- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2008

MILESTONES

Sept. 29, 2004: After the District of Columbia promises to finance and build a ballpark along the Anacostia River, Major League Baseball announces the relocation of the Montreal Expos to Washington for the 2005 season.

Dec. 21, 2004: By a 7-6 vote, the D.C. Council approves a financing plan for the ballpark.

Feb. 8, 2006: Just after midnight, the D.C. Council votes 9-4 to approve a lease agreement for the ballpark, a measure it rejected hours earlier. The agreement calls for a cap on the city’s contribution to the project.

March 6, 2006: Major League Baseball signs off on the lease agreement for the stadium, allowing construction of the facility to move forward.

May 3, 2006:Major League Baseball selects the family of Theodore N. “Ted” Lerner as the new ownership group of the Nationals.

May 4: 2006: The District holds an official groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new ballpark.

Oct. 5, 2006: The stadium construction team accepts delivery of the first piece of steel for the ballpark, a key step in ensuring the project can be completed on time.

July 11, 2007: The stadium construction team celebrates the “topping out” of steel at the ballpark.

March 6, 2008:The Nationals plant the last of the 14 cherry trees that line the entrance to Nationals Park.

March 22, 2008: Nationals Park hosts a college baseball game between George Washington and St. Joseph’s.

March 29, 2008:The Nationals and Orioles are scheduled to play an exhibition game at Nationals Park.

March 30, 2008:The Nationals and Atlanta Braves play the first official game at Nationals Park, a contest televised nationally on ESPN.