Archive for the ‘baseball stadium’ Category

The Biggest Sport in Town

May 28, 2008

The Biggest Sport in Town

The Council of the District of Columbia is voting again on giving waterfront property and $150 million to a private business.  The business, the D.C. United franchise of Major League Soccer, happens to make a product I enjoy: fun.  The waterfront property, Poplar Point, was criminally neglected by (of all people) the National Park Service, and needs renewal as badly as other stretches of the Anacostia River shore.

But public financing of sports facilities is always a losing propositon for taxpayers, and the $150 million subsidy would be raised by the old Shell Game.


Pope Considers Trip to USA; Visits DC and NYC Instead

April 13, 2008

Pope Considers Trip to USA -- Visits DC and NYC Instead
Papal Jet, Captain Alfonso Maria Pacini, flight coordinator.

NotionsCapital previews rumors behind the facts of the American visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

Tuesday Morning. The Papal aircraft, a Boeing 777 named the Sestriere and the only Alitalia plane that is not losing money, will fly to the United States. It will be escorted by the A-10 Thunderbolt IIs of the USAF 23rd Fighter Group since they are based at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina.

Thunderbolt Row, Pope AFB

Thunderbolt Row, Pope AFB

Tuesday 4PM EDT. His Holiness arrives at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, a military airport near Washington, named after a famous vocal trio. As you read this, airmen at Andrews AFB are cleaning the Papal landing zone with toothbrushes and Marvis Jasmin Mint, said to be the Pope’s favorite toothpaste, as he is expected to smooch the tarmac upon landing.


Ballpark Balloon Payment

April 2, 2008

Ballpark Balloon Payment

Who would borrow money to buy a house when the rate could skyrocket from 4.75% to 14%? The Government of the District of Columbia. Who would borrow money to build a new house for sports millionaires when the interest rate could skyrocket from 4.75% to 14%? The Government of the District of Columbia.


DC Baseball — Sunday Surprise

March 31, 2008

DC Baseball — Sunday Surprise

Capital Hill neighbors on 8th Street SE, near the Eastern Market Metro Station, say they got season tickets yesterday — baseball season parking tickets. Shoppers, retailers and luncheon diners must now feed parking meters on Sundays even in this location a mile-and-a-half from Nationals Park.

Small businessmen say this was not true on Sundays in the past, are unclear if this applies every Sunday or just during Nats games, and expect it to depress their business either way. NotionsCapital will try and establish the facts. Until them, keep your glove oiled, your knees loose, and your pocket full of quarters.

Opening Day

March 30, 2008

Opening Day

The Washington Nationals play their home opener in newly-erected Viagra Park – just follow the traffic jam; you can’t miss it.

Actually, the team — or the city, or MLB, or WTF knows – gets to decide on the “naming rights,” which morally-bankrupt corporation will pay millions to be linked forever to the municipally-financed ballpark. Rumor says Bear-Stearns has the inside track, with Preparation-H and HeadOn tied for second.


DC Sports Security: Good Money After Bad

March 13, 2008

DC Sports Security--Good Money After Bad

Sports Update: The DC Sports and Entertainment Commission has been unable to pay the $700,000 annual cost of D.C. Metropolitan Police Department security for home games at RFK Stadium since 2005. Now we learn that MPD security for 2008 home games at Nationals Park will cost $1.2 million.

I guess that goes on the taxpayer’s tab with the Commission’s unpaid $2 million.

Short on Sportsmanship

March 13, 2008

Short on Sportsmanship

The D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission owes the Metropolitan Police Department almost $2 million for security at Washington Nationals baseball games since 2005, according to Scott McCabe of the Examiner. The cost of 25 MPD officers for 82 home games at RFK each year is about $700,000.  The team chipped in $175,000 a year and the Commission was supposed to pay the balance but has only paid $200,000 in the three year period.


Washington Nationals: Fare Catch

February 25, 2008

Washington Nationals -- Fare Catch

Today in Sports, the big story is Eats. The Washington Nationals have sent their old food service to the showers and filled the dining dugout with a mix of seasoned pros and promising rookies, all hometown favorites. Good play, guys.

 The complete roster is at Dan Steinberg’s D.C. Sports Bog, with further commentary on the gustatory line-up (with hyperlinks for the hungry)  by Marc Fisher.


Big Bronze Bobbleheads?

August 19, 2007

Buy me some sculpture and Crackerjacks . . . .

The Washington Nationals nearly caused a riot yesterday. Not on the field, but on the line to enter RFK Stadium, where the team gave away bobblehead dolls. The promotion was so successful, and such a credit to the city, Mayor Fenty just put $700,000 in the District budget to buy the team’s millionaire owners giant bronze bobbleheads for the new Nationals Stadium.

Seriously, Mr. Fenty reprogrammed $700,000 to buy custom-made art work at the stadium for the team’s millionaire owners. How many times does this bad policy have to strike out before it is removed from the batting order? The Council in its wisdom has rejected this move twice before, and  Councilmember Kwame Brown, who chairs the Economic Development Committee, has called a “time out” on this attempt. Public art of this sort of is usually funded by the developer or tenant, and government arts agencies provide technical assistance. Well-known local examples include the Washington Convention Center and Reagan National Airport.

The claim that the stadium sculpture will be owned by the District and eventually moved elsewhere is absurd. The application for this one-of-a-kind, site-specific art includes architectural drawings of the stadium. Claiming this art is just on loan is like saying you don’t own your own dental work but have merely borrowed it.

Construction of lighting and maintenance of the stadium art works, also provided by the District, are not included in the $700K. There goes your Stadium Budget Cap. Councilmembers: use this $700,000 to fund a competitive, peer-reviewed Capital Arts Grant Program for DC community arts organizations.