Baseball finished their latest round of usage of the now aged R-F-K stadium today, just a scant few years after moving the former Montreal Expos into that stadium to become the new Washington Nationals franchise.
The last 3 years have seen fans put up with an old ball park with poor service at the concession stands, stairs that are a total pain to climb, ramps that wind up and down to take fans to the their seats in the upper decks, and inconveniences like railings that sit so close to the seats that fans in the front row areas have no room for their legs to park in.
But there have also been fun times too. A team that was surprisingly competitive in the first half of their first year in town (unfortunately around the All Star break of that season they seemed to wake up and realize they weren't Cinderella, or perhaps they were but the clock ran out on them). Wins that shocked their opponents, including a memorable win where rookie phenom Ryan Zimmerman jacked a walk-off home run against the New York Yankees. Some home run shots that might still be travelling by some power hitters on the team.
I won't miss the concession stands at all. Lines that were always too long and service that was always too slow. I won't miss the fact that when you stood at the lines for the stands you normally missed much of the action of the game because there were few TVs spread throughout R-F-K to keep you in touch with what was going on. Just as few were the speakers and radio broadcasts to hear the action on.
Next season will bring a state-of-the-art stadium with all of the bells and whistles -- assuming the ownership doesn't cheap out on their contributions to the stadium's 'upgradeds' -- and hopefully the seating there will be something I'll be happy with after the team gets done with their handling and processing of the season ticket transition from the old stadium to the new. I hope to be saying that I love the new stadium after the first game there, and again after the 10th or 16th, or 34th and others.
For now though, it's goodbye R-F-K.