Went to the baseball game, and a mall broke out

Looks like I’m not the only one <A HREF=”http://www.fieldofschemes.com/news/archives/2006/03/baseball_at_300.html”> nonplussed by the new Washington Nationals stadium design. Today’s Washington Post, after exhaustive interviews with people shopping at a downtown chain sporting-goods store and a troll through some blogs – Woodstein must be so proud – reports that <A HREF=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/17/AR2006031702232.html”>while some like the glass-and-steel-and-painted-concrete design, others compared it “to a shopping mall, an office building or an airport.” (Also, George Will likes it, but Ralph Nader doesn’t. Ross Perot was presumably unavailable for comment.)

The most interesting comment is one lifted from the ballparkguys.com discussion board (or “chat room,” as the Post calls it):

A http://Ballparkguys.com contributor from the District identified as WebberDC gave the ballpark favorable ratings except for the row of club seats that forced architects to move the top deck higher.

“The club seat market in DC has been awful,” the person wrote. “The model is antiquated. . . . If you eliminate that deck, and consolidate decks 3 and 4, the park is perfect for all users. If you insist on club seats then you could place them in the lower third of the upper deck (note: still a two deck park) with its own concourse for exclusivity.”

If you look closely at the sketches, it’s actually one level of club seats plus a double deck of luxury suites that have shifted the top deck into the stratosphere, as the Washington City Paper <A HREF=”http://www.fieldofschemes.com/news/archives/2005/10/more_news_than.html”>reported last fall. But while eliminating some corporate seats to make for better views for the hoi polloi is certainly an idea I’ve endorsed before, I can see why it’d be a hard sell: It’s tough to tell an incoming owner that they’re expected to shell out $450 million just to be <A
HREF=”http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/nl/pnc819.jpg”>Pittsburgh.


One comment on “Went to the baseball game, and a mall broke out

  1. Once again it looks as if HOK has tried to hard. HOK has built nothing but retro baseball park since Camden Yards opened. HOK’s vision of a modern ballpark looks too retro.

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