On Friday, May 10, Events DC announced the selection of Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park (CRYSP) to manage the new 27-acre RFK Campus Fields complex. The newly approved contract by the Events DC’s Board of Directors runs May 10 through September 30, 2019. The contract has four one-year renewal options, meaning CRYSP could manage the fields for the next five years.
As the daily operator, CRYSP will be responsible for managing scheduling and field operations and ensuring the utilization of the fields complex for sports clubs, leagues, individuals and other groups seeking to rent and/or use the space. Their responsibilities will also include managing permitting, collecting rent, preparing the fields for use and monitoring daily use. They will also assist with developing operating policies, procedures, schedules and will participate in any community engagement activities related to the fields.
History and Commitment
With a long-standing history and commitment to the RFK Campus community, CRYSP is a grassroots-initiated 501 (c)(3) organization made up of community advocates supporting the conversion of unused space to useable, accessible playing fields in Washington, DC. Formed in 2010 by a group of parents, CRYSP has grown into a broad-based community coalition of 13 area organizations: four youth sports organizations (Sports on the Hill, Washington Capital FC and Capitol Hill Little League), three adult sports organizations, three neighborhood associations near the RFK Fields Complex and three environmental organizations (Living Classrooms and Groundwork Anacostia).
CRSYP President Michael Godec said that the organization learned they had been selected the day before the announcement. ”We are very pleased after nine years of working on this and trying to get it going that we get to help Events DC see it to its maximum potential,” he said. “We’re very happy they decided to go ahead and build the fields first before all the other [elements]. That’s certainly a very beneficial thing for the residents of Wards 5, 6 and 7.”
“CRYSP shares our forward-thinking commitment to finding innovative and creative approaches to better serve our city’s neighborhoods by bringing sports and entertainment activities that will drive economic development and opportunities,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. “CRSYP will not only be a partner but they’re also a fabric of the RFK Campus community, who is deeply invested in ensuring the future success of the fields.”
“We are very excited to continue the partnership that we have forged with Events DC over the last few years through the design and implementation of the fields, said Godec, “and we’re excited to continue that partnership –hopefully for the next five years.”
First Completed Element
The new fields are the first program element that are a part of Events DC’s vision for the RFK Campus redevelopment project. Events DC first presented the plan to the community in 2016 which included recommended program elements from community, stakeholder and city official feedback.
The new fields complex on the 190-acre RFK Campus will include, three multi-purpose artificial turf fields to accommodate kickball, soccer, lacrosse, baseball and/or softball, a celebration pavilion and restroom facilities to a playground and picnic area, increased green space and landscaping. The complex will also showcase enhanced walking and biking paths and improved riverwalk access.
Ground was broken on the fields in August of last year. This spring, Events DC asked the community for input in naming the facilities. The new fields are scheduled to open in June with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and community celebration that will be open to the public.