Friday, July 25, 2008

Ballpark construction update

Today was about as nice a summer day as one could hope for at the end of July. Temperatures hovered in the low to mid 80's with negligible humidity. It was a great day to take a tour of the new downtown baseball stadium that is under construction as part of the $125-$160 million Harrison Square project. I think I can safely say that stadium is going to be nice.

I know there is/was a good deal of turmoil surrounding the approval of the new ballpark. I questioned the need to spend the taxpayer money, considering we have a fully functional stadium that is only 15 years old. Despite my feelings on the financials of the project, the fact is the stadium is going up. I'm a baseball fan first, and I'm starting to get excited about shooting in this new park.

Right now people huff and puff about the project, but when they watch a game in the new park I think attitudes will change. The other big complaint for the downtown location was parking. The people who use that as their excuse must have never gone to Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs. good luck finding a spot in the same area code as Wrigley. People here in the Fort need to get accustomed to the fact that they can't expect to always park across the street from where they want to go. Besides, there will be plenty of parking.

Hey, didn't someone rank the Fort as one of the fattest cities in America due to the ratio of the number of buffet restaurants to the census population totals? Maybe walking a couple of extra blocks to the games will do some good. I know I could use the exercise.

Anyway, the stadium is taking shape. Many of the concrete risers that will hold the seats are poured and soon the radius section behind home plate will be poured. Speaking of that, Wizards fans can expect to see some great new views of the game being right down at field level instead of sitting 10 feet up from the field. Either next week or the week following, crew are scheduled to start the final field excavations to prepare for the installation of the new sod in mid-September. Excavators will remove five feet of earth to install the drainage system and build up the layers of stone, gravel and sand that will support the playing surface.


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