The Washington Nationals, soon to be the owners of a new $610.8 million facility almost exclusively paid for by the public, have stated prior that they would be investing as much as $50 million for improvements to the ballpark before its opening. To date, they have only fulfilled a fraction of that amount, $8 million.
As reported by Tim Lemke of the Washington Times:
The team's contributions include between $2.5 million and $3 million for an expansion of the ballpark's center-field restaurant, about $2 million to improve the stadium suites and about $3 million to upgrade the scoreboard and video display.
The stadium is being funded largely by D.C. bonds backed by a ballpark fee on many businesses, taxes on concessions and tickets, a utility tax and an annual rent payment from the team.
The Nationals are required by their agreement with the District to provide $20 million by the end of the year to help the city complete the ballpark, and the team has contributed about $3 million toward insurance and various inspection and certification fees.
"For now, we have no additional comment about ownership's contribution to the ballpark," a spokesman for the Nationals said.
The dispute between what is deemed to be “improvements” to the ballpark continue with the Nationals and the DCSEC. In mid-July, the Nationals filed a request for arbitration with the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission associated to the purchase of furniture, fixtures, and equipment, which the Nationals feel they should not pay for.
(See details on the New Nationals Ballpark, including high resolution renderings and a computer animated “fly-through”)
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.
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