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I have to say this comes under the It Would Never Have Occurred to Me heading, but NBC4 reports this evening that the Nationals have approached city officials about having taxpayers foot the bill for a roof over Nationals Park, with an estimated cost of $300 million.
However, "[a] spokesperson for [Mayor] Gray would not comment on the request, but sources say the team has been told the District is reluctant to spend tax dollars on a new roof for the District-owned stadium."
How does this idea sound, readers?
UPDATE: I'll also point you to the WBJ story, with the headline "D.C. laughs at Nationals $300m stadium roof pitch": "A source in the mayor’s office said Gray 'started laughing.' A second source in the executive office said the stadium wasn't designed for roof, so it 'would be cost prohibitive and butt ugly.'" And, for some perspective, this tweet from the Post's Adam Kilgore: "Even if the Nats decide they want to spend their own money for a roof, they would need District approval. They are a tenant of the park."
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keith18 says: (11/26/13 5:38 PM)
Um. No. What are they going to do if DC says no? Move? I can't believe they'd even ask this. Also, do they really need a roof? It's hot in the summer, but it is hot in Atlanta, Dallas, Philly and dozens of other cities...


JD says: (11/26/13 6:31 PM)
Artist's rendering: link


Chris says: (11/26/13 7:19 PM)
Ha. That is ridiculous.


JES says: (11/26/13 8:50 PM)
they signed a 30-year lease. They ain't goin' anywhere.


Jaybird says: (11/27/13 7:45 AM)
This is truly bizarre. In the entire history of baseball, there has not been any owner who requested a roof for a ballpark already built, much less a fairly new one in a place that does not have a climate that would warrant one. Add on the fact that Nationals already got a sweet deal and they want $300M more?

I don't know what to say.



JD says: (11/27/13 9:23 AM)
One theory that interests me is the Nats didn't really want a new roof, but they are looking for some upgrades (keeping in mind that the city just paid about $50m for some at the Verizon Center). So they attempted the old maneuver of asking for something huge so that the something smaller they really want won't seem so out of line. (Again, this is just speculation I've read.) If so, though, it probably backfired pretty substantially...


conngs0 says: (11/27/13 10:45 AM)
I agree the idea is laughable, but only because, at least from the information provided so far, the proposal seems half-baked (putting it kindly).

At the very least, the Washington Post provided some data on the number of rain delays and postponements that have taken place at Nats Park.

link

My takeaway from this is that the revenue lost from these few postponements (the club surely makes less from the rescheduled doubleheaders) surely doesn't justify the expense of the roof. That makes sense in light of the fact that the ownership isn't asking permission to fund the project themselves, but are rather asking for taxpayer funds.

Ostensibly, the Nationals would then need to show how the roof could facilitate more revenue production during the offseason (including how the roofed stadium would be able to compete with the other large venues, like the Verizon Center, the new soccer stadium, etc.). I doubt that holding two or three concerts over the course of the winter (if that's even a possibility) would suffice. They'd also need to show at least one architecturally feasible rendering to show that the addition of the roof doesn't look awful before anyone could take this idea seriously.

However, given the amount of development that has taken place in the neighborhood along with the projects coming down the pike, I'm not automatically opposed to the idea of undertaking such a project if it means drawing more people to the neighborhood. It just seems to me that this idea deserves a good hearty laugh until it actually takes the form of a serious proposal.


SWag says: (11/29/13 11:53 AM)
A lot of the planned development near the ballpark would have rooftop views into the Stadium. Revenues would plummet from viewing parties. Why buy a ticket and expensive beers when you have a free, birds eye view better than some of the cheap seats. So in anticipation of neighboring development, the club is requesting a roof to combat this.


SWag says: (11/29/13 11:53 AM)
A lot of the planned development near the ballpark would have rooftop views into the Stadium. Revenues would plummet from viewing parties. Why buy a ticket and expensive beers when you have a free, birds eye view better than some of the cheap seats. So in anticipation of neighboring development, the club is requesting a roof to combat this.


JD says: (12/3/13 11:55 AM)
By the way, all, I haven't disappeared. Just a lot going on with the holidays, and still kind of trying to reestablish a normal life after the past few years. (I originally hadn't intended on returning to blogging before 2014, but the big stories were too good to pass up.) So, expect me to be in-and-out for a while to come....


ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (12/4/13 11:44 AM)
"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."


JD says: (12/4/13 11:46 AM)
Yup, exactly. :-)


BillP says: (12/6/13 11:01 PM)
I clicked on the definition of "chutzpah" in an online dictionary and Ted Lerner's face appeared.

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