While it's outside of my jurisdiction to blog about what the Nationals do to further their goals of winning baseball games, I do consider it part of my mandate to keep an eye on that big building
they hang out in. So, with that, here's some hints for what will be coming at the ballpark in 2009, from Chico Harlan's transcript of Stan Kasten's remarks at NatsFest
* There will be big changes to the Red Porch restaurant
in centerfield, which was the last part of the ballpark completed ("We literally got it the day before the season opened," Stan said). Here's how he describes what's coming: "What's gonna happen there is the walls you see now out there where it says Red Porch are being blow[n] out, and it's going to open up right into the ballpark with tables out into the stands. The other wall into the plaza is being blown out; we're having the patio with seats on the plaza with a firepit out there. And of course we're changing the floors and the walls and the menu, so it's going to be a much different experience."
* A stage will be coming to centerfield to allow for more pre-game activities, including the MASN live pre-game show, and some other "surprises" that will be announced later.
* Status of Josh Gibson, Walter Johnson, and Frank Howard will be erected in the centerfield plaza by Opening Day or soon thereafter.
* There will be changes to the food prep/service/quality, presumably in line with the change from concessionaire Centerplate
to Levy Restaurants
. Stan says: "We're going to have more in the way of value meals this year, because we know the budget is something everyone is worried about." [To which the audience applauded, according to the transcript.] "We're gonna tinker with some all-you-can-eat sections on certain nights; this has become popular in other cities. We're going to try experimenting with it ourselves this year."
* There will also be more specialty ticket packages for certain sections, which weren't spelled out. (The Nats have already announced lower ticket prices for many seats in the park this year.)