WASHINGTON, D.C. (CelebrityAccess) Soccer team D.C. United is preparing this weekend to transfer from its host venue, RFK Stadium, to its fancy new home, Audi Field in Washington, D.C.
Fans will likely see the debut of Wayne Rooney, England’s all-time leading goal scorer, who joined the team about a week ago. Fans will also see some state-of-the-art advancements in technology, including an LED lighting system in an effort to make the venue one of the most energy efficient stadiums in Major League Baseball.
The venue will feature lighting from Musco Sports Lighting; its Total Light Control – TLC for LED is featured in 70 sports stadiums worldwide, according to Pan Stadia.
“Throughout the planning and construction stages of Audi Field, our goal was to be at the forefront of cutting edge technology to enhance fan experience and provide the community with an energy efficient stadium,” Tom Hunt, United president of business operations, said in a statement. “We’re excited to use Musco Sports Lighting to create an electric atmosphere at Audi Field while maintaining the highest standard of green efficiency.”
The LED lighting at the 20,000-seat stadium will have 61 percent less energy consumption than if non-LED lighting was implemented.
However, not all is considered rosy at the new stadium. Some fans have tailgating, ticketing and safety concerns, while others are apathetic and yet others are preparing for a protest, according to WTOP News. Audi Field does not have a space comparable to Lot 8, an expansive parking lot at RFK Stadium that fans used for pre-game tailgating. It also laces the enormous, accessible parking lots of RFK, according to WTOP, and city officials are encouraging fans to arrive by other means such as public transportation, Uber services or even bike valets.
A ticketing controversy has also led to a possible protest. D.C. United partnered with the Screaming Eagles, an all-volunteer club that has promoted the team and MLS since 1995. The Screaming Eagles have been charged with directing all aspects of support culture, including activities and ticketing, which left two other clubs, La Barra Brava and District Ultras, feeling disrespected and ready to protest the team before kickoff, according to WTOP.