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Details Emerge on Nationals Park Entertainment Venue

Nationals Park Entertainment Venue rendering

Details are emerging on a proposed entertainment venue that would be attached to Nationals Park, with the Washington Nationals to develop the 35,000-square-foot structure. 

Located where First Street and Potomac Avenue SE meet (near Nationals Park’s First Base Gate), the space would be constructed as the result of a partnership between the Nationals and Events D.C. It is expected to offer street-level access and connectivity to Nationals Park, while featuring two enclosed floors with a partially covered rooftop space. Among its amenities could include a ground floor bar, three restaurants, and a flexible seating concept on the rooftop that could accommodate special events.

Under terms of a contract between the Nationals and Events D.C.–which serves as the District’s convention and sports authority–a total of $3.6 million toward the construction cost would be paid for by Events D.C., with the Nationals to foot the remainder of the bill and serve as the developer of the venue. The contract was approved by Events D.C. in April, and was turned over to the D.C. Council this month. More from the Washington Business Journal:

The genesis of the deal stems from some longstanding obligations Events D.C. has under the the zoning order that governs the stadium. That order required Events D.C.’s predecessor, the Washington D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, to build an additional 46,000 square feet of retail, services, entertainment or arts uses on the stadium premises. Only about 11,000 of that 46,000 square feet was ever built, which has meant that the stadium has only held a temporary certificate of occupancy for the past 11 years.

The contract between Events D.C. and the Nats specifies that the Nats will not pay any additional rent for the new space. The one possible exception would be if any tickets for admission to the entertainment space also include a ticket to a home game, which may be tallied as it pertains to additional rent tied to attendance in the lease.

The Nats will serve as the space’s developer, and will pay the remainder of the construction costs, which are expected to be substantial. Events D.C. will not be responsible for maintenance costs or capital improvements to the facility, according to the contract. The Nationals will keep all the revenue from the venue, which is expected to generate $22.75 million per year.

The D.C. Council has until Sept. 14 to review the contract. If no resolution to approve or disapprove the contract is introduced, the contract will be deemed approved at that time. If a resolution is introduced, the review period is extended to 45 days from Sept. 3, when the contract was submitted to council.

Nationals Park opened in 2008. Although it did not happen immediately after the ballpark debuted, development has taken off in the surrounding area in recent years, and an entertainment venue could bolster the addition of new amenities.

Rendering courtesy Gensler. 

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