Old Glory DC is the first professional rugby team based in the Washington metropolitan area and this year it’ll be playing its home games right here in Montgomery County. Old Glory DC competes in Major League Rugby (MLR), a professional rugby union league competing in its sixth season in 2023, representing North America’s highest level of rugby competition. Since its inaugural season in 2018, MLR has grown from seven to 13 teams, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada.
Per the team: Old Glory DC is excited to announce that all 2024 home regular season and playoff matches will be played at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, MD. Entering its sixth season and following an exceptional Championship Series playoff berth and a first-ever Eastern Conference Championship appearance, Old Glory aims to continue its success with rugby fans, supporters, and sponsors throughout the DMV region.
Old Glory DC matches will be played at Maureen Hendrick’s Field at Championship Stadium; sporting a natural, high-use Bermuda grass pitch. The bowl-like stadium design features fixed seating for 3,200 fans and a large, grassy berm for general admission seating. The move to the Maryland SoccerPlex provides easy access for Old Glory fans throughout The District, Maryland, and NOVA.
Old Glory DC fans can also enjoy a new Beer Garden, improved food & beverage concessions, and more expansive concourse areas directly connected with views of the field of play. “If you happened to catch the Collegiate Rugby Championship this past spring, you know the Soccerplex has really stepped up its ability to present the unique game of rugby in a top quality environment,” said Old Glory Chairman Chris Dunlavey. “The venue offers a vibe that really taps into the rugby community’s culture and spirit. We look forward to providing Old Glory fans with this engaging environment once again.”
“We are excited at the SoccerPlex to be the new home of Old Glory DC. We plan to be the best facility in Major League Rugby,” said Matt Libber, Executive Director Maryland Soccer Foundation and Maryland SoccerPlex. “Bringing the highest level of rugby in the US to Maryland raises the profile of professional sports in the State. This is also another step to show the world that we are more than a soccer facility.”
Frequently Asked Questions can be seen below:
Where will Old Glory DC play in 2024?
Old Glory will play its home games for the 2024 MLR regular season in the Championship Stadium at the Maryland Soccerplex, located at 18031 Central Park Circle in Boyds, MD. The venue offers a full-sized rugby pitch, includes 3,200 fixed seats (plus a variety of group seating and standing room spaces), and has recently been improved to accommodate the play of professional quality rugby. In April of this year, the Soccerplex hosted the NCR Collegiate Rugby Championship, to broad acclaim from the rugby community, and the venue is contracted to host the CRCs for the next two years. For more information on the Soccerplex, see HERE.
Why is Old Glory moving to a different venue now? Old Glory is embarked upon what we expect to be an unending mission to grow the game of rugby in the DMV, including delivering the best possible professional game accommodations for our players, partners, and fans. This mission obliges us to listen to our fans and constantly search for improvements. While we love the communities of Leesburg and Loudoun County, where we have played for the last three years, the feedback we’ve received from our fan base at large has consistently expressed concerns about venue accessibility and the ability to support certain game elements such as a beer garden or integrated concourse. At the end of the day, you vote with your feet (or your ticket purchases) and we simply have to continue to grow our attendance. The Soccerplex provides us the most immediate opportunity to respond to venue-based fan concerns.
Is the Soccerplex the same distance outside of DC? Close — we admit it. Depending on how you play with Mapquest and what starting points you use, the Soccerplex is only around 5 miles closer to DC. We agree that’s not much. However, our research indicates that the Soccerplex may well be more accessible to a broader percentage of our fan base than our current venue, particularly when considering the lack of such obstacles as access via a toll road. We are acutely sensitive to the fact that a number of our best, most loyal fans travel from as far south as Norfolk / Virginia Beach to our games, but we also observe that others regularly travel to us from Pennsylvania or beyond. Overall, the Soccerplex will give you, the Old Glory fan, an improved game-day experience.
Is there a long term plan for Old Glory to play in The District? We have stated in the past and will state again: Old Glory belongs in Washington, DC, our namesake and the place where our team was born. Through our history and continuing today, we have worked to identify opportunities to play in an appropriately-sized venue that properly presents the game of rugby within the District, or at least at a Metro-accessible location inside the Beltway. The obvious catch is that such a venue does not exist today, considering factors such as the attendance we draw, the resulting economics of our sport, the facility standards set by MLR for field quality and broadcast visuals, and others. We pledge that a return to the center of our region remains a core element of our mission and our business plan, that we are working to achieve it at the soonest possible date, and that we will not rest in this effort until successful.
How long will Old Glory play at the Soccerplex? Old Glory will play at the Soccerplex under a 1-year license agreement in 2024. This one-year term suits the planning horizons of both the Soccerplex and Old Glory, and we will evaluate possible extensions or next steps as 2024 unfolds.
Does the Soccerplex offer any unique advantages for the game of rugby? The biggest advantage is that the field of play, Maureen Hendrick’s Field at Championship Stadium, is a natural, Bermuda grass pitch with excellent drainage, proper dimensions for rugby, and the right lighting for night games – thus offering the safest playing experience for the players themselves.
What benefits can the fans look forward to at the Soccerplex? We’ll share details of our 2024 game presentation plans over the coming weeks and months; however, some key opportunities to note today include: unlike our current venue, Old Glory will control food and beverage choices for our games at the Soccerplex, allowing us to be more responsive to fan input and preferences; we will have space enabling us to envision the return of a ‘beer garden’ experience similar to the one at Catholic U; Old Glory will have responsibility of enforcement of tailgating policy; we will have control over our ticketing system choices, enabling us to provide “in & out” access for our fans; and finally, we think you’ll agree with us that the Championship Stadium layout, which provides an open concourse with 360 degree connectivity to views of the field, a variety of bleacher and chair-back seating, and grassy berms where we can sell “standing room” or picnicking tickets, is simply a great place to embrace rugby culture. We can’t wait to host you there.