December 23, 2006
To make up for the reluctance of the D.C. Council to exceed the existing cost cap, Mark Lerner has declared that his family will invest much more than the $10 million they have already committed to the stadium project. They are talking about an ultra-fancy video-display board, private bathrooms for the luxury suites, and other accoutrements, to make sure the Washington Nationals' future home is a first-class venue in its inaugural season. The total amount the Lerners invest could exceed $30 million, according to what the younger Lerner said in an interview. See Washington Post. Well, it's about time they stepped up to the plate! No doubt, they will get a handsome return on their investment. Columnist Thomas Boswell can scarcely contain himself with gleeful anticipation as the steel structure of the upper deck is built. He is optimistic that the views of the D.C. skyline will not be obstructed by buildings on the north side of the stadium. Construction is proceeding ahead of schedule, thanks to decent weather so far.
There are renewed discussions about building a stadium for the D.C. United soccer team, possibly as early as 2009. If so, they would only be the sole tenants of RFK Stadium for one year after the Nationals leave. It is expected to seat about 27,000 fans, and will be located on the south side of the Anacostia River, just across from the Nationals' new stadium. Bureaucratic hurdles involving the transfer of the land from the Federal government to the D.C. government may cause further delays, however. See Washington Post.
New visitor Don Glorisi informs me that the New York Jets had already changed their name from the "Titans" (remember?) by 1963, the final season they played in the Polo Grounds. Duly noted! He should know, he saw the Jets' final game of the 1963 season, which was probably the last sporting event ever played in the Polo Grounds! Speaking of which, I wonder what the Nationals' final game at RFK Stadium next year will be like? They are scheduled to play the Phillies on Sunday, Sept. 23.