Washington’s Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), members of the late Robert F. Kennedy’s family, and Events DC announced Wednesday the launch of a memorial project to honor the U.S. senator who was assassinated in 1968.
The memorial, on the site of Washington’s Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, will serve “as a place of remembrance and a place of teaching and practicing the civil rights and equality ideals Robert F. Kennedy championed,” Events DC said in a statement.
Events DC is the city’s official convention and sports authority.
“On behalf of my family, we are delighted … to begin this journey … in tribute to my late grandfather,” Maeve Kennedy McKean, the senator’s granddaughter, said, according to the statement. “My grandfather lived his life every day in the service of others.”
Authorities have been planning for the future of the 190-acre site of the aged sports stadium after the DC United soccer club leaves next year.
The RFK Memorial project is part of the overall redevelopment plan for the site that officials hope will unfold over the next five to seven years, Events DC said.
The project foresees the demolition of the old stadium and the transformation of the site into a $490 million multipart sports, recreation and market complex.
“As part of our taking the stadium down and evolving the site, we thought it made sense to honor (Kennedy’s) legacy,” Max Brown, chairman of the board of directors of Events DC, said in an interview.
Bowser said: “I am proud … that Robert F. Kennedy’s legacy will continue to live on in Washington. For many (he) reflects the values of this city and our nation.”
Built in 1961 and originally named D.C. Stadium, the plans for RFK call for the development of three multipurpose athletic fields, a 47,000-square-foot food market hall and a 350,000-square-foot indoor sports complex that could feature indoor lacrosse, paintball, bowling, go-karting, video-gaming, trampolines and batting cages.
The plans also call for three new pedestrian bridges connecting the RFK land across the Anacostia River to Kingman Island and to the River Terrace neighborhood on the far side of the water from Capitol Hill.
The RFK land is owned by the federal government and controlled by the National Park Service.