- Richard Smith
Audi Field – DC Defenders
Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
100 Potomac Avenue
Washington DC 20024
Year Opened: 2018
A New Football Team In Town...Again
The DC Defenders are the Washington, DC entry into the league referred to as XFL 3.0. The league consists of eight teams, The league, and all teams are owned by RedBird Capital Partners, Dany Garcia, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The previous version of the XFL ended operations during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Defenders play at Audi Field which is a 20,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in Buzzard Point in Washington, D.C. It was designed to be the home stadium for the Major League Soccer team D.C. United. The stadium is also used by the Washington Spirit of the NWSL in select matches as well as other events.
Food & Beverage 5
The food may not be the cheapest stadium food out there, but the variety of options is beyond most stadiums we have ever seen. The food is curated by famed Chef José Andrés and is a spectacular reason to visit the stand as it is.
Expect to find Arepas, Pupusas, and Gourmet Tortas concession stands along the concourse. My favorite is the Korean Beef Bulgogi Bowl.
You will still find traditional favorites like hot dogs, burgers, pizza, fries, sodas, and/or domestic beers. A favorite in this category is the Half Smoke Dog.
Although the stadium was designed for soccer, it still works well for football. The stands surround the field closely on all sides. No one is far from the field and the views are pretty amazing.
The north stands have an area of standing-room-only seats, designed for soccer fan groups, that has been filled each game with rowdy fans that have made the games quite an experience. This is the home of the world-famous "cup snake", where fans put their empty beer cups in a large line.
The stadium has decent size concourses and many options for fans to enjoy the game atmosphere.
The main issue I see is that there is only a single large videoboard used in the stadium. If you are sitting at the north end of the stadium you may have serious issues seeing the replay action.
The immediate area around Audi Field is called Buzzard Point. Buzzard Point does not have much around it although Nationals Park and the Navy Yards area are not far away if you are looking for pre or post-game activities.
Another option within walking distance is the District Wharf. The Wharf is DC's newest day trip destination, bringing famous restaurants, new shops, and beautiful waterfront views together in one place. If you go there make sure to check out the great old fish markets.
You are also in a great city, Washington, DC. The number of attractions, museums, restaurants, and other sights is astounding. Spend some time pre or post-game seeing the many things around this great city. Normally I would recommend using the Metro subway system, but with recent issues, you may want to investigate schedules and station closings carefully.
The fans have adapted to this new XFL team quite well. Maybe it is because their local NFL team has shown very little in recent years. Maybe it is because the experience and game have been fairly decent. No matter the reason the fans are enjoying the game and creating new traditions at the Defenders games.
Most parking is fairly far from the stadium and towards Navy Yards. You will need to walk a bit to get to decent parking. Parking close to the station should not be your first option. A better thing would be to park near the Wharf and walk.
The two closest Metro station options are Navy Yards and Waterfront Station.
The restrooms seem to not be adequate enough for the size of the crowd. Maybe soccer fans use the facilities at different levels than football fans?
Return on Investment 4
The XFL has tickets starting as low as $18. The play on the field may not be NFL level, but the low price is an amazing starting level for even small college programs, let alone teams with professional players.
Normally we may lower the rating on this for the high food prices. But we found the food value to still be good because of the great food offerings and the decent quantity offered.
The unique food offerings are an extra as it is.
There is a great unique convenience-style food stand in the southwest corner offering drinks and snacks.
The concourse is at field level so you might be able to see some of the action while walking along on the south concourse.
There was a good souvenir stand in the north concourse selling DC United merchandise. Defender merchandise will be sold at temporary tables along the concourse.
The DC Defenders and Audi Field offer a great experience for the fans of this "new" football league.