Below is an article about RFK Skateboard Park posted on TBD All Over Washington. As most of you may know….we have been waiting for the Skateboard to open to the community. At the last stakeholder meeting in January, the Event DC staff stated that the Skate Park will open this Spring. Lets keep our fingers crossed!
The Maloof Money Cup, which hosts pro-am skateboarding contests in the U.S. and abroad, offers a pretty sweet deal to its host cities: Give us a place to hold our event, and we’ll build a world-class skate park for your community to enjoy in perpetuity. D.C. took them up on their offer, and last year a 15,000-square-foot park, inspired by a certain skater hangout–cum–Occupy camp, was constructed in the parking lot of RFK Stadium. It was completed in time for the competition, which took place over a steaming Labor Day weekend and was, apparently, a success.
Then the park closed, and it’s been that way ever since.
There were whispers, mere weeks after the Maloof Money Cup, that the park was going to be torn down. Dave McKenna addressed those rumors in City Paper; Teri Washington, a spokeswoman for Events DC, which controls RFK and its grounds, told him that “the skate park is being landscaped and then opening up to the public next month.”
That was in October. So I emailedWashingtonseveral questions, and received this response:
The skate park is absolutely not being torn down. The park is scheduled to open this spring. Following the Maloof Money Cup, modifications to the grounds needed to be made before being opened for public use. As the date approaches, we will have announce when the park will be open.
In a follow-up conversation, she said that although the park itself was finished in time, the surrounding grounds weren’t. And the landscaping to which she refers is not, say, planting bushes and trees, but rather leveling and paving the lot’s surface. (D.C. is spending around $200,000 on site work, according to Washington, and also pays for maintenance. Maloof only funded the park itself, which, if the one they built in New York is any indication, cost around $1 million.)
Still, that site work probably shouldn’t take five months — unless you consider that the work requires permits from D.C., which is rarely a speedy process. Now Events DC is hoping to open the park this spring, butWashingtonis cautious enough not to name a specific month.
Meanwhile, the skateboarding community waits. “We get skate kids all day, and they’re always asking, ‘When is it going to open?,’” says Tom Lim, co-manager of Palace 5ive, a skate shop on 14th Street NW. “They don’t understand.” Many of them are content to grind at the Shaw Skate Park, which was renovated last year, but others are doing what skaters have done since the ’70s, when the Z-Boys sneaked into backyards and dropped into empty swimming pools.
“I know a lot of kids just break into it anyway,” Lim says about the park at RFK. “They just hop the fence.”
UPDATE: Asked about the cost of building the skate park, Tim McFerran, president of the Maloof Money Cup, emailed me that “it was expensive and think when it’s all said and done with the grass and excavation it will cost about a million dollars.” As for if or when Maloof is returning to D.C. — they signed a multi-year agreement last year — he said “future Maloof events will be announced next month.”