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* This Sunday (July 19), there's going to be a "Grill-Off" at Nationals Park before the 1:30 game against the Cubs. Phil Bucco, who oversees the menus at the ballpark, will be competing against Teddy Folkman, the executive chef at Granville Moore's. It'll be an Iron Chef-like challenge, where the chefs won't know the ingredient they're working with beforehand. The event starts at noon, but the first-come first-served seats (in the Nats Family Fun Area) can be grabbed starting at 11 am, when the gates open. Plates will be judged at 1 pm.
* On Tuesday, July 21, the BID is hosting a "Mental Mapping" event, where they're asking residents to "Sketch out your shopping route to assist in a study about neighborhood retail needs." It's at Capitol Hill Tower at 6:30 pm; RSVP to rsvp@capitolriverfront.org.
* On Saturday, Aug. 8, the 3rd Annual Youth River Sports Day will be held at the Anacostia Community Boathouse, from 10 am to 2 pm. Rowing and paddling instruction, guided river tours, and more will be offered; my photos from last year's event give a taste of the activities.
* This is a ways off, but SWDC Blog reports that the next ANC 6D meeting, on Sept. 14 (no August meeting) will be held in Southeast, at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L. I've been attending ANC meetings off and on for six years, and this is the first one I remember that will be crossing South Capitol Street.
* Even farther off (well, the next day), Urban Land Institute Washington is holding its third Urban Marketplace Conference and Expo, which brings together "the private, nonprofit, and public sectors to explore redevelopment opportunities and best practices in emerging neighborhoods and corridors across the Washington metropolitan region." One of the day's discussions will focus on the ballpark district (and I'm one of the panelists). Early-bird registration ends July 31.
* In non-event news, Fox 5 reports on how the Nationals' problems on the field "are making the city's $700-million stadium look like a bad investment." To wit: "Before the stadium was built, the city projected average attendance at 34,708 per game and tax revenues from tickets and merchandise of $15.1 million for this season. The reality, average attendance is about 23,213, ranking the Nationals 24th out of 30 teams. Based on attendance figures through June, the city now estimates tax revenues of about $8.9 million. The office of the Chief Financial Officer says tax revenues could increase because average attendance has improved slightly since June." However, "The office of the Chief Financial Officer estimates the city will raise $50.2 million through its Ballpark Revenue Fund, more than enough to make the $32-million bond payment on the stadium with money left over. The bulk of that however does not come from the Ballpark itself, but rather from a utility tax and a business tax in the city."
* Since I was out of town this weekend, I missed all the Elton/Billy hullabaloo. Here's a pile of reviews and blog posts having to do with the big show.
* For your (off-topic) Real Estate Development Collapse reading pleasure, a long piece on Williamsburg, NY: "Most unsettling are the cases of the developers who seem to have vanished, leaving behind so many vacant lots and half-completed buildings--eighteen, to be precise, more than can be found in all of the Bronx--that large swaths of the neighborhood have come to resemble a city after an air raid."
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James says: (7/14/09 3:07 PM)
I trust the CFO is taking into account the following when making their estimates:
1. The 23K-per-game figure is tickets sold and not actual game attendees.
2. Attendance rose in June (as it does every year for every ballpark except those that sellout every game) due to schools being out for the summer. Attendance will decline again in late August and September.


MJM says: (7/14/09 4:51 PM)
I'm sure the Red Sox games helped the average go up a little bit too.

I wonder if Fox 5 ever had a report on the Wizards/Capitals' records making the Verizon Center look like a bad decision at some point too? One day the Nats will start winning and all this non-sense will be forgotten. Is it the media responsbility to always report/create negative news?

You trust the DC govt will be correct in their estimates?? :-p


goober says: (7/15/09 8:08 AM)
The Verizon Center was built with private money. Not the city's or its taxpayers' problem.


G St says: (7/15/09 9:30 AM)
So our infamous D.C. tax office is whining that they "expected" $15 million a year flowing in from Nat's ballpark (to go directly into the Neiman Marcus employee fraud fund no doubt) and they're "only" getting $9 mil? Waaaah!

As for interesting (off-topic) Billysburg article, agree with one comment posted: "My take is that while developers may lose, the neighborhood will win." Same with JD Land? We shall see... (-:


Dan says: (7/15/09 1:49 PM)
Thanks for the shout-out for Youth River Sports Day!

I love your pictures from last year. I refer folks to them all the time to get an idea of what the event looks like.

We're looking forward to doing it again. It's a lot of fun for the kids and the volunteers!

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