SNIDER: The great RFK yard sale

Rick Snider
September 05, 2019 - 6:21 pm
RFK Stadium to be demolished by 2021

Ned Dishman/Getty Images

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You have a few wrenches and 30 minutes – RFK Stadium is coming down and they should have a yard sale of sorts for fans ready to grab a few seats.

Now there's nothing saying RFK memorabilia is for sale. But, if District leaders have some common sense (and there are days that's debatable) then they should let fans pay crazy money for memorabilia.

Remember the hour after the Redskins final game at RFK in 1996? I returned from the locker rooms to see the field tore up, seats missing and everything askew. Over the years, I've seen that grass in people's yards, seats in man caves and everything from banners atop the stadium to signs hidden in people's collections.

All from the black market, of course.

RFK needs to come down. It's costing the city $3.5 million annually in upkeep, according to the Washington Post. Whether the Redskins return is irrelevant. The old stadium, and it looks like something from Life After People with massive rust overtaking the upper deck's exterior, needs to make way for whatever comes next. The city has waited long enough for the Redskins to make a move and, according to the Post, there have been no stadium talks in 18 months.

Excuse me, wasn't Bruce Allen's job to handle the next stadium's site? If he's not talking to Washington leaders while Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has backed away and Virginia looks indifferent, who is Allen talking to – himself?

Anyway, the city should have a yard sale of sorts and let fans come in one weekend and take whatever they want. Make it like a junk yard where you pull a spare part from some old heap and pay on the way out. Want a seat? $50 seems fair. Just bring a 5/8th wrench. Want that section number sign? $99 and it's all yours.

The city might make six figures. Oh, some lawyer will suck all the fun out of this and say people could get hurt. It's called a liability waiver - sign and enter. And no petting the giant rats.

Who knows what's down in the bowels of RFK to find? Indeed, one official told me no one has been in the lower depths in years for fear of what they may find. (See: Witch, Blair.) I'm not kidding, people.

The first seats to go are the two white ones where Frank Howard hit towering shots. Next is JFK's old seat behind the dugout, second from the aisle because the first was for a Secret Service agent.

Collectors will go wild in this place. And why not? They're just going to blow the place up anyway. Let the fans have their memories. Some of the old Griffith Stadium seats are at Rosecroft Raceway nowadays (I think they're still there), so it's not like reselling seats is a new idea.

By the way, how about a $20 per-ticket lottery on who hits the plunger to bring it down? That's another six-figure haul. And no letting K Street lawyers and lobbyists buy a thousand tickets. One fan, one ticket.

It will be a sad day when RFK goes. My generation saw the Senators when we were kids. The Lot 8 tunnel seemed so big to a six-year old. Another crowd saw the Redskins' greatest times in those bouncing seats.

Mayor Bowser – give the fans (and voters) some love. Let them take RFK away piece by piece to remember forever.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks

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