An Issue With Smoking
I don't smoke but I overheard something the other day that piqued my interest about smoking at Nationals Park. A gentleman at the ballpark was showing his friend the smoking areas on the stadium map and laughing about the unfortunate location of one of them ... right behind the children's jungle gym.
This concerned me a little so last night I investigated.
I think parents can rest easy because the smoking area outside the right field gate is actually down a flight of steps, outside the gates, and not easily seen from the jungle gym. The map looks worse than it is.
What does concern me, though, is how bad the accommodations are for smokers. Not because I smoke or because I sympathize much for smokers (except mom and dad; cue nasty comments below).
There are two designated areas in the park where both fans and ballpark employees must smoke. Just two. And both areas are outside the park in small, fenced-in areas.
The first is at the right field gate, which is not an entrance gate. You can only exit the park or smoke from this gate. The other is outside the third base gate. To have a smoke, you must first check with the guard who gives you a wrist band. No wrist band and you're not coming back in. If you're an employee on a smoke break and don't have your ID with you, you're not coming back in, either.
I am not a fan of cigarette smoke; the farther away from me the better. But even I was surprised at how marginalized and banished these areas seemed. Either spot could be a serious trek from the upper decks. Or some lower decks for that matter. The areas are small and quite removed from the action; no TVs or concourse views to see the game or the scoreboard. Yesterday, the third base gate smoking area didn't even have ashtrays.
Which brings me to my overall point. The more unpleasant and inconvenient you make it for smokers, the more likely they'll seek comfort elsewhere. Like the ladies room behind section 204, for instance.
Sure enough, after the game, and after I'd already planned to write about the smoking scene, my story was baptized with the cigarette smoke from two stalls down.
Surely better smoking accommodations could benefit all of us.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Anonymous | April 10, 2008 11:06 AM
Posted by: Scoreboard S | April 10, 2008 11:40 AM
Posted by: pstew | April 10, 2008 12:35 PM
Posted by: DanD187 | April 10, 2008 1:22 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | April 10, 2008 3:51 PM
Posted by: Grumpy Huddy-Duddy | April 10, 2008 4:23 PM
Posted by: Greg | April 10, 2008 4:58 PM
Posted by: GoNats | April 11, 2008 12:35 PM
Posted by: Carolyn | April 14, 2008 9:58 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.