Capital Sporting Grounds

A History of Stadium and Ballpark Construction in Washington, D.C.


In stock

About the Book

Politics is nothing new to Washington, D.C., even in the arena marked with base paths and outfield grass. The stadium for the expansion Washington Nationals baseball team cost over $600 million and while opponents decried the waste of taxpayer money, supporters promised the stadium would stimulate economic development. Land swaps, closed-door deals, and valuable parking-lot strategies were as complex as any game plan employed on the diamond. The district’s past stadiums, tracks and Olympics facilities are archived and described in this history, along with their political backdrops. The book features numerous drawings and photographs.

About the Author(s)

Brett L. Abrams has written five books about sports, popular culture, and the Washington, D.C., region. He works as an electronic records archivist for the federal government in the nation’s capital.

Bibliographic Details

Brett L. Abrams
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 296
Bibliographic Info: 24 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3956-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5250-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction: A Contentious Capital City      5

1. D.C.’s First Families: Capitalism on Sports’ Frontier      19
2. Northeastern Horizons: Inclusion in the Professional Leagues      60
3. Oh to Be in Philadelphia: The Army-Navy Game      89
4. Utility in Concrete: Monuments and Memorials      116
5. Five-Ring Circus: Olympic Dreams and Delusions      151
6. If We Build It: Keeping the Team in the District      187
7. Building a White Elephant: Corruption, Mismanagement, and D.C. Stadium      226

Conclusion: A Big League City      247
Chapter Notes      259
Bibliography      273
Index      277

Book Reviews & Awards

“For the first time, a stadium book that provides the details of backroom politics that surrounds the building of, or the elements that defeat and spur stadium proposals. Capital Sporting Grounds is an excellent chronology of the efforts, defeats and successes of building a stadium in the nation’s capital over the past 100+ years.”—Bruce A. Genther, stadium historian and modeler.