Several news sources are reporting that a new stadium for the Potomac Nationals will be built alongside I-95 in the Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center development near Wegmans. Indications are that the stadium will not be built at taxpayer expense, but rather through naming rights and other private funding sources.
There is already a battle shaping up in the online comments over this with many people moaning and wailing over what will become of all the trees and wildlife. Others remark about the increased traffic as if people will be going to and from the stadium 24/7/365. Here’s a reality check on that front. In April, they played 9 home games; May had 18 home games (on 16 days – 2 double headers); June had 15 home games (on 12 days – 3 double headers); 14 games are scheduled for July; and 15 for August. (They play 3 away games in September.) That is a total of 66 days this year they are playing at home. Many of those games will be at 7:05 PM on weeknights after most daily commuter traffic in that area has subsided. Saturday night games usually begin around 6:35 PM while games played on Sunday afternoons are typically played at 1:05 PM. Again, these are not times where there is usually heavy traffic in the area.
Many people have taken a look at the proposed site and dismissed it out of hand as being too small for such a project. However, the adjacent Wegmans is 138,000 square feet. Fair territory at Fenway Park in Boston is 99,000. Even if the full playing field for this stadium including foul territory was the size of Wegmans, add on the seating and exterior and at most it would take up 1/3 of the area shown in the aerial photograph on InsideNOVA, so there should be plenty of additional space for parking.
I’m open to the possibilities with this, especially if VDOT makes some changes to the exits and entrances to I-95 at the exit to help facilitate the free-flow of traffic. Those who support this project should take care not to allow the same forces that took down Disney’s America in Western Prince William County nearly 20 years ago from dooming this project as well.