At tonight's ANC 6D meeting, Nationals vice president Gregory McCarthy asked the commission to support the Nationals' request for a name change for the Navy Yard Metro station. But, instead of asking to add "Nationals Park
" or "Ballpark" or "Baseball Stadium" or "[Insert Corporate Naming Rights Winner Here] Park" or some other permutation, the Nationals are asking that the Nationals' "Curly W" red logo be added to Metro's maps and signage instead. McCarthy said that focus groups with fans have indicated a strong identification with the logo, and, just as the Curly W appears on freeway signs around the area directing drivers to the stadium, the team wants the same icon to direct transit users.
Commission chair Ron McBee spoke of the team's positive impact on the community, especially all the work that team players and staff do with the students of nearby Amidon-Bowen Elementary School in Southwest, and there were few other comments from the commissioners. One audience member asked if this didn't amount to free advertising--McCarthy replied that the name of the stadium (which is owned by the city, he reminded) is "Nationals Park," and that the Curly W just signifies the team's name. (In far fewer letters.) The team would be on the hook for any costs incurred for the signage and map changes, but since WMATA is undertaking a reprinting and updating of its maps and signage next year, they probably have pretty good timing.
The resolution drafted by the ANC called for support of the Nationals' request, as long as Navy Yard remains in the station's name and remains first, with "Nationals Park" being an acceptable alternative if WMATA doesn't want to use the Curly W. (They also made sure to specify that the Nats are wanting the Curly W to be red.) This means that the ANC's preference for the station's new name is Navy Yard/Capitol Riverfront/
, since the Capitol Riverfront BID previously came to the ANC
asking for support in having its
name added. The resolution also gives "Navy Yard/Riverfront/Ballpark" as an acceptable alternative if Navy Yard/Capitol Riverfront/
is too long. The resolution passed 6-0-1.
In terms of how station name changes work, McBee passed out this 1987 DC government document detailing how the city evaluates requests
. After an ANC weighs in, the WMATA committee looking at the request submits a formal recommendation to DC's WMATA board member(s), who then transmit a formal recommendation to the mayor, who decides on the request and transmits a request for action (or non-action) back to WMATA.
After the vote, McCarthy took a moment to thank outgoing 6D07 commissioner Bob Siegel ("who I first met when he was opposing the new stadium") for all the work he has done on behalf of the community since it was decided to put Nationals Park in his single member district.