Results tagged ‘ Nationals Park ’
On this day 10 years ago, the Washington Nationals announced the official transfer of ownership from Major League Baseball to an ownership group headed by Theodore N. Lerner and his son Mark D. Lerner, sons-in-law Edward L. Cohen and Robert K. Tanenbaum and their families.
At the time of the announcement, Managing Principal Owner Ted Lerner stated, “It has long been my dream to bring the national pastime back to my hometown, the nation’s capital. Now that it’s been realized, I plan on doing everything I can to make sure that this franchise becomes an international jewel for MLB, D.C. and the nation.”
We sat down with Nationals Principal Owner Mark D. Lerner, as he reflected on that special day a decade ago.
Could you describe the process of Major League Baseball handing over the team to you and your family?
It was a monumental task. Not only was our family taking over an entire organization, but we also were doing it in the middle of the season. It didn’t make things any easier that aspects of the team’s infrastructure were still based in Montreal. It took a number of years to really get our arms around it, hire the people we wanted and change the systems in place to ones we were comfortable with.
What were some of the first changes made after your family became owners of the team?
We wanted to make sure that when fans walked through the gates of RFK Stadium they knew there was a change. We spent 10 days cleaning RFK Stadium before our first home game as owners of the team. Prior to the start of that game, my family and I stood in front of RFK Stadium to greet fans as they came through the main turnstiles. From that moment on, we weren’t looking back, we were looking forward.
We gathered all the ushers and employees who would have face-to-face interaction with our fans and I told them that they were the face of the franchise – the first people fans see when they arrive, and the last people they see on their way home. We wanted to ensure that going to the ballpark was a great experience.
We were excited about the opportunity to take the organization to new heights. Our goal was to create an organization with a tradition of excellence, both on and off the field. I feel we have accomplished this, but we will never stop trying to improve.
Could you describe the moment it really hit you that you owned a Major League Baseball franchise?
The real celebration was on the morning of May 3, 2006, when Commissioner Selig called my dad to tell us that we were selected to purchase the team over 12 other groups that were bidding for the franchise. It was a special moment for our entire family, especially my dad, and I’ll never forget where I was when we got the call.
That evening, we had a major press conference, the first one our family had ever participated in, followed by a groundbreaking ceremony for Nationals Park the next morning. It certainly was an amazing 24 hours for my family and me.
What is it like to own a team in your family’s hometown?
It is an incredible honor for our family. We had never done anything in the public eye like this before, but owning a baseball team in your hometown is a special opportunity.
We operate the Nationals for our fans. Our fan base has entrusted us to run the organization, and this trust is something that we take very seriously. It is our duty not only to provide first-class entertainment, but to give back to the surrounding community. We were so honored to be selected as stewards of the Washington Nationals and we are proud to have been a part of bringing the national pastime back to the nation’s capital.
Thank you, Mark, for chatting with us, and congratulations to your family on this very special anniversary!
Local vendors and restaurants have one more week to send in their culinary concepts!
The Nationals strive to bring tasty additions to the ballpark each season in an effort to keep the guest experience fresh and exciting. In 2015, the Nationals unveiled several new concessions at Nationals Park, including grilled cheese sandwiches and decadent mac and cheese at Throwin’ Cheese in Section 130, and New York-style thin-crust pizza at Enzo’s Pizza in Sections 214 and 225. In May, Virginia Country Kitchen opened in Section 113, offering delicious homemade biscuits and Virginian beer and wine.
Nats fans have embraced these new concessions, and during the 2015 season, guests at Nationals Park consumed:
- More than 73,000 pizza slices from Enzo’s
- More than 11,000 biscuits from Virginia Country Kitchen
- Nearly 10,500 grilled cheeses from Throwin’ Cheese
Through the “Pitch Your Product” culinary showcase, your concession could be the next big thing at Nationals Park during the 2016 season!
The Nationals are giving local vendors and restaurants the chance to pitch their culinary concepts to be sold at Nationals Park during the 2016 season. Businesses from D.C., Maryland and Virginia have the exciting opportunity to have their product featured at a Major League ballpark.
“We are always looking for opportunities to offer a greater variety of local culinary flavors at Nationals Park,” said Valerie Camillo, Nationals Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer. “We believe the ‘Pitch Your Product’ showcase will help us achieve this goal, while also giving vendors and restaurants from across D.C., Maryland and Virginia the chance to expand their visibility.”
Here’s how it works:
- Those interested must email email@example.com with their contact information and a brief description of their culinary concept.
- Applications will then be sent to select candidates.
- Individual food products and restaurant brands will both be considered, and finalists will be invited to formally present their concession idea to a panel of judges at Nationals Park in December.
- The deadline to apply is Friday, November 27.
- Additional details and guidelines are available at nationals.com/concessions. Some restrictions may apply.
And here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
- All restaurants and suppliers must be able to complete and submit the requirements listed here.
- Vendors and restaurants must be locally based and have a maximum of five restaurants.
May the odds be ever in your “flavor!”
As we prepare to gather with friends and family next week to celebrate Thanksgiving, this time of year provides a natural forum for personal reflection. We here at the Washington Nationals have been doing just that recently – thinking of all we have to be thankful for this holiday season – as we continue the countdown to Opening Day 2014.
Over the course of the next week, we plan to share some of the reasons we are thankful, with stories about the people and organizations that have made a truly meaningful impact in our community.
And, in the spirit of the season, we’re asking you to do the same.
Tell us what you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving and be entered to win a chance to take your family’s holiday photo on the field at Nationals Park!
All you have to do is let us know who or what you’re thankful for, and why, in the comment section below. Please keep your entry under 150 words, and be sure to check back to see what your fellow Nationals fans are thankful for this year.
What we’re thankful for this year: