The math of stadium financing always seems to be addition. Nationals Park opened in 2008, and the $693 million ballpark was entirely paid for through public funding. Now, according to multiple reports out of Washington, the Nats have approached local officials about building a retractable roof over the stadium, with taxpayers once again picking up the tab.
The news was first reported by both CBS DC and NBC Washington: Nats executives have made overtures to district officials, including in the mayor's office, about a proposal to construct a roof costing $300 million. Possibly because it's raining today, I don't know. They even had drawings of what it would look like!
According to the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, the Nats' owner approached D.C.'s mayor directly.
Source: Ted Lerner met with Mayor Gray with a proposal for a $300 million retractable roof over Nats Park. Gray was "shocked," said no.
— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) November 26, 2013
It's insane that they even asked. Washington just approved $50 million in public money to make improvements to the Verizon Center, and is moving closer to spending $150 million to build D.C. United a new soccer-specific stadium. Actually, given that D.C. is handing out stadium subsidies like candy, maybe it wasn't crazy that the Nationals asked.
Neither the mayor's office nor the Nationals have offered comment on the reports.