So, the DC Council fell over itself trying to get a baseball team. This despite the fact that Northern Virginia was more than willing to pony up for the team. I understand the need to develop along the Anacostia River, but past stadiums have had mixed records of vitalizing city neighborhoods. Sure, we can point to the Verizon Center as a success story, but those success stories are the exception rather than the rule. The city was taking a huge risk.
The risk was especially huge since the National were going to be a regional team. I've always argued that living in Bethesda or Alexandria was really no different than living by Dupont Circle. It's all the DC Metro Area. And those Bethesda and Alexandria residents are going to end up rooting for the Nationals.
So, I guess the Council should be pissed when the Nationals host their annual black-tie dinner in PG County and host their "FanFest" in Bethesda. After all, how much money did Maryland shell out for the team? And their hotels and businesses get to reap the benefits? It's a dick move by the team.
BUT WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU EXPECT!?!?!
"We gave them a $611 million free stadium. I think that entitles us to have their gala at our businesses," council member Carol Schwartz (R-At Large) said.
The problem isn't what DC is entitled to. The problem is that we paid that much money for a team that was, rightfully, going to exploit the Maryland and Virginia markets. The whole point of having a team in Washington is the access to wealthy suburbanites in one of the fastest growing regions in America.
Emily Durso, president of the Hotel Association of Washington, D.C., said she learned about a month ago of the team's plans and called Nationals executives. "I said, 'Please tell me this isn't true.' "
"They're moving all of the events to the suburbs," she said. "The Bethesda one was, like, uh-oh, is this a trend? I've told them we understand that they are a regional team, but the hotels here pay for the stadium."
Yes they do. Sucks to be you. Further proof that the legislation giving away $611,000,000.00 was the worst kind of bullshit. We were operating under the assumption that whoever bought the team would give a shit about the city. They don't. They give a shit about the area. And when you're living in an area as restrictively small as DC, then there is no reason to fund these teams. The R*d*k*ns play in PG County and no one acts like they aren't Washington's team. We could have done the same for the Nationals. I hope Linda Cropp, Jack Evans, and Anthony Williams are all enjoying their crow.