Nats Owner: 'How About A Roof On Our Stadium?' D.C.: 'Nope.' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Nats Owner: 'How About A Roof On Our Stadium?' D.C.: 'Nope.'

Play associated audio
During the 2013 season, the team had five rainouts.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/3617886427/
During the 2013 season, the team had five rainouts.

A roof over Nationals Park? Probably not going to happen, at least not with taxpayer funds.

In mid-July the owner of the Washington Nationals met with Mayor Vincent Gray to ask that the city spend $300 million to build a roof over Nationals Park, a request that Gray quickly shot down.

The news of the request by owner Ted Lerner was first reported by NBC Washington on Tuesday evening.

According to the Washington Post, Gray was "polite but unequivocal,” telling Lerner that no public funds would be forthcoming. “We are not going to spend taxpayer money to put a roof on the stadium, regardless of the cost," said an administration official.

The Washington Business Journal reports that Gray "started laughing" after the request was made.

Lerner and team officials have not commented on the expensive ask; Forbes has listed Lerner as the sixteenth-richest sports team owner in the world, with a net worth of $4 billion.

Nationals Park was built with taxpayer funds, costing the city some $700 million. The team pays $5.5 million in annual rent, and while the city is on the hook for capital improvements, the team is allowed to sell the park's naming rights.

During the 2013 season, the team had five rainouts.

D.C. is currently negotiating land swaps as part of a deal to build a new stadium for D.C. United at Buzzard Point; the city's total contribution would amount to $150 million, with another $150 million coming from the team. There have also been persistent rumors that the city could coax the Washington Redskins into coming back to the city with a new stadium or training facility.

Earlier this month Council member Vincent Orange (D-At Large) introduced a bill that would require D.C. to study the possibility of building a 100,000-seat domed stadium complex at the site of RFK Stadium; the complex could be used to host Redskins games and help D.C. win the 2024 Summer Olympics bid some have expressed interest in.

NPR

'Welcome To Braggsville' Isn't Quite 'Invisible Man,' But It's Close

T. Geronimo Johnson's latest follows four Berkeley students who take an American history class that leads to disaster. It's an ambitious book about race that wants to say something big about America.
NPR

Why Shark Finning Bans Aren't Keeping Sharks Off The Plate (Yet)

Fewer shark fins are being imported into Hong Kong, the epicenter of shark-fin soup, a culinary delicacy. But while the trade in shark fins may be down, the trade in shark meat is still going strong.
NPR

Peace Corps Teams Up With First Lady To 'Let Girls Learn'

The Peace Corp will recruit and train about 650 additional volunteers to focus on girls' education around the world. The expansion is part of a larger program launched by Michelle Obama Tuesday.
NPR

FAA Is Trying To Keep Hackers Out Of Air Traffic Control, Official Says

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta tells a House panel that some vulnerabilities reported in a congressional study have been fixed, and the agency is working on others.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.