To amend the District of Columbia Stadium Act of 1957 to extend for an additional 50 years the lease under which the government of the District of Columbia uses the ground under and the parking facilities associated with Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
STATEMENT OF ROBERT VOGEL, ACTING DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR OPERATIONS, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON FEDERAL LANDS, CONCERNING H.R. 3373, TO AMEND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA STADIUM ACT OF 1957 TO EXTEND FOR AN ADDITIONAL 50 YEARS THE LEASE UNDER WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA USES THE GROUND UNDER THE PARKING FACILITIES ASSOCIATED WITH ROBERT F. KENNEDY MEMORIAL STADIUM.
OCTOBER 11, 2017
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior’s views on H.R. 3373, to amend the District of Columbia Stadium Act of 1957 to extend for an additional 50 years the lease under which the government of the District of Columbia (District) uses the ground under and the parking facilities associated with Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium (Stadium).
The Department supports the goal of enhancing the property associated with the Stadium for public use. However, rather than merely extending the lease, the Department believes that the opportunity exists to review both the duration of the lease and the future uses of the property. For these reasons, we would like to work with the subcommittee to explore these other options.
H.R. 3373 would authorize lease of the Stadium grounds from the National Park Service (NPS) to the District government for an additional 50 years. The current lease is authorized for 50 years and is set to expire in 2038.
The Stadium has been the venue for professional sports teams (football, baseball, and soccer) and many other events since it was constructed in 1961 as a joint venture of the DC Armory Board and the NPS. In 1988, the NPS conveyed ownership of the Stadium building and leased the Stadium grounds and parking to the District. The Stadium is now owned and operated by Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District, which continues to hold the lease with the NPS. In accordance with statute, the lease requires no payment and restricts use of the land to stadium purposes, providing recreational facilities, open space, and parking.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the subcommittee may have.