The Washington Nationals and Events DC have reportedly agreed to some $20-$22 million in Nationals Park updates for the 2024 season, including a new scoreboard.
Nationals Park opened for the 2008 MLB season, so some of the features of the ballpark are reaching the 15-year mark. One such feature: the main ballpark scoreboard and other signage, which dates back to the ballpark opening. In terms of technology, 15 years is a long time for digital signage to be in use; components die and, given how relatively cheap digital signage is when compared to 15 years ago, there’s very little upside to repair an ailing scoreboard vs. installing a new one.
So it’s little surprise that both the Nats and Events DC want to see a new scoreboard; as landlord, Nationals Park updates are the responsibility of Events DC. But like everything in D.C., spending between $20 million and $22 million is causing some political consternation on the D.C. Council, who are asking why that sort of money is being spent on a scoreboard. (Side note: the total of all the improvements, which apparently includes the buildout of Nationals Park space, is $20-$22 million.) From ABC 7:
“The Nationals have said the scoreboard is about to fall apart and they need a new scoreboard. It’s an expensive item and Events DC is how we provide the financing for maintaining the stadium,” Mendelson said. “The Nationals’ baseball stadium is owned by the District, and the District – under the terms of the lease – is required to provide maintenance and upkeep.”
Events D.C. confirmed the agreement with the city with the following statement:
Events DC negotiates with the Washington Nationals annually regarding capital improvements at the ballpark as part of our lease agreement obligations. These discussions and agreements are part of the regular business between a lessor and a lessee. Events DC has agreed to some of the team’s requirements for the 2024 lease year, which includes the scoreboard.