Washington, DC Agency May Stop Nationals From Playing Home Games In October

The Washington stadium owner has angered the local agency.

Does Major League Baseball have a Washington Nationals problem? The answer, at least in the very short term, is yes. The Washington, DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs claims it will not renew the temporary certificate of occupancy that Nationals ownership was given in 2008 so baseball games could be staged at the Washington ballpark. The certificate of occupancy expires on September 30th. The baseball team is scheduled to play home games on October 1st and 2nd. If the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs pulls the certificate of occupancy, the team would not be able to play those games at the Washington stadium. Additionally, other events could not take place in the building.

The dispute is rather simple. Events DC, which runs the Nationals baseball facility, has not delivered on a promise to build a ballpark-village. That development was supposed to include 46,000 square feet of space for shops, services, entertainment, and art. The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs continued to issue temporary certificate of occupancy to allow events to take place in the venue. But now, the local agency has had enough and wants Events DC to show the department concrete plans for development. Events DC put out a long statement that included some vague reason that the village was not developed and then added that the Nationals’ ownership led by the Lerner family, “had a plan for the potential retail and entertainment space that was supported by Events DC and approved by DC Council in 2019, but due to the pandemic those plans did not come to fruition.” The Lerner family has put the team up for sale. The franchise owners had hoped the initial round of bidding for the business would be completed by the end of the 2022 season. Now there is an occupancy problem.

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