REI at the Historic Uline Arena in Washington DC

Check Out the Flagship Recreational Equipment, Inc Store in the Nation's Capital

Photo © REI/Uline

The Uline Arena (also known as Washington Coliseum), a historic indoor arena in NE Washington DC, was renovated into a flagship store for REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), the country's largest consumer co-op and specialty outdoor retailer. The new REI is more than 51,000 square feet and offer the top and emerging brands for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, skiing, snowboarding and travel. It is located on 3rd Street NE, directly adjacent to the railroad tracks, just north of Union Station, near Gallaudet University.


Location: 1140 3rd Street NE, Washington, DC. The closest Metro Station is NoMa / Gallaudet U (New York Ave.) See a map

History of the Uline Arena

The massive building was built by ice supplier Miguel Uline to capitalize on the popularity of skating rinks in the 1940s, but is best known because it hosted the Beatles' first U.S. concert in 1964. The sell-out show was attended by 8,092 screaming fans and began the ‘British Invasion’ that had a great influence on our music and culture for years to come. The building was renamed the Washington Coliseum in 1959 by new ownership and hosted concerts and sporting events including martial arts, ballet, music, circuses, and more.

In the 1990s, the building became a trash transfer station.

The DC Preservation League listed the Washington Coliseum in its "Most Endangered Places for 2003" and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. With the rapid development in the NoMa neighborhood of Washington DC, this area is a prime location for an REI flagship store. Douglas Development has owned the building since 2003 and plans to redevelop the property retaining architecturally significant features such as the concrete barrel vault roof and structural concrete arches.

About REI

REI is a $2 billion national retail co-op headquartered outside of Seattle. With more than five million active members, REI serves the needs of outdoor adventurers through innovative, quality products; inspiring classes and trips; and integrated customer service that allows shoppers to buy great gear and clothing in any way they want. REI has 138 stores in 33 states and and Anyone may shop with REI, while members pay a one-time $20 fee to receive a share in the company's profits through an annual member refund based on patronage.

Membership in the co-op also includes special promotions and discounts on REI Adventures trips and REI Outdoor School classes. To learn more, visit

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