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[July 8th] -- Curiouser and curiouser, no doubt about it. Although Major League Baseball and the D.C. City Council aren't directly involved any more, the fighting continues. On Thursday, the Zoning Commission approved Mayor Anthony Williams' concept of having the stadium parking garages partially underground and surrounded by a veneer of retail and residential complexes. Developer Herb Miller says, if given the go-ahead by the City Council this Tuesday, he can get the structure completed by opening day 2008. Stan Kasten and the Lerner's, however, don't believe it.

Kasten issued a statement on Saturday indicating that the new ownership group will go apoplectic if the City Council approves the Zoning Commission's version of the parking garages. Kasten says that this could push back the stadium completion timetable far enough that the team will lose tens of millions of dollars. No no no no! says the Lerners. @?!!$$%&** says the fans.

It's now even more apparent that Nationals' fans will be provided a basic structure but will be asked to pay premium pricing to visit it. The Lerner's of all people should understand the concept of "value added" in the world of customer service. You can charge $20 for a "nice" environment, but for a "top-of-the-line" facility, you can get another $5 or $10 for that same ticket, with additional costs eating up less than 50% of the additional cost. This isn't a new or "secret" concept. It's how companies remain in business. When I ran my camera store, I sold a particular camera for $175 while Wal-Mart sold the same on for $135. I couldn't keep it in stock because sales were so good. How? I gave the customer a free bag, free film and batteries, a five year warranty, a class on how to use the camera, and the guarantee of a loaner camera if theirs ever needed to be returned to the manufacturer for repair. All of that cost me about $20, but I got an extra $40 from the customer, and he/she was happy to give it to me. That's the whole concept of the new stadium in the first place. Fans are willing to pay more per ticket for better food and a better stadium. So why then won't the Lerners add back the limestone exterior, the partially sunken parking garages, and the rest of the amenities that were removed because of the City Council's cost constraints? I don't know.

My home reflects the kind of person I am. The Nationals' home will reflect the kind of franchise they will become. From what I can tell, that' s going to be good, but not quite good enough.

And that is really, really sad.

Why are the Lerners making such a big deal...it's not like their paying for it. If it's late just fine the city like you said you would and be on you way.....I really hoped tey would be good owners, but between the parking, keeping bowden and saying that that won't put a dime in their major league team(they said all the money goes to the farm system) I am really starting to get mad.

And can they please just pay for limestone.....it's something like $30 million but, when they cut the budget by trading all the players the would likely have enough...... leave to Bud to pick the cheapest owner he can find.
The Lerners' cheapness is no surprised to me. As opposed to most Nats fans, I was not happy with the Lerners being awarded the franchise. I think we would have been much better off with the Fred Malek group. He had a much better relationship with the DC Council and the mayor and he isn't cheap like the Lerners are. I think the Lerners may be cut from the same mold as Twins owner, Carl Polad and Royals owner, David Glass. Both of those guys are cheap and their number one objective is to make money on the team. They don't like spending money to make money though. I think the Lerners fall into this category. Just remember, as opposed to the Malek group, Lerner did not lift a finger or spend one cent to the bring the team here or to help win the battle for the new stadium.
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