Officials from the District and the Washington, D.C. Bowl Committee tomorrow will reveal details of the first-ever bowl game to be played in the city.
The game, expected to feature Navy and the 9th-place team from the ACC, will be played on Dec. 20 at RFK Stadium, not Nationals Park as many has assumed.
Why RFK and not the new stadium?
From what we can gather, the Nationals were the ones that got in the way.
Here’s what happened:
-The D.C. Bowl Committee had been eyeing Nationals Park from the start, even going so far as to present a diagram of how a football field could be nestled into a stadium built for baseball. The D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, which gets to use the ballpark for as many as 18 events per year, offered support for the plan. However, officials were quickly reminded that the lease for the new ballpark forbids the city from using the facility for any non-baseball event that would use the stadium infield. An event such as a football game would then become a “Nationals” event, not a city event. (The visit of Pope Benedict, for instance, was a “Nationals” event. The city championship baseball game was a “city” event.)
In essence, it came down to whether the Nationals were willing to hold the bowl game inside the stadium, and my sources tell me that the team simply didn’t want the game there, or at the very least was not particularly receptive to the idea.