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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Audi Field – DC Defenders

Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86

Audi Field

100 Potomac Avenue

Washington DC 20024

Year Opened: 2018

Capacity: 20,000

A New Football Team In Town...Again

The DC Defenders are the newest football team in the Washington, D.C. area. Originally a member of the second incarnation of the XFL in 2020, their season was canceled shortly after it began due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They then joined yet another edition of the XFL. In 2024, the XFL and USFL merged to form the UFL, and the Defenders moved over to that league where they found yet another home.

The Defenders play their home games at Audi Field, which is primarily a soccer stadium and is the home of DC United and the Washington Spirit.

Food & Beverage 5

Audi Field has a wide range of concessions that should satisfy any fan’s palette, many of which are provided by celebrity chef Jose Andres. In addition to classic options such as burgers and pizza, fans can pick from more unique options such as pupusas and arepas. The stadium's concessions seem more designed for the demographics of soccer fans than football fans, but there is still plenty to enjoy.


Prices can be quite high, with one meal costing $20-$25 between the meal and a soda or water, even more, if you are planning to drink alcohol at the game.

Atmosphere 4

Other than the Standing Room section behind one end zone, every seat in Audi Field is a chairback, and no matter where you watch the game from, you will have a great view of the action. There are two levels, although 200-level seats are only located on one sideline, above the suites. There is a large video board behind the SRO section as well as a smaller board on the other end that is capable of showing the video as well as the score and advertisements.

Before the game, the Defenders run onto the field as staff carry flags with the Defenders' logo on them. The PA announcer attempts to hype the crowd at times but isn't always successful. A lot is going on on the concourse as well, including games fans can play for a chance to win prizes. The Defenders do keep fans engaged, which is always good for the atmosphere.

Neighborhood 4

Audi Field is located in an up-and-coming part of D.C., near Buzzard Point. There is currently a lot of construction going on around the stadium, so expect it to improve even more in the future. For now, All About Burger is a popular local burger place located a few blocks from the stadium, Bonchon serves up Korean-style fried chicken nearby, and there are other options closer to Nationals Park.

Of course, you are in Washington, D.C., so there is plenty to do if you head towards the National Mall, and much of it is free. Just keep in mind if you want to tour the White House or Capitol, you will need to book that in advance.

Fans 4

While the Defenders will rarely fill up Audi Field, they do draw reasonably well. The fans who show up are loud, passionate, and occasionally profane. They cheer on the Defenders and will often get on the referees' case when they feel a call hasn't gone their way (and will often complain even about an correct call that goes against the Defenders.) This is a loud and tough crowd, so be prepared, although they aren't likely to cause any real trouble for anyone.

The fans in the Standing Room section are known for being especially loud and passionate, as well as probably drunker than the rest of the stadium. They are also legendary for building a giant beer snake every game out of discarded beer cups. You can watch it grow as the game goes on.

Access 3

When going to Audi Field, your best bet is to use public transit or a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft. If taking the Metro, take the Green Line to Navy Yard-Ballpark and walk about ten minutes to the stadium. Keep in mind, however, that there is often trackwork on Metro, particularly on weekends and during the summer, resulting in single tracking and/or the closing of stations entirely.

Be sure to check in advance. If driving in, you can park at one of the stations in suburban Maryland and take the Metro from there so you do not have to contend with D.C. traffic. Crowds will be large on the train after the game, although if you park at the Branch Avenue station in Southern Maryland, you will be taking the Green Line in the opposite direction from most fans so it will be far less packed once you board.

If you do arrive at the stadium (whether one driven by you or an Uber/Lyft driver) there is a lot of construction surrounding the stadium right now so it may be hard to figure out how to get right there, although an Uber/Lyft driver should be able to get you close.

Parking is very limited and can be purchased in advance through SpotHero, but the cheapest spots will cost about $25 and can be located a 15-minute walk from the stadium. To get closer will cost you twice to four times that. There is still no dedicated team-run parking lot at Audi Field, run by either the Defenders, D.C. United, or the Spirit.

Return on Investment 3

Tickets start at $16 for upper-level seats and can go up to $80 for seats near midfield. the Standing Room section is $32. However, with Ticketmaster fees, all of these are a lot more. Concessions are expensive as well, and transit to the stadium may or may not be depending on if you are willing to walk from the Metro. Even then, for a family of four, round trip fare will be about $30-$40 depending on where you are coming from. So this makes a Defenders game an average value, but no more.

Extras 4

The unique food offerings are an extra as it is.

Look for a team store on the concourse selling Defenders' gear.

A third star for the games on the concourse that provides fans an opportunity to win prizes.

A fourth and final star for the giant beer snake formed by the fans in the standing room section each game. This is a unique tradition that is always entertaining.

Final Thoughts

There has been much instability in spring football leagues, and the DC Defenders are no exception. They have found yet another league to play in, the UFL, and have built up a decent fan following. Hopefully, the league sticks around long enough for the fan base to grow further.

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