The chief executive of Events DC, which manages RFK Stadium, issued a statement addressing traffic and parking problems that caused some ticket holders to arrive late for Saturday’s Chelsea-Roma match and others to miss the friendly entirely:
“We regret that some fans attending the Chelsea-Roma game at RFK Stadium last Saturday experienced challenges gaining access to the venue,” president and CEO Greg O’Dell said in a written statement. ”Prior to agreeing to host this soccer game three weeks ago, another event was already confirmed to take place on the Stadium-Armory campus. We have successfully hosted multiple events on the campus in the past. With a soccer game and an endurance race taking place on Saturday, all of the organizations involved should have done a better job planning how we handled the challenges associated with hosting these events. The fan experience on the campus is very important to us, and we will take proactive measures with all parties involved to ensure this situation doesn’t happen again.”
Meantime, fans complaining to D.C. United, which partnered with Events DC and game promoters to stage the match, were told by the MLS club:
“While this event was not a United match, we and our partners at Events DC are interested in feedback on all events held at the stadium. We believe the concerns being expressed point to an isolated incident and are not reflective of other event experiences at RFK, such as United matches or the recent sellout crowd that attended the U.S. Soccer Centennial match on June 2. We do, however, believe it is critical to attain detailed feedback from your experience on Saturday to insure that we do not face similar issues at future events.”
The next non-United game at RFK is a Sept. 3 women’s friendly between the United States and Mexico. Ticket sales surpassed 7,500 this week.