The WashTimes reports
: "A corporate naming rights deal for the $611 million stadium
will not be in place for the 2008 season as the team is running out of time to complete an agreement for this spring, principal owner Mark Lerner said." The ballpark is officially Nationals Park
in the meantime. And: "Lerner also confirmed the Nationals are close to a deal to hold their first game at the new stadium on Sunday, March 30
, which would allow the game to air live on ESPN. He said all that remains is final approval from the Major League Baseball Players Association, but the deal could be completed as soon as this week. [...] If the game is approved, the Nationals likely would play the Atlanta Braves, then embark on a road trip to Philadelphia and return to Washington the following week."
These tidbits came from yesterday's holiday lighting ceremony, which I wasn't able to attend (though the Nats320 blog
was there and has photos) and which doesn't seem to be covered on the local networks' video offerings. But be sure to look at the stadium web cam
images from Wednesday evening for some particualrly striking photos of the ballpark, lit up at night with a blanket of snow on the field.
UPDATE II: One more note on the holiday lighting ceremony--a press release from the Nationals today says that the Nationals and Clark Construction subsequently donated the 10-foot Douglas Fir used in the ceremony to the South Washington/West of the River Family Strengthening Collaborative, for its use at a Dec. 12 holiday celebration at Westerminster Presbyterian Church at 400 I Street, SW.