Just look how nice that ballpark looks. The new Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, looks exactly like what a new and modern baseball stadium should look like. If you don’t believe me, check out the photos from their opening day, the Twins won 5-2 over the Red Sox. It is, by all accounts, a gorgeous park. I only wish I had a brand new park to go to that fits so nicely into the cityscape and looks gorgeous on the outside and inside but sadly, I live in Washington DC and the team I follow is the Washington Nationals.
See, the Washington Nationals did just get a brand new baseball stadium, it opened up in 2008, was paid for by the District of Columbia and essentially handed over to the Nationals after being built. Not taking into consideration how the stadium was built, you’d think I, the baseball fan, would be grateful for not having to watch any more baseball games at RFK Stadium anymore. You might think that, but strangely enough, while watching games at Nationals Park is a newer and cleaner experience it isn’t necessarily better. Nationals Park is yet another example of the Washington Nationals franchise missing a chance to have something special and settling for being mediocre.
The best thing I can say about this stadium is that it is new and therefore, relatively clean. Also, it does have one gorgeous and gigantic big screen tv in the outfield…that doesn’t always work right. That is about it. Those 2 things. Clean stadium, big TV. Everything else about the park is extremely non-descript, except for the ill-conceived “motion” statues they have in the main entryway to the park.
Does that look like a good idea to you? Walter Johnson has like 5 arms there. Kinda weird. Pretty awful art in my mind.
I understood the want to get away from the red bricked baseball stadiums that had been built before. I understood the want to have a color scheme to “fit into Washington”…i just don’t think that making the stadium look like HUD was the right call. Also, doing away with limestone for concrete was a great budget call…but it looks like it. Its cheap and ugly. I can go on like this for hours really, but for word count’s sake, i’ll cut it short here by saying, the building was built cutting corners and it shows.
Now, this doesn’t mean I am not going to stop going to the park, its not a horrible experience by any means…just a very bland one. Its yet another opportunity missed by the Washington Nationals. A constant reminder of a million ways that the team could’ve tried harder to not take for granted the many baseball starved fans of this city and do something special for them. Sure you can say “but Chimp, DC built the Stadium, not the Nationals, blame them!” but to that I say, nothing was stopping the Nationals owners from chipping in some cash to make the stadium a magical place. They didn’t and they got a building built by the government and it looks like a government building. Instead of a shrine to baseball, Nationals Park has all the charm of a convention center.
I’ll still go to the games, but i’m not going to lie and say that it is going to be a beautiful day at the park. It’l just be ok…and man am I jealous of what they have up there in Minnesota.