of a sudden I heard an explosion, and I woke up and it was as if they'd turned off all the lights in the stadium."
9. World Cup Soccer (June/July 1994)
A package that included tickets to five World Cup soccer matches Norway vs. Mexico; The Netherlands vs. Saudi Arabia; Italy vs. Mexico; Belgium vs. Saudi Arabia; and Spain vs. Switzerland sold out at prices from $140 to $355. RFK filled with colorful soccer fans rooting for their home countries, Dutch fans crowded the Metro's orange line wearing orange hats and shirts, vendors sold an international buffet that included couscous, tofu, tabouli -- and for the Dutch, orangeade.
8. The Monsters of Rock (June 10, 1988)
Kingdom Come, Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, and Dokken does it get any better? This pile of super colossal bulldozer bands rumbled into RFK with a 220,000-pound sound system supplemented by 50,000 pounds of lights and 46 tons of pure generator power. Some D.C. officials were squeamish about the event, but Alex Van Halen dismissed the worries. "They think 'heavy metal' and they picture 80,000 people who are going to come fertilize their lawn," he told the Washington Post. Added bandmate Michael Anthony, "We're not promoting anarchy or anything. It's not 'Tear the stadium up and trash the city.' It's nothing different than a football game -- people come out for nine hours and have fun."