Rich Tandler's Nationals blog.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Football at the ballpark?

I hadn't heard much about this before, but apparently a football game could be played at Nationals Park later this year.

According to HometownAnnapolis.com, the Congressional Bowl is slated to kick off on December 20, 2008. The participants would be an ACC team and one of the service academies. Navy has signed to play in the inaugural event, which will be televised by ESPN.


The game will be played at either RFK Stadium or at Nationals Park. The latter, of course, is a newly-opened facility designed for baseball only. How would they fit a football field there?


The answer is not very well. Any configuration would have some drawbacks.


Playing around with some scale drawings, there would be three ways to fit the field into the ballpark. There's the right field option:

This would make the first-base line seats, the ones with the view of the Capitol dome in the upper deck, the prime location. However, it would leave the center field pavilion, aka the revenue center, too distant to be of much use.

The center field option probably would be the best in terms of the field itself—more room along the sidelines and in the end zone with the exception of the corners. However, it's obvious that it wouldn't work as the sideline seats are too distant.


The left field configuration probably would work best:

That puts the CF pavilion into the action and the Red Porch as well. The press box would be in the corner of the end zone, just like it is at FedEx. There are plenty of sideline seats, the ones for which you can get top dollar.


But just because they can fit a football field in there, does that mean that they should? I'm sure that most readers here would rather they didn't.


However, there are 611 million reasons why the DC government would be inclined to do so. They need to recoup the massive investment in the ball park and a bowl game that can draw 25,000 to 35,000 three months before the baseball season starts can bring in some cash to help pay for the ballpark.


You can like it or not, but the reality is what it is.

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