Monday, May 28, 2007
Memorial Day Odds & Ends
On this Memorial Day, with Our Washington Nationals granted a scheduled off day--I find it sort of strange, they are not playing today. Memorial Day and Baseball seem locked in tradition. But, that's OK--This Day is really about those that have fallen in hopes of making all our lives betters. The African Queen and I visited my Dad's Brother, Stewart (My Uncle whom I never met), who died on "D" Day in June 1944, and is now buried at Arlington Cemetery. And, of course, Stewart's Brother, My Dad (The Infamous "BUDDY"), laid to rest in Falls Church--alongside my Mom. Sohna and I only wish all of you a fine day--and hopes that you remember in your own way.
So, with Our Nationals sitting this day out, I thought I would catch up on a few Odds & Ends--items of interest dealing with Our Washington Nationals that I wanted to pass along.
In case you hadn't heard, The DC Zoning Commission approved Temporary Permits last week for 3,775 surface parking spaces within walking distance of The New Nationals Park located off South Capitol Street. You can read up on all the details at this link. In fact, the author of the JDLand Site does a MARVELOUS JOB of updating each and every single detail surrounding, not only Nationals Park, but all the development and issues of her neighborhood. I couldn't say enough nice things about her work. In fact, Principal Owner Mark Lerner and I talked about her website recently. Both of us, impressed. You can always directly link her site from The Nats320 sidebar.
And, apparently, many have noticed her fine work. The Washington Post has now linked her JDLand Site and she shall be writing a weekly column for the "District Extra" section of The Post--well deserved.
With the approval of the 3,775 surface spaces--that brings the the total available parking for Nationals Park to exactly 5,000 spots (Thanks to Mike Edgar for pointing out my GREAT MATH EDUCATION). 1,225 of those are already in place from the two Parking Garages to be added near the outfield of the new stadium. And, a smaller lot near Potomac Ave, SE & South Capitol Street Entrance to the ballpark for Team Executives and Players.
The Nationals and The DC Sports & Entertainment Commission have both estimated that for weekday games--total parking needed will be 3,850 spots. The Demand for Weekend/Holiday Game--4,900. RFK STADIUM has parking for 10,000 cars. So, if their estimates are close--the current temporary approval by The DC Sports & Entertainment Commission has turned the corner, but not solved the entire situation.
Reaching out again to Our Washington Nationals, Team President Stan Kasten was kind enough to respond to my email asking whether the much feared parking situation for fans at New Nationals Park was better under control-- and far more manageable now?
He said in the reply email: "Its an important step, but I'm afraid its just one of many that will be needed between now and Opening Day. Plenty of work remains, but real progress is being made."
I also had asked whether this result was directly from the daily work Team Owner Ted Lerner and others were handling. Mr. Kasten had told me the Parking Problem was issue Number 1 for Mr. Lerner. "And, the entire Lerner family has been involved with the numerous parties involved in the process, including the District, the Federal Govt, as well as private parties," Mr. Kasten stated.
Finally, I asked Our Team President who would be controlling these new temporary surface lots--The Nationals, DCSEC or Private Firms? " I can't answer yet, how all of it will operate. But, we'll know far in advance of Opening Day and will publicize it then," he concluded.
Speaking of the New Nationals Park, The Clark/Smoot Construction Firm building the stadium have begun placing the Faux Limestone Facade (Pre-Formed Concrete colored to match the Limestone Monument Feel of Washington, DC). So, I went over to the Ballpark site this morning and took some new pictures of the construction. You can clearly see the look of the stadium finally coming more into focus. But, with so much still to be completed, it was hard for me to get a real vibe toward the "LIMESTONE" surfaces currently completed. Once more is in place and all the promised glass is added, I believe, only then will we get a real honest impression of what we can expect of Nationals Park beginning in 2008. It was nice though to see everything moving along. Alot has been added since my visit and tour during the last week of March, 2007.
Finally, like many other Season Ticket Holders, I received the promised Season Ticket Benefit Package from Our Washington Nationals. The packet spelled out the details of being a Season Ticket Holder, including game dates available for trade-in, for past games unused tickets. Also, complete details of how to exchange tickets to upcoming games for future dates--if you know you can not attend a certain game. And, the ever increasing "Ticket Replay" Program that allows folks to either sell upcoming games through the Nationals, or transfer tickets electronically (for a $2 fee) to anyone, for any reason. This especially comes in handy if you and someone else is running late to a game. Last month, I wrote about this program at length.
Not only did the Season Ticket Benefits Package claim that ALL FULL SEASON TICKET Holders will receive a Complementary 2007 Nationals Yearbook, but All Season Tickets (from all plans) received a voucher for 4 Free Tickets to any Future Nationals Home Game during the 2007 season. Either send the voucher by mail to the RFK Stadium Box Office, or stop by the Season Ticket Special Box Office Near The Main Gate before any game for redemption. The Complimentary Seats are for either Lower View MVP (those seats between 1st & 3rd below the walkway in the Upper Deck)--Or, for Terrace Box seats (also between 1st & 3rd on the lower deck--but the back rows). In Section 320, we sit in what's called Terrace Box MVP--which amounts to the first 10 rows. So, I imagine those Terrace Box Seats are the rows behind us and other MVP Ticket Holders.
Just few things I wanted to pass along on this Memorial Day. The African Queen and I hope you and yours are enjoying a nice holiday.