Author Topic: WP: Nats MASN deal renegotations will have a huge impact  (Read 147648 times)

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Offline DCFan

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Nice summation welch.  DC had the government and Baltimore had factories out the whazzoo (just about all of which have gone).

Offline Mathguy

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Or maybe Orioles management should put a good team on the field



That is, it seems to me that Baltimore is envious of the advantage their city once had. So be it. Maybe the Orioles should move back to St Louis. "Browns, come home!"


Offline rileyn

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For some context: DC in the 1950s and earlier was middle-class / lower middle class town when most people worked civil service jobs for the US government. The Washington Post ran a regular column by Bill Gold called "The District Line", which talked about which agency was hiring and GS-this or that. There were no rich people since there was no industry and, therefore no big deal owners. (People who did not work civil service, like my family, worked for PEPCO or C&P Telephone, or Capital / DC Transit.

Baltimore had blue collar workers, like DC, but also had owners of sizable companies. That was the beer people, the Hoffbergers. DC's only business, to repeat, was the Federal Government, and no government worker commanded the money that a Baltimore millionaire did.

That must have lasted into the 1980s. My old company, GE Information Services, moved to Bethesda because management found that there were more computer programmers around Washington than anyplace else. They gathered to work for the government, and our big boss, Warner Sinback, stunned senior GE management when he showed that DC was a higher-tech place than Phoenix, where the entire computer division had been.

It took a while, but other tech companies saw the same thing that Sinback and GE saw.

That is, it seems to me that Baltimore is envious of the advantage their city once had. So be it. Maybe the Orioles should move back to St Louis. "Browns, come home!"

I learned something here.  Thanks, Welch.

Offline DCFan

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My old company, GE Information Services, moved to Bethesda because management found that there were more computer programmers around Washington than anyplace else. They gathered to work for the government, and our big boss, Warner Sinback, stunned senior GE management when he showed that DC was a higher-tech place than Phoenix, where the entire computer division had been.

Yep, between the federal government, DOD, NSA, CIA and the myriad of contractors this is a high tech mecca.

Offline nats4ever

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When is this thing going to end folks? I mean seriously.

Offline Smithian

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When is this thing going to end folks? I mean seriously.
I laugh every time I see this thread at the top of the page.

Online imref

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When is this thing going to end folks? I mean seriously.

About the same time Tom Brady's skills fall off.

Offline Dave in Fairfax

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Another factor to go with welch's excellent summation is that the major areas of growth in the DC area in recent decades have been to the south (Prince William and Stafford Counties), west (Fairfax and Loudoun Counties) and northwest (Montgomery County) of DC, and thus farther away from Baltimore.  Prince William County went from 22,000 in 1950 to 470,000 in 2019 and Stafford County from 12,000 in 1950 to 153,000 in 2019. Fairfax County went from 98,000 in 1950 to 1,147,500 in 2019, the City of Fairfax from 2000 in 1950 to 24,000 in 2019 and Loudoun County from 21,000 in 1950 to 414,000 in 2019. Montgomery County, especially along the Rockville-Gaithersburg-Germantown tech corridor, went from 164,000 in 1950 to 1,051,000 in 2019.

By contrast, the populations of the closer suburbs like Alexandria, Arlington and Falls Church have merely doubled. And Washington proper is smaller. On the northeast side, Prince George's County grew dramatically in the post-World War II era (from 89,000 in 1940 to 660,000 in 1970) but has been relatively stagnant since.

So while in the 1980s and early 1990s it was still reasonable for the Orioles to market themselves to the DC area, with the team store in McPherson Square for example, and expect to draw fans from DC, PG County, Arlington and Alexandria, as time went by, more people, and more importantly, the more affluent people, moved further and further away, with an entire urban area between them and Baltimore.

On the flip side, it might have made sense to build Jack Kent Cooke Stadium on the east side of DC when Baltimore did not have an NFL team, but the return of the NFL to Baltimore and the growth of DC away from Landover and PG County in general makes that look less wise.



Offline Mathguy

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Adding to what Welch & Dave said, how did the creation of the subway change the entire business dynamics in the Washington DC area ?

Offline welch

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Adding to what Welch & Dave said, how did the creation of the subway change the entire business dynamics in the Washington DC area ?

Someone who stayed after they grew up might have a better answer, but the Beltway twisted population distribution and development. Before the Beltway -- fully opened about 1966 -- people took transportation toward the center of town. Downtown, DC. I had an uncle who lived in Seat Pleasant and worked at PEPCO's Potomac River Plant, down near National Airport, but I have no idea how he got to work. As soon as PEPCP built a plant down near the Rte 301 Bridge, he transferred. 

Remember that the only bridges were in town...14th Street Bridge and such.

Further, you had to take local streets, with stop lights to get from SE, NE, and PG County to Montgomery County. In the early 1960's we would go for a Sunday drive in the country from West Hyattsville all the way out to Gaithersburg. That was the boondocks. Farm country.

The Beltway made DC a circular city, even though traffic quickly got so bad that you cannot reasonably commute from, say, Rockville to Manassas.

The Metro seems to pull people together in the way that the streetcar system used to. Somewhere I found an entry in railroads that talked about DC Transit / Capital Transit, and the previous rail systems in the city. Amazing to see a map of the line.

Imagine this -- and I just remembered. About three or four years ago, the annual DC Baseball History meeting, where I last saw CALSGR8, featured Tom Brown and one of his friends who had played ball with him. Both Tom and the friend lived in Silver Spring while going to Richard Montgomery High School. The friend, now a judge, was on the Richard Montgomery baseball team with Brown, and the friend was also a batboy for the Senators. Each night, the now-judge would take the streetcar home from Griffith Stadium. That was the old streetcar system. (Point of the story, reason I remember, though: one day the future judge cut practice to work a Nats game and, unfortunately, the Post had a front-page picture of him congratulating one of the Nats on a home run. Baseball coach at Richard Montgomery threw him off the team.)

Maybe the Metro will pull people and work back toward the center, just as streetcars did before the Beltway. I see plenty of work on commuter railroads -- MARC and a similar thing in Northern Virginia -- to be hopeful.