D.C. United History
The D.C. United MLS team is located in the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. The team is
regarded as one of the most successful MLS franchises in the leagues history as they have
won 12 domestic and international titles despite a minimal home field advantage from lack of
United tickets sales. Of their 12 titles they hold the record for most MLS Cup and Supporters’
Shield titles, winning each four times as of 2012. The club has also ventured out of the United
States and has competed in international leagues in South America.
D.C. United was one of the first 10 teams in league, and played in the league’s inaugural match
vs. the San Jose Clash. D.C. United was one of the most successful teams in the league early on
as they won the first ever MLS Cup even though they were in the bottom half of the league in
attendance figures as they averaged only 15,000 United tickets sold per home game and had a
very minimal home field advantage.
One of the factors leading to a low number of United tickets sold is the fact they were, and still,
playing in a non-soccer specific stadium. With the ability to only sell 19,467 United tickets per
home game they team was always limited in their ability to make a profit off ticket sales. The
most press United ever got as a soccer team came in 2003 when they announced the signing of
14 year old star Freddy Adu and later selected him first in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft.
RFK Stadium and the Fans
D.C. United tickets are sold at RFK Stadium, which was built as a multi-purpose stadium and was
used as the home field in the past to the Washington Redskins of the NFL and the Washington
Nationals of the MLB. At full capacity the stadium would usually be able to support 46,000
fans, but when converted for soccer it only allows the team to sell just over 19,000 United
When the stadium was home to the Redskins, Nationals, and United, it had a complex
conversion cost of $46,000 every time it was changed for a different sport. This conversion
happened a total of 20 times in 2005 as it was switched between soccer and baseball mostly.
RFK Stadium, along with many other professional sports venues, does more than just sell
United tickets; it also holds international sporting events and many non-sporting events.
The most notable soccer matches held at RFK were some of the 1994 Men’s FIFA World Cup
matches along with some 2003 Woman’s FIFA World Cup matches.
RFK Stadium was built long ago in 1961, because it is over 60 years old it has held many notable
non-sporting events. In the stadiums early years it held Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Jackson
5 concerts, all of which resulted in sell-outs. However, since the times of concerts and special
events, RFK has not seen many sell-outs from soccer games as the team has only had three
years where they averaged a sellout of United tickets throughout a whole season, the most
recent came in 2008 when the team won their most recent U.S. Cup.