If you spend any time in Washington, D.C., you will quickly discover that it’s a city that relishes extremes. The rift across the aisles in Congress is as wide as the Grand Canyon, and Washingtonians put in a crushing amount of hours at the office, spend more money on eating out, and are bonkers about sports, especially the Redskins. If you love a pro sport, the city has it. Here’s a tour of the teams in the nation’s capital and where they play.
Although the District had a long tradition of baseball with the old Senators team (1901-60), 1971 was the last time pro ball was played in the city until 2005 when the Montreal Expos transferred from Montreal, Canada, to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals. This modern-era team is part of Major League Baseball (MLB) and plays in the National League, and each year, they play 81 home games at Nationals Park in Southwest Washington.
Traveling in basketball may be against the rules, but it seems the same isn’t true of the teams or team names. Take the Washington Wizards. First founded in Chicago in 1961 (when they were the Chicago Packers), the team subsequently moved to four different cities, changed its name five times, and changed division and conference membership, all between 1961-95 when the name the Washington Wizards finally stuck. And as a part of the National Basketball League, they play in the Eastern Conference Southeast Division, and their home games are hosted at the Verizon Center in D.C.’s Penn Quarter, a.k.a. Chinatown. They have one championship under their belt, and that occurred in 1978.
Founded in 1998, the Washington Mystics are the sister team to the Washington Wizards and are a franchise of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The team competes in the Eastern Conference, and home games take place at the Verizon Center in D.C.’s Penn Quarter.
First founded in Boston in 1932 by George Preston Marshall, the team was called the Boston Braves until it relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1937 and the named changed to the Washington Redskins. The Redskins are D.C.’s favorite pro sports team, and game tickets are close to impossible to find with season tickets sold out years in advance. The Redskins team is a franchise of the National Football League (NFL), is part of the National Football Conference East Division, and plays home games at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. The team has won three Super Bowl titles: 1982, 1987, 1991.
Yes, that’s right, Washington, D.C. has a professional women’s tackle football team, and they’re called the DC Divas. The team is a member of the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA), which is the largest league in women’s football. Founded in 2001, the DC Divas are the third longest-running franchise in women’s football history and play their home games at Prince George’s Sports Complex in the suburb of Landover, Maryland. When compared to other WFA teams, they rank No. 1 in victories, division championships, playoff appearances, seasons played, and games played. Their 16-year history includes a 120-36 record, playing in four national championship games, and claiming three national titles after undefeated seasons in 2006, 2015, and 2016.
DC Breeze is a men’s Professional Ultimate Disc team founded in 2013, and they play in the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL). They play for the District of Columbia in the East Division and play home games at Gallaudet University.
To understand grid, think co-ed competitive weightlifting meets CrossFit. The sport combines gymnastics, weightlifting, bodyweight movements, and tests of speed and agility as eight teams of both men and women compete in 11 functional and competitive fitness races that progress across four sections of a grid.
The DC Brawlers, founded in 2014, plays in the Eastern Conference and is one of eight teams from different U.S. cities that compete in the National Pro Grid League (the world’s first professional co-ed team sports league) for the grand championship trophy known as The Pinnacle. The DC Brawlers won The Pinnacle in 2014 and 2015, and all matches take place at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo, Utah.
Founded in 1974 as a National Hockey League (NHL) expansion team, the Washington Capitals are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference and play their home games on the ice rink at Verizon Center. The team has won six division titles, and in 2009-10, they won a franchise-record 54 games on their way to the Presidents’ Trophy.
Founded in 1994, D.C. United plays in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer (MLS), which is the top tier of professional soccer in America. The team plays its home games at RFK Stadium and won MLS Cup Titles in 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2004.
Formerly the D.C. United Women, Washington Spirit is one of eight founding professional women’s soccer clubs in the National Women’s Soccer League founded in 2012, and the team plays home games at Maureen Hendricks Field at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Founded in 2008, Washington Kastles are one of six teams competing in World Team Tennis (WTT), and the Charles E. Smith Center at George Washington University in D.C. hosts the home matches. In addition to winning the WTT Championship in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, the team has 61 Grand Slam titles, including 10 mixed double championships, 19 women’s singles, 26 women’s doubles, and six men’s doubles.