WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- RFK stadium is now 50 years old and some well connected DC citizens are still hoping that some day the Washington Redskins will return home to a new RFK in the District.
To newcomers, it's a dinosaur among pro stadiums; but to the old timers who filled the seats on Sundays to watch the old Washington Redskins, RFK Stadium has become as familiar as the other Washington monuments.
The stadium was opened in October of 1961. The name came in 1969 after Attorney General Robert Kennedy played a role in forcing The Redskins owner to integrate the team.
Former player Brigg Owens recalls that future Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell was the first African American player for the Skins.
"He was sort of like our Jackie Robinson," said Owens.
On beating the Cowboys at RFK, he said, "I think it was Christmas Eve we played the Dallas Cowboys for the playoffs to go to the Super Bowl and we knocked them off."
RFK was the first major stadium designed for both football and baseball. The Senators left in 1960; the Nats arrived in 2005 but only until their new ball park could be built in Southeast. That left only DC United at RFK.
It costs DC $3 million a year to maintain RFK. The sports and entertainment comission continues to bring in events. Events DC's Greg O'Dell says he thinks it's well worth the investment.
Wednesday afternoon, as DC leaders met to discuss plans to commemorate its 50th anniversary the question was: could the Redskins be lured back to DC to a new RFK inside the nation's capital?
DC Councilmember Jack Evans said, "The future would be that this stadium would be demolished and we would build a new stadium on this site, retractable roof, for the Redskins."
When asked about whether he thought the Redskins would ever come back to DC or RFK, former Redskin Charles Mann said, "I hope so; that is, anyone who is from this area would hope that."
And DC's mayor, Vincent Gray, said he's heard from many people that they wish the Redskins would return to the city. "It's something I'd certainly like to see happen," he shared.
Asked whether he knew of any talks going on that we don't know about that he could share, he laughed and said, "Nope!"
The Redskins lease in Landover, Maryland goes until 2027.