[ Photoset ] I got a sneak peak at Nationals Park today while the transformation from Major League ballpark to concert venue was in progress. On Saturday, July 11, 2009, Elton John and Billy Joel will appear “Face 2 Face” on the stage in center field for fans seated both on the field and in the stands. The event is the first major concert in Nationals Park since it was built. I’ve been looking forward to this concert for a while, so seeing the setup in progress was a real treat! I also had a strange experience of noting the overtaking of the stadium for the concert. I’m quite accustomed to “baseball activities” going on and that’s pretty much it. The warning track is covered in plastic connecting walkway pieces and seeing a sign outside the visitors’ clubhouse in the tunnel with “Billy Joel Band Dressing Room” and a picture of a motorcycle on it was quite cool! (Unfortunately, the dressing room manager did not think it quite cool when I tried to photograph the sign – again an odd experience. I guess she didn’t understand my perspective of being wowed by a clubhouse becoming a “dressing room”). So I wonder if Elton John earned the home clubhouse?
The first thing I noticed upon arrival was the conglomeration of semi trucks blocking off Potomac Avenue south of N on the back side of the stadium. The volume of supplies they must hold seemed impressive, but once I saw the stage on the field, the sight made more sense. The sheer amount of scaffolding, chairs, lights, speakers, port-a-potties(!!), and equipment going into the construction is impressive, particularly during the limited time available. Plus, they’ll need to disassemble it all before the Nats return home.
Tickets are still available. Also, expect traffic in the area to be jammed, so the Nats are suggesting planning for an early arrival. I’m mostly hoping for an early escape as we have to leave our house at 4 AM Sunday to head to BWI for a long-awaited VACATION! I actually planned our flights around this concert!