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  • Writer's pictureGregory Koch

Maryland SoccerPlex - Old Glory DC


Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00

Maryland SoccerPlex 18031 Central Park Circle Boyds, MD 20841

Year Opened: 2000 Capacity: 4,000

 

Old Glory Rugby

Old Glory DC joined Major League Rugby in 2020, playing its home games at Cardinal Stadium on the campus of the Catholic University of America. Unfortunately, that inaugural season was cancelled after only a few games due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. Old Glory returned the next year, but moved to the suburb of Leesburg in Northern Virginia, about an hour outside the District. In 2024, Old Glory moved again, to the Maryland suburbs, at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Georgetown. Old Glory attempts to rebrand the SoccerPlex as the Maryland RugbyPlex for rugby matches, but this name is by no means official, so this review will use the correct name.


Food & Beverage 4

There are several different food options available at the Maryland SoccerPlex for Old Glory DC matches. A Paisano's pizza stand is located behind one end line and offers pizza as well as other related options. Along one sideline is a food truck selling empanadas. Next to it, fans can buy many food options out of a tent, including burgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, pulled BBQ chicken, and assorted snacks. Alcohol is also available to fans of age. Prices are reasonable, with grill items costing $5 each. Food truck items are slightly more expensive.


Atmosphere 4

The SoccerPlex is an intimate 4,000-seat arena with seats on both sides of the field, consisting of plastic or metal bench seats, and only the top row located right at the top of the concourse has backs. All seats provide an up-close view of the action, and there is a scoreboard located in one corner of the field.


Old Glory DC makes a decent effort to promote the game here, and there will often be a match involving local amateur teams before or after Old Glory plays. The fans also create a significant amount of energy which contributes to the atmosphere, which will be discussed in that section.





Neighborhood 2

The SoccerPlex is located in Gaithersburg, about half an hour outside Washington, D.C. It is located in a sprawling complex in a residential area, and there is absolutely nothing within walking distance. Fans will have to drive several miles back towards I-270 before they will find anything useful. There are a number of shopping centers located on Maryland Route 118 once you get close to the interstate that contains mostly chain restaurants, but these are several miles away.


If you’re looking for a more natural setting, Hoyles Mill Conservation Park is located just north of the Plex and offers scenic hiking trails and beautiful green space.


Fans 3

The SoccerPlex will be about half full for a typical game, maybe a little bit more. However, that does not mean the fans are quiet. Chants of "O-G-D-C" can be heard throughout the game, and after Old Glory scores a try, the place will erupt in cheers. Old Glory almost never sold out their previous venues, and it doesn't look like that will change despite the move, but those who do show up know the game, know the team, and are passionate about Old Glory. Many of them are season ticket holders who go to almost every game, but there are plenty who only go to a game or two a season as well.





Access 2

Getting to the stadium is relatively easy – take exit 15B off of I-270 and proceed for several miles to the stadium. That’s where the good news ends. Although there are a large number of lots throughout the SoccerPlex, only a couple are right next to the stadium. Although the stadium crowd alone may or may not be enough to fill them up, there are often other sporting events going on in the complex on the same day. If that is the case, the lots may already be full when you arrive even if you get there sometime before gates open. Seeing as you don’t really want to arrive at 9 in the morning for a night game just to be able to park close by, you may have to walk a bit to get to the stadium.


There is a small set of restrooms located in one corner of the concourse, but it is nowhere near large enough for the crowds, so numerous port-a-potties are scattered throughout the concourse as well. Between these, there should be no wait to use one of them if you need to.


Getting out of the parking lot after the game can be a challenge, especially if other events in the SoccerPlex are letting out at the same time. The roads in the complex are small and narrow and not designed to accommodate large crowds. Most of the lots only have one exit. If you have someplace to be after the game, plan accordingly.


Return on Investment 4

Admission to OGDC games is $20 for general admission seats. Concessions are reasonably affordable and parking is free. As a result, a rugby match for Old Glory DC can be a decent value.


Extras 2

Look for the team store on the concourse selling OGDC merchandise.


Just outside the stadium, there is an exhibit from the United States Department of Agriculture on the history of turfgrass. There’s probably some fan out there who would be interested in that.


Final Thoughts

Rugby is a small but growing sport in the United States, and Old Glory DC is no exception. Their fan base is passionate and loyal, if small, and the team's popularity is growing in the DC area. There are ongoing discussions for the team to build a new venue closer to DC, and when that happens, the popularity may rise further. Until then, hopefully they can at least develop some stability at the SoccerPlex.



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