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Late this evening the Nationals arrived back in DC from spring training, and were brought by bus directly to Nationals Park. I was lucky enough to be on hand, and have some pictures for you. Please remember that I've spent five years doing mostly daylight photography of stationary objects, so bright lights and human beings were a bit out of my comfort zone. I didn't take many photos of players, figuring that they were getting enough of that elsewhere (and I'm sure you'll find plenty of coverage); I was more looking for the ambiance of a bunch of very excited grown men checking out their new home.
(PS: I know the ballpark stuff is getting overwhelming for those of you who might not be all that interested. But stay strong, it won't be like this too much longer, and then I'll get back to all that exciting stuff like zoning hearings and ANC meetings.)
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More posts: Nationals Park

Another day of icky weather, but that didn't stop a horde of media from converging on Nationals Park, for a tour of the Strike Zone for kids, the concessions, and just a general look around with a few hours left to go. It'll be all over the media tonight (I'm not going to hunt down links), but here's my photos. I'm still captioning them, but didn't want to waste a MOMENT in getting them posted. Here's some general shots inside the ballpark, including my first shots from up on the Red Loft and also inside the Team Store. The second batch is of the concessions and the Strike Zone. See Mayor Fenty connect in the batting cage!
Also, a press release is now out from Metro with all of the details on using both subway and bus to get to Nationals Park.

* The green multispace kiosk meters that are a big part of the Performance Parking pilot plan to discourage stadium-goers from parking on nearby streets have starting being activated today. I just trekked down to the ones now installed along Garfield Park (on Third Street SE, north of the SE Freeway), and the rates are listed for stadium events as: $2 first hour, $2 second hour, $18 third four, $18 fourth hour, and $2 each additional hours. So, that comes out to $40 for four hours of on-street parking during games, compared to the $15 per game flat rate being charged at the S and T lots, which are two blocks closer to the ballpark. Other times are $1 per hour on weekdays with a two-hour limit from 7 am to 6:30 pm and a three-hour limit from 6:30 pm to midnight; weekend rates are $1 per hour with a three-hour limit from 7 am to midnight. There are no fees charged on holidays, except during stadium events.
Here's a lousy cellphone photo of the rate info, and check the Parking Restrictions Map for the red and yellow streets to see where multispace meters are going to be in place. Everyone's invited to peek at any of the kiosks you wander by and post the locations and rates you see in the comments if they're different from these. DDOT tells me that all should be activated by Saturday morning.
UPDATE: I just found this DDOT Ballpark Parking Pilot page, and it includes this document showing parking prices and time restrictions by subzones (Near Southeast is Zone B, Southwest Zone A, and Capitol Hill being Zone C). Apparently there will be no parking at all during stadium events from Second Street west to South Capitol (including New Jersey), except on the 100 block of H Street where it will be $40 for four hours of parking (on the same sliding scale I described above). All of those are red or green streets on the map. There's also an overview document if you want some nice light reading.
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More posts: parking, Nationals Park

* This morning the WMATA board approved plans to lease the Southeastern Bus Garage and the adjoining Van Street lot to the Nationals. However, it appears that the revenue will now go into Metro's general fund, instead of back into the fund for the new Southeastern Bus Garage at DC Village. See this entry for more info on the lease plan as presented to the board. I may have more on this later today. WMATA is shutting down operations at the garage tomorrow (Friday March 28). The lease for the Van Street lot, with 80 spaces, begins Saturday; the garage itself, which can accommodate about 230 spaces, will be leased starting around April 20. These 310 spaces are all in the $35-per-game Red zone.
* Also on Friday, at 11 am, Metro will be holding a ceremony in honor of the reopening of the west entrance of the Navy Yard Metro station. Whether the station actually opens tomorrow, I don't know. They are saying it will be open Saturday morning for National Marathon spectators. And of course Saturday afternoon for the Nats-O's exhibition.
* A correspondent reports that I Street is now open to traffic between New Jersey and South Capitol. I'm guessing that there's probably still some beautifying to be done, but I was told it would be "driveable" by Opening Day, and that appears to have been met.
* Today it's the WashTimes's turn to publish its baseball and Nationals Park special sections. The Post's special section on the stadium is tomorrow.
* The Nats are showing off the kids' Strike Zone area of the ballpark this afternoon, and letting the media try some of the food that will be sold in the stadium--check back later for photos.
* Today's Ballpark and Beyond column in the Post showed some of my photos documenting the makeover of the South Capitol and Potomac intersection--here's the complete batch, from one month before the start of ballpark construction up until a few days ago.

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