Friday, February 08, 2008

More Detail Of New Nationals Park

With just seven weeks before that very first Exhibition Game scheduled at New Nationals Park on March 29th--it was time for a Nats320 Stadium Photo Update. But, this one was special. The African Queen & I were on a mission. You can look at all the wide shots you want--but Detail Matters--right now. The Grass looks great, New Nationals Park looks like a ball yard. But, what about THE ENHANCEMENTS? Those little appointments that make things special for baseball fans. The decorations--that make you say; "That's nice."

Yes, Sohna and I wanted to see the furbishings.

As always, Chrystal Stowe, The Director of Community Affairs & Business Development from Smoot Construction was accommodating to our needs. At 11AM this morning, Sohna and I met up with Chrystal at 24 Potomac Avenue (1st & Potomac S.E--the eventual ballpark retail space) to tour the stadium. After signing away our life--if injured--and putting on the customary hard hat--off we went--this time on a two hour tour.

Chrystal walked us throughout 3/4th of the ballpark. The only areas we didn't reach--due to time and construction limits--were The Centerfield Restaurant and Kids Area (between the HDTV Scoreboard and Right Field Foul Lines). Just about every other area of the New South Capitol Street Stadium--we covered.
And, Oh Yeah--The African Queen and I also sat in our new seats--for the very first time. Yes--Section 218, Row A--doesn't stink.
Thankfully, Friday February 8th was a PERFECT DAY for pictures. Originally, this tour was set up for February 1st. If you recall--that was the morning of a DC Area Ice Storm. All three of us agreed that morning to re-schedule-was that ever the correct decision.
Our February 8th Photo Shoot will be a two parter--too much information to post in just one story.

With that--here we go.

Exterior Shots--South Capitol Street

Vintage Styled Information/Directional Signs--posted on the garages--with ticket booths below. Extremely wide walkway on Potomac,SE--looking north toward N Street.

Potomac Avenue Grand Entrance Staircase (This spot has serious potential--with The Anacostia River directly to the south).

The Presidents Club--The Wood Frames shown will hold White Banners with Red Letters Spelling "Nationals" across the entire Club. The Oval Bar is OUTSTANDING!! Presidents Club has a wide concourse entrance/exit from The Club to the Seating Bowl. Presidents Club will include Vintage Washington Baseball History Memorabilia. And, a glass viewing window looking down on The Nationals Indoor Batting Cages.

Diamond Club--Killer Furnishings with Historic Mementos of DC's Baseball Past. How sweet is a re-creation of the final scoreboard of THE ONLY WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING GAME IN WASHINGTON, D.C. HISTORY? Check out those Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat Bar Counters. When it comes to DETAIL--those bats are TERRIFIC!!. Sohna loves the lighting fixtures. Clay Bricks--depicting Old Griffith Stadium will surround the Diamond Club Bar--Come On!!--that's a nice touch--any fan will appreciate that.

Including Exterior Walkout shots from Diamond Club to Seating Bowl.

Stars & Stripes Dual Level Club--Four Bars, Premium Concessions--including Brick Oven Pizza & Asian Sushi Bar.

Club Suites & Exteriors--including hanging plasma televisions. Plasma TV's are throughout the stadium on all levels--with overhangs.

Tomorrow in Part Two--Sohna and I not only sat in Club Level--but we took a close look at the Plexiglass (not railings) placed in the front rows of Club Level and Terrace Level Seating. The see through glass makes a big difference. Also, in response to so many commenting about the hand railings that are placed in each aisle--and the possibility those poles might block the cross view--we took a close look at that fear. Also--complete detail of Our Washington Nationals Clubhouse--including nice distinctive touches in the locker room. Concession, Press Box, Terrace Level Pix and vintage retro signage--"Mens", "Womens", "ATM", etc--nice retro pinstripe signs that give the feel of old.

Of course--many other generic shots that show New Nationals Park is actually nearing completion.


Anonymous said...

So the real question is - are you behind the net? That's Jeff and my biggest fear, that we are.

Anonymous said...

From the photos so far, I'm struck by how small and cozy the park looks. But I'm not surprised to see both of you looking at home already in your excellent seats!

Nice to meet you today ... it's far better to meet SBF and The African Queen than to be yelled at by a guy w/a bullhorn. : )

Anonymous said...

Great work as always SBF. I'm wondering when the giant baseball (seen in the computerized renderings) will be built on top of the restaurant. That should be pretty cool.

Also, what kind of feel did you get as far as: will this thing be ready for crowds in a month and a half? it still looks like there's alot of work left to be done. I just hope it isn't extremely rushed at the end where shortcuts are taken-this always means problems down the road for a building.

