14 March 2006

DC ballpark design unveiled

Now that a lease has been signed and a date has been set to evict current landowners, it's time to show conceptual drawings of the new Washington Nationals' ballpark.

The 41,000-seat stadium will have:
  • 22,000 lower bowl seats
  • 2,500 regular club seats (mezzanine)
  • 12,100 upper level seats
  • 1,800 indoor club seats
  • 78 suites (1,112 seats) on three levels
  • 10,000 square-foot restaurant/bar
  • 6,000 square-foot conference center
  • 10,000 square-foot picnic area
  • 10,000 square-foot youth traning area
  • 28,000 square feet of concessions space
  • 7,700 square feet of souvenir/merchandise space
  • 1,100 restroom fixtures
What's your take on the design? Would you like to see the A's have something like this? Or perhaps something more retro? I'll say one thing: working media aren't going to like the high perch of that press box at the top of the stadium.


Chairman Grey said...

That sucker's ugly. The entrance behind home plate jutting out like that makes no sense visually.

Kenny said...

It's a design that can only work in DC. The facade is like an update of the Classic Revival/Beaux Arts that is common in DC. I was hoping for the real Classic Revival/Beaux Arts look. The design fits in while it would look downright ugly anywhere else.

As for a new A's ballpark. I would like a departure from the retro look. The Giants have the retro, as team distinct from the San Francisco Giants, they need a different look for their park.

Jeff said...

Is it just me or does there appear to a hint of a nod to the horse shoe shape of the old Polo Grounds in NY?

tony d. said...

Well, the good news is that they're getting their ballpark. The bad news is, well...Dave's right! It looks like many a modern football stadium CUT IN HALF! Maybe it will look different when it's actually built. As for the future ballpark for our A's, I was thinking perhaps retro in the Jacobs Field/Petco Park sense; no red brick, lots of exposed steel and glass (perhaps a loft-like, industrial facade).

jrbh said...

The main things I noticed:

(1) It *is* ugly. Nothing to really distinguish it at all, and no gathering places or visual focal points. It's utilitarian, at best.

(2) But only if you're rich. You'd have to be nuts to spend a dime for a seat in the upper deck, which is miles from the field.

(3) More pointlessly "quirky" outfield dimensions. Great.

(4) No foul territory, even by modern standards.

It's hard to believe this thing is so expensive.

Vis. this look vs. the retro look, I vote for neither. I don't want some faux-brick, cookie cutter bullshit, and I don't want an undistinguished park designed exclusively for wealthy and corporate interests, like the DC one. I want something architecturally distinguished with the inevitable nod to corporate fucks, but also a sense of democracy and community to it, too.

Anonymous said...

Hey M.L.,
I wasn't aware that we could use profanity on your site...COOL!

Marine Layer said...

I'm not into censorship. I'm not into poor taste and bad grammar either.

jrbh is right - the thing is going to be tall, the upper deck vertigo-inducing. I'd like to see a cross-section of it just to see how bad that upper deck is. With two levels of luxury suites AND a small club mezzanine, it could be almost as bad as US Cellular/New Comiskey. The only thing that will keep it from being as steep as USCF is a stipulation that the upper deck can't be more than 35 degrees.

Should Wolff/360 hold true to their two-deck concept, the highest seat could be 20-30 feet lower than a comparable seat in the DC ballpark.

peanut gallery said...

I don't find it to be ugly or beautiful. It's just totally blah to me. jrbh called it utilitarian. I'd agree with that assessment.

I too hate these needlessly quirky dimensions. There is a reason that Fenway is the way it is. The phone company park in SF has a reason to be the way it is. But these silly stadia in Houston, for example, and now DC are just so lame. They're trying too hard to be something they have no reason to be.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree, quirkiness is quaint when dictated by neccessity, but irritating when done for novelty. I still think it vaguely resembles the old Polo grounds. All in all, it's not a very inspirational design. Utilitarion seems to be the best description. Hopefully someone decides to re-think the concept and strive for something a little more endearing.

I for one hope that Wolfe adds more seats for the A' least something that approachs 40K. Hopefully there will be natural nuances that inspire some originality.

pslade said...

Honestly, the main bowl looks a whole lot like a bigger version of Great American Ballpark in Cincy, which is not a very good example of this new wave of ballparks. Very disappointing, and actually inferior to the designs put together for the Expos before they left Montreal for Washington.

Georob said...

Frankly, the design of the thing is the LAST thing I care about at this point. However, it would appear that the "retro" look has been overdone and its time to look beyond the box.

Should San Jose(or even Fremont) be the destination, I would hope that a Spanish-style would be given consideration. However, since San Diego was unable to pull it off, I'm doubtful for anywhere else.

And if Wolff insists on a 35,000 max facility, I'd hope he'd consider leaving room for temporary bleacher seating behind the outfield wall that could easily be used for big games and rolled away the rest of the year so that you don't see empty seats.

Anonymous said...

If it's build here in Oakland I should think an art deco inspired park would look nice. Oakland, outside of Chicago has the largest and denses collection of art deco buildings in the coutry. I just read that somewhere.

Anyway, industrial loft look would work too. I just don't care that much for fake old style ball parks.