Vincent Gray lobbies for all-star game in Washington


(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

That D.C. is lobbying for an all-star game is nothing new. Post columnists have been making the case for years, and Kilgore’s story last week made it clear that the city is on board. Kilgore’s words:

Twenty-six cities have hosted the all-star game since RFK Stadium hosted it two generations ago. The Nationals and the District would like that to change, and they expect it will. They have been waiting since Nationals Park opened in 2008 to bring the Midsummer Classic to the nation’s capital. The Nationals have petitioned the commissioner’s office and the city has planned for the showcase eventually to come.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray upped his lobbying over the weekend, devoting his weekly radio address to a plea to Major League Baseball. After noting that 2017 appears to be the first available slot, Gray said his administration is “making a case to Commissioner Selig that the District is unquestionably ready to serve as the venue for that game.” (Read the full text here.)

“The case practically makes itself,” he said. “In 2008, when Nationals Park opened, there was very little in the way of businesses around the stadium. But, in the last couple of years, residential, retail and business development in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood has taken off like a rocket. The ballpark area has thousands of new residents – with more apartments, condominiums and townhomes opening all the time.

“There are several new options for food and drink in the area that have opened just this season, including the Gordon Biersch Brewery and the Park Tavern in the beautiful new Canal Park. Soon The Boilermaker Shops will open just around the corner from the stadium, with numerous opportunities for food and entertainment. And we have excellent new infrastructure and recreation options in the neighborhood, including The Yards Park, Diamond Teague Park, DC Circulator service, Capital Bikeshare stations and, of course, the Navy Yard/Ballpark Metro station.

“Without question, the neighborhood around Nationals Park is arriving as a true mixed-use neighborhood for living, working, and playing.  With plenty more development in the pipeline, Capitol Riverfront will be absolutely brimming with life and commerce by 2017. It will be the perfect place to host the all-star game and showcase our great city!”

Gray further noted how the city handled last fall’s baseball playoffs, and the recent Delta Sigma Theta centennial, and then praised the city’s “multiple forms of efficient and inexpensive public transportation – including the return of streetcar service to the District by the end of this year.”

Betcha it’s the streetcars that finally push us over the edge. Either that, or Gordon Biersch.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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