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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Audi Field – DC United

Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86

Audi Field

100 Potomac Avenue

Washington DC 20024

DC United website

Audi Field website

Year Opened: 2018

Capacity: 20,000

A Real Stadium For United

D.C. United is a charter member of Major League Soccer, joining the league for its inaugural 1996 season. For the first two-plus decades of their existence, the Black & Red played in cavernous, run-down RFK Stadium, which also served as a baseball and football stadium at various points in its existence. After many discussions of a new stadium, D.C. United finally got one in 2018, moving into Audi Field, a soccer-specific stadium located on Buzzard Point. This long-awaited home was intended to revitalize the atmosphere at D.C. United games, and for the most part, it has done so.

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. There was also a Peruvian food truck parked on the concourse when we went. Given that soccer’s fanbase skews towards those of Latin American descent, it is nice to see concessions that reflect this diversity.

Prices can be quite high, but that is not unexpected at this level.

Atmosphere 4

Other than the Supporters’ Section (more on that later), 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 videoboard behind the Supporters’ Section, although fans on that side of the field will have to turn around to look at it as there is nothing on the other side except for a small board which shows the score, game clock, advertisements, and nothing else.

As for the Supporters’ Section, this is where a lot of the energy is. Due to popular demand, the club converted these sections behind the north goal from benches to safe standing a couple years ago. The Supporters (with a capital S) in this section are loud, raucous, and rowdy for the whole game, cheering, waving flags, and really contributing to the atmosphere.

The team has an eagle mascot named Talon, although he has been largely absent this season, possibly due to COVID-related precautionary reasons.

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 of the stadium, 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 5

D.C. United gets a good crowd nearly every game, and the real energy comes from the Supporters Section. There are several Supporters Groups, but the main ones are Barra Brava, District Ultras, and Screaming Eagles, plus a couple of smaller ones. These fans are located in Sections 135-137 and can be expected to stand, cheer, chant, wave flags, bang drums, and more for the entire game. Although there have been a number of controversies between Supporters and the team since Audi Field opened, for now, they are here, they are cheering, and they are bringing energy for a full 90 minutes. For many games, they will make a tifo (large, handmade banner) that they unveil pregame to support the team or various team-related causes.

Other fans can get involved too, of course. D.C. United fans, in general, are knowledgeable about the game and the team, and while they’re not afraid to get on the refs’ case when a close call doesn’t go their way. All fans will celebrate D.C. United goals (except for traveling supporters of the visiting team, of course) but none get into it like the Supporters Section.

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 Metro, take the Green Line to Navy Yard-Ballpark and walk about ten minutes to the stadium. If arriving at the stadium by car (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 that. There is still no dedicated team-run parking lot, in contrast to the spacious lots at RFK.

Return on Investment 3

Tickets are sold with dynamic pricing, so the exact price will depend on the day you go and the opponent, but in general, they range from somewhat affordable to ridiculously expensive depending on where you sit. The cheapest seats are behind the goals and can cost about $30-$50 depending on the game. Keep in mind many of the “seats” behind the north goal are actually safe standing in the Supporters Section. These are clearly marked when buying through the team, but if you buy these, prepare to stand for the entire game (there aren’t even any seats to sit in) and possibly have your view obstructed by flags at times. However, if this is not for you, there are plenty of seats available behind the south goal for roughly the same price.

Sideline seats will start at about $60-$80 depending on the game, and go up to about twice that. Premium seats such as suites will cost you even more but may come with food and beverage.

These prices are slightly more expensive than most MLS ticket prices, but still, provide good value given the experience here.

Extras 3

One bonus star for the tremendous energy brought by the Supporters Groups.

The Heineken Rooftop Bar behind the north goal provides a unique vantage point to watch a game.

A third star for the many unique concession options here.

Final Thoughts

D.C. United fans had been waiting a long time for a true soccer stadium by the time Audi Field opened in 2018. Although the move hasn’t all gone smoothly, it is still a vastly superior stadium to RFK. The Supporters Groups are the main reason a D.C. United game is so great, and hopefully, the conflicts between them and the team are finally over for good. A trip to Audi Field is a great experience for any soccer fans in the D.C. area, and while RFK had its charm, it’s nice to see D.C. United finally plays in a stadium worthy of such a team.

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