Address: 100 Potomac Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: Black and Reds
Year Ground Opened: 2018
Home Kit: Red and Black
Away Kit: White
When it comes to the outside of Audi Field there are a couple of things you’ll notice off the bat. First, if you approach the stadium from Potomac Avenue,you’ve got the mammoth club shop, which dominates the view with the fact it’s essentially a gigantic glass cube. The north east corner, which happens to be located behind the club store,is the only section of the ground that isn’t closed in; it’s not a clever design choice though. Instead, during the build process it was found there were essential utility cables running underground with access required. The other thing you’ll notice on the exterior isthe Audi R8 in team colours (red and black) cited on a plinth.
So, now you know where you can pick up the DC United gear as well as the photo opportunity the next thing to look at is what Audi Field is like inside. The main attractions are in two places. There is the MVP Heineken Tower located in the north stand, which is a screen-filled rooftop bar offering views over the entirety of the pitch along with far stretching views that will carry through all the way to the Washington Monument whilst the west stand boasts the Eagle Club, which is a 10,000 sq ft bar with patio terrace.
Beyond that, you’ve got the stands to consider. You’ll be hard pressed to find another stadium in the MLS that offers such a ‘close to the pitch’ experience. The reason for that is because the stands are the steepest in the league, which puts fans right in the thick of the action. The largest stand is the west stand, which is a two-tiered stand with a range of suites – and the press box – separating the two levels whilst the dugouts are located in front of this area too. Working round to the south you’ve got a dedicated standing section for the DC ‘faithful’. Then it’s a smaller single tier of seating in the east, although there is a block of suites close to the halfway line. Finally, you have the north stand. Half of this is dominated by the Heineken rooftop bar whilst the other side is more steep seating.
Audi Field hardly boasts a bottomless pit of venues for pre-game food and drink. Well, it doesn’t unless you’re happy to operate in a mile-ish wide radius; if you’re happy with that then you’ll be set. Close to the stadium, you really only have a handful of options. Swaad Palace, located on Q Street South West at just a 2 minute walk, have a decent enough reputation for Indian food but, beyond that, you’ll be looking at heading up towards Nationals Park – the home of baseball side the Washington Nationals. You’ve got the options of American cuisine of seafood specialities here in the shape of Dacha Navy Yard and The Salt Line respectively. Both are under a 10 minute stroll away.
An extra five or six minutes walking will get you to the other side of Nationals Park, which will unlock further dining options. Equally, a 20 minute walk in the opposite direction from Audi Field, towards the Wharf Marina, will widen the possibilities even further. Oysters, Spanish and Italian restaurants all have waterfront dining here.
If that all sounds like too much effort then you do have several choices at Audi Field. In fact, that’s somewhat of an understatement because there is something for everyone. We won’t go into an exhaustive list but you’ve got Black & Red Grill serving burgers and hotdogs, Butterfly Taco who specialise in, yep, tacos and America Easts Tavern who churn out quality grilled cheeses, sloppy joe’s and fresh cut fries. In respect of drinking options, you’ll find a range of beer concessions whilst Capital Cocktails operate all around the stadium in concourses too.
DC United are a welcoming club to away supporters, which means you’ll be fine for food and drink options with visitors more than welcome in the previously mentioned bars inside the stadium. Of course, all the outside options are available for away fans too. The other key thing to know is where you’ll be seated. A lot of teams stick opposition supporters up in a corner but you don’t get that at Audi Field. Oh no. Instead you’ll be seated near to the suites in the east stand, which puts you somewhere close to the half way line and, as such, you’ll be well positioned to watch the action unfold. The only slight markdown for the seating is the fact you’re the opposite end of the stadium to the standing fans but, hey, you can’t have everything.
With the exception of those who live in walking distance of Audi Field, there are three modes of transport that will get your there – bus, metro and driving. With regards to the bus route, you’ve got three stops directly outside the ground; one at either end of 2nd Street and another on T Street South West – all of these are on route 74. On the metro, there are two stations commonly used. Both are around 0.8 miles away. They are Navy Yard and Waterfront Station. There isn’t much to choose between the two from a pure ‘getting to the stadium’ perspective but Navy Yard does drop you amongst more eateries and offers a less intrusive walk with the fact the route from Waterfront Station takes you through a couple of residential areas.
Finally, you have the option to drive. The main concern for those travelling by car is parking. Lot 147 and One Parking are the closest car parks with the fact you’ll literally be seconds from the stadium. As you’d expect, these fill up fast meaning you’ll likely be looking at M Street south west, thankfully, there are countless options here with all of them a circa 12 minute walk.
If your plan is to catch and game and spend a night in Washington then you’ve got a few options to consider for where to rest your head. The nearest to the stadium is Cambria Hotel Riverfront. This new hotel is better than the 3-star rating suggests and it’s just a two minute walk to the stadium; expect to pay in the region of $250 per night. If you’d rather push the boat out a little further then the Intercontinental ‘The Wharf’ might be for you. The 4-star $350 a night hotel, is located on the Wharf offering waterfront views with Audi Field a 20 minute walk away.
If you’re looking for a more entry level ‘rest and go’ style hotel then you’ll be hard pressed to find anything within a couple of miles of the stadium. Hotel Harrington, for example, which is circa $100 per night, is probably the closest budget hotel and that’s 2.5 miles away.
New York Red Bulls
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Schedule | D.C. United
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