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Highlights from the Christian Science Monitor sports section
2006-05-16 10:16
by Bob Timmermann

It's where I go first for all my sports news!

Terence P. Jeffrey writes in the Christian Science Monitor with a critique of the design for the new DC ballpark.

The new stadium, which will cost Washington more than $600 million, is designed to have 41,000 seats but only 1,225 parking spaces. Instead of parking lots, it will be surrounded by a new "entertainment district" featuring restaurants, bars, and retail stores.

Why so few parking spaces? To force people to take government-controlled mass transit. That will make attending games more difficult and more expensive (requiring multiple round-trip Metro tickets) for families - particularly those that live in suburban or more rural areas not immediately adjacent to the mass-transit system.

2006-05-16 10:26:40
1.   Berkeley Doug
I fail to understand how this would make going to the game more expensive. Has anyone ever parked at a ballpark for less than $10, plus gas. Even with buying multiple tickets, I can't imagine that would be more expensive.
2006-05-16 10:28:51
2.   DXMachina
Mass transit is a government conspiracy?

I used to subscribe to the Monitor. I don't remember it being that inflammatory.

Also, I almost threw up in my mouth a little when I read this:

"Baseball may not embody the American spirit as fully as football does"

2006-05-16 10:32:06
3.   DXMachina
Actually, if you get there early enough, you can park within easy walking distance of Shea for free. On the other hand, you'll spend the $10 on bridge tolls, so...
2006-05-16 12:57:04
4.   grandcosmo
1. Why would you think having 1/8 as many parking spaces available as the existing stadium wouldn't make it more expensive?

If you are coming from outside of where the train runs you will have to drive to a train station, then pay for parking and tickets each way and then drive home. Also since there are obviously many fewer parking spots than cars driving to the stadium people will be forced to pay for off-site parking which is going to be substantially more than $10.

2. The article is labeled Opinion/Commentary.

2006-05-16 13:02:32
5.   joejoejoe
That's a syndicated column.

Terry Jeffrey is editor of Human Events, a very conservative journal. This piece reads like he wrote it sucking on a lemon. I love the dig at the government-controlled mass transit system, as though the massive highway infrastructure was built by Horatio Alger. It's a joy going to a ballgame on public transit - zero stress and full of the buzz of the game riding with other fans. About 25 million people use the DC Metro, making 190 million trips a year (per MTA). If Jeffery isn't one of them or can't park at a commuter lot (for free) - that's his problem. The Nats will have plenty of happy fans taking the train to the ballpark.

2006-05-16 13:02:39
6.   Bob Timmermann
The author is the editor of Human Events and is identified as such underneath the article.
2006-05-16 13:03:47
7.   Bob Timmermann
I want to know how a much longer post beat my short one by seven seconds.
2006-05-16 13:11:49
8.   joejoejoe
7 "I want to know how a much longer post beat my short one by seven seconds."

My post took government-controlled mass transit. It's very efficient!

2006-05-16 13:22:02
9.   Bob Timmermann
Sort of like how I can take an "express" train home or a "regular" train and the difference in time traveled is two minutes.
2006-05-16 14:08:38
10.   Steve
That will make attending games more difficult and more expensive (requiring multiple round-trip Metro tickets) for families - particularly those that live in suburban or more rural areas not immediately adjacent to the mass-transit system.

As the father of three daughters, I will simply state that this is true.

2006-05-16 16:33:39
11.   DXMachina
5 & 6
Yeah, I knew he wasn't with the Monitor (although I didn't know what Human Events was), but someone at the Monitor decided to print it.

What's ironic is that the Monitor's home office is about half a mile from Fenway Park, one of the original "no parking" stadiums.

2006-05-16 17:33:18
12.   joejoejoe
10 I hope you get a chance to take your girls to a game regardless of the cost.

About the costs - it's $12 to park at RFK for an individual game. The max fare on the Metro is $3.90 each way. For two fans it's a wash with gas prices. For 4 fans it's an additional $4.80 a head (minus cost of gas, etc.). Compared to the cost of travelling to Baltimore or Philly for a game it's a bargain to take the Metro and pay the extra few bucks. DC would never have been awarded the franchise if they were going to stay in RFK. MLB made that clear. RFK was always meant to be temporary - much like the Dodgers playing in LA Coliseum before Dodger Stadium was built. I'm sure the cheap seats in the 92,000 friends LA Coliseum were very cheap but the Dodgers wanted the revenue a new ballpark could generate. What was true in 1958 is true in 2006. It's all about the money. Staying (and parking) at RFK was never an option in the long run.

2006-05-16 19:16:20
13.   Steve
I live in LA, so it's a moot issue for me re the subway. The issue is also not just costs; public mass transit is simply not a convenient or practical way of hauling around a family, regardless of where you live or where you are going. To put it simply, it's hard enough to take your kids to a public place for three hours, but to add on another who knows how long of traveling in public -- well, it's really no different from trying to fly with them.

I recognize that the political argument was extremely cramped. But sometimes you catch a sniff of what city planners believe to be the "future" and you wonder if any of them have ever bothered dating, much less been married, much less had to cart three kids around town to get groceries or haircuts.

2006-05-16 22:17:34
14.   Andrew Shimmin
5- Did you mean Alger Hiss? I haven't read enough (though, I've read exactly as much as I'm willing to) to know if that joke makes sense as is. But it may be funnier to point the finger at communists than an early Michael Jackson impersonator. Hope there aren't any Alger fans here--I'm not accusing him of taking liberties with actual kids, I'm just saying. . .
2006-05-16 22:36:57
15.   Bob Timmermann
I found this article originally hidden in a pumpkin in my yard.
2006-05-16 22:47:08
16.   Linkmeister
15 Yeah, yeah. Got a "Witness?"
2006-05-17 08:56:34
17.   Steve
Ever been to Verona, Bob?
2006-05-17 10:06:21
18.   Bob Timmermann
I thought it was Venona.
2006-05-17 10:06:51
19.   joejoejoe
14 Horatio Alger was the author of 130 dime story books, most all of them focusing on ragged youth rising from their circumstances through hard work and self determination. From his Wikipedia bio:

"Many of his works have been described as rags to riches stories, illustrating how down-and-out boys might be able to achieve the American dream of wealth and success through hard work, courage, determination, and concern for others."

I was poking fun at Jeffrey mocking the public transit system as a government hand out but not the government roads that he would take to attend games. The hero is every Alger book followed a formula of success of luck, pluck and virtue - apparently unlike the socialists like me who like taking the train.

2006-05-17 11:08:36
20.   Bob Timmermann

Ahh, a fellow traveler who takes the train and travels with ... fellow travelers ....

I knew it!

2006-05-17 11:22:38
21.   Andrew Shimmin
19- The rags to riches boys found success through hard work, courage, determination, and, in the end, catching the eye of a wealthy patron. At least in the ones I read. Which was pretty creepy.
2006-05-17 12:09:40
22.   Steve
Venona, indeed.

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