Monday, January 14, 2008

Ridin' on the Me-tro-o-o

Dear God, do not try to drive to the Nats' new ballpark:

Washington Nationals fans without season tickets will find parking in the vicinity of the team's new ballpark virtually impossible because of a shortage of available lots, a team official said yesterday . . .

. . . The team has 4,000 parking spaces identified and secured, and anticipates having 1,000 more available in time for an exhibition game against the Orioles on March 29. It had hoped to secure between 5,000 and 7,000 spaces for this season. "We have a parking deficit around the ballpark," McCarthy said during a hearing of the council's economic development committee.

I don't know if this should be characterized as a situation of "shortages" and "deficits" as opposed to an expected by-product of building a close-in, neighborhood ballpark. There can't be less parking there than in, say, the area around Wrigley Field, right?

In any event, there's a wonderful subway system in Washington. Please use it.


Chris H said...

The difference, of course, is that Wrigley can honestly be said to have been built before anyone knew parking would be an issue.

McCarthy comes off as surprised, as though they've just happened upon the fact that parking is in short supply. What, did they think that if they built it, parking garages would come?

APBA Guy said...

Good advice, except that the majority of the suburban population they are trying to reach as a fan base is a good distance from the metro.

Still, the team should be bringing incremental parking online throughout the next year as redevelopment projects finish in the area and parking structures are completed.

Grant said...

There's parking at outlying Metro stations, though, so riding the metro should really never be an issue. Greenbelt, New Carrollton, etc. all have acres of parking.

Voros "Craig's Wife" McCracken said...

There's not a ton of parking around Wrigley, but there's some. The actual Wrigley lot is minuscule to the point of irrelevancy.

The difference is control of those revenues. Because the park was there long before parking revenues were even an afterthought, what happened was local property owners with enough land to park cars have been able to make money selling parking on the day of games.

There used to be a huge lot run by a convent and the Nuns would come out and take cash wearing Cubs helmets. They closed down though. My understanding is that the Cubs can't really get at most of this money (they may have recently been able to get some of it).

I'm guessing that's where the Nationals gripe is. They'd rather not see local property owners make money that they see as rightfully theirs.

Shyster said...

Good point, Voros. And we note how their concern is voiced: "we'd hate for people to go into the near-by neighborhoods to park, which would bother the locals!" Yes, I'm sure many would get mad about the traffic, but a good number would also no doubt appreciate the economic opportunity.