The D.C. City Council has granted a request from the Washington Nationals, giving the team permission to place electronic billboards outside of Nationals Park.
In November, the Nationals and D.C. officials seemed to be reaching a consensus on the proposal. Provided certain conditions, including a maximum of five screens, the Nationals would be allowed to carry out plans to install the billboards on the ballpark’s exterior.
The proposal moved to the D.C. City Council on Tuesday. While certain neighborhood groups opposed the billboards, arguing that they would create an unwanted nuisance while disturbing views of surrounding attractions, the council voted by a wide margin to allow the signs . More from The Washington Post:
But a majority of the D.C. Council supported allowing the signs, saying they are appropriate in entertainment districts and can add value to neighborhood identity. Only council member Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) voted against the proposal at the final reading Tuesday. Now the bill moves to Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s desk.
The legislation will allow as many as five displays at the ballpark, with use limited to between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
The proposal is a scaled-down version of what the Nationals had requested. The original bill called for the installation of 10 LED screens that club officials said would generate $3 million to $5 million annually. The original bill also had extended operation hours from 6 a.m. to midnight.
The Nationals have cited the billboards as potential revenue generators for the team. Once the signs are finalized, the Nationals are expected to install them by 2018, the season in which Nationals Park will host the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
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