Screech's Best Friend said...

natsva--What struck Sohna and I today was the expansion of 1st Street, Potomac Ave and the beginning of the widening of Half Street. This will allow for better traffic flow. But, the normal traffic on South Capitol and M Street was heavy--at 1PM in the afternoon. Its going to be interesting seeing car traffic on game days.

Certainly, there is ALOT of work left to go--and we have no doubt not everything will be perfect come Opening Night--that's an impossibility. Too much has to perfectly line up for that to happen. But, we don't think that will hamper enjoyment of the stadium. Remember, when this ballpark opens on March 29--there will still be many more additions over the next year. This is an ever evolving project--under a brutal deadline. New Nationals Park will be Ball Game Ready, but maybe not fully functionable. And, I don't think anyone is expecting that. Still, that readiness will offer more than RFK ever did.

On The Computerized Baseball--I was told a few months ago--that was cancelled. Not sure what is going to be put there--if anything. But, I recall Matt Haas from Clark Construction telling Sohna and I that was not in the final design. I'll check to clarify.

Anonymous said...

and what about the net? R behind the net?

Anonymous said...

do all the seats in the stadium have cushions on them; I notice that the picture of you two in the second levvel, and there were cushions on all the seats. This would make me very happy cause I could never sit to long on RFK's seats, just as little to hard for an extend sit session.

Screech's Best Friend said...

natsfan7--No, not all seats-Presidents Club, Diamond Club and Star & Stripes Club are the only seats with padded cushions. Presidents Club have padded backs as well.

Anonymous said...


Do the seats seem as wide to you as they are at RFK? Also, according to the relocation guide, there is supposed to be more footroom between rows at the new place than at RFK. Did you find that to be the case?

Anonymous said...

We are neighbors... my seats are 219 row B

Anonymous said...

While it was nice to see all these high priced areas (my budget and thus season tickets will not allow us to get to them) it would also have been nice of you to show the upper deck where the everyday fan will be.....The oval office bar is not where I'll be getting my Bud in a bottle.

Anonymous said...

Very cool! This is so exciting. Have you heard anything about the "Meet Your Seat" preview for season ticket holders?

Screech's Best Friend said...

Mike Edgar--The seats are slightly wider in all levels of the park, whether you are sitting in club, lower or upper bowl. The leg room is far better in most spots. Although, Sohna and I found the front rows of club level to be a shorter length than the other rows. The same held true for the Upper Terrace Seating. Each seat bottom pops up once you get out of your seat--unlike RFK where to had to manually lift and push down your chair. Actually, I was going to go into greater detail on the seating in part two. Thanks.

Have not heard anything about the "greet your seat preview"--but its on my question list.

More info later today, when I post up part two--including concessions--both premium and regular fare--for EVERYONE.

An Briosca Mor said...

I have a feeling the "meet your seat" preview is going to end up being the exhibition game on March 29th. Like the fan fest in Bethesda that didn't happen, I'll bet the pressure of getting everything done to open up a new stadium has forced the team to abandon plans for this event. It was a nice idea, however I can understand if they can't get it in before the stadium opens. But Stan Kasten needs to learn to quit thinking out loud whenever events like this are being contemplated. Rightly or wrongly, fans latch on to such statements, treat them as official announcements, and then are disappointed and bear resentment toward the team when they don't occur. He should know by now that although the Washington Post and other media ignore 95% of what he tells them, these thinking-out-loud, we're-hoping-to-do-such-and-such comments will get printed each and every time, without fail.

Anonymous said...

Thanks SBF great photos, they make me happy that the season is almost here!!!

Anonymous said...

So is Sohna on first name recognition with all the construction workers?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, SBF. That's great news about the seats and the legroom. As always, I really appreciate all of your efforts to keep the rest of us informed. I'm really looking forward to your follow-up!

Anonymous said...

I just heard from my account rep that the Nationals are unsure if they will hold a Meet Your Seat event because of construction. But if they do, season ticket holders will be notified "immediately".

Edward J. Cunningham said...

SBF, thanks for the great pics! I'll send JD a link to your blog so she can post about it at!

An Briosca Mor said...

"But if they do, season ticket holders will be notified "immediately" "

See, he never should have said that. Now I'm just going to latch on to that statement and treat it as an official announcement. If they do decide to do this and don't notify me IMMEDIATELY when they've made the decision, then I'll be disappointed and bear resentment toward the team because of that. And since it's already IMMEDIATELY and they haven't notified me, I'm going to go on every single Nats blog to point out that the Nationals told me they'd notify me IMMEDIATELY and they didn't. Just another front-office screw-up. So typical of this ownership group. Boy will I be pissed!

(But not so pissed that I won't go to the event when it happens. Then I'll complain that they didn't give me any freebies.)