So, where are all of these magical spaces supposed to come from?
Slightly more than 1,200 spaces will be available for premium-ticket holders in three garages at the stadium. But to accommodate a sellout crowd at the ballpark, planners say, as many as 8,000 more spaces will be needed for fans who don’t use Metro.
No matter how many times Mayor Fenty and Ted Lerner try to put a big happy smiley face on things, this is still going to be a mess. To expect that you’ll be able to magically conjure up an extra 8,000 parking spaces in a city which is estimated to run out of real estate in twenty years is not good management. I’m glad that they have smart people behind it, but until I start seeing some smart people’s actions, I can only assume that this is going to be a colossal mess.
And sure, you can make all the jokes you want about how the Nationals couldn’t draw a sellout crowd if the life of the franchise depended on it. But the sellout crowds next year are going to be due to the new stadium, not the team. This parking issue isn’t just something that is going to go away. So many questions are left to be answered. Where are we going to find space for these 8,000 spaces? How much extra is this going to cost? If you manage to find the space, how will it effect traffic? How far will the lots be from the stadium? Will people actually want to park there as a viable alternative to Metro? And so on.
Not to mention the extra strain that this puts on the Metro system, which had a whole station break down this week due to – and I’m not kidding – “heat”.
If you’re not concerned about this impending transit disaster, well, at least you’re in good company.
“We certainly have a lot of challenges and a lot of work to get done,” [D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission Executive Gregory] O’Dell said, offering no immediate proposal for the parking problem.
Well, at least he’s honest.