Though the designers of Columbia SportsPark might have squabbled over how many batting cages to build or whether the mini-golf course should have a waterfall, they unanimously agreed on one factor—the park should be a place for families to spend time together. Today, their collaboration fulfills that mission with a sprawling 15,000-square-foot playground of family-friendly recreational activities. Along the 18-hole mini-golf course, lush plants, gushing waterfalls, and pristine ponds recreate the peaceful feel of a tropical garden or DMV lobby. Skaters pull off stunts at the 15,000-square foot outdoor skate facility with ramps, pipes, and a four-foot spine, while batters slug practice balls in cages equipped with professional fast- and slow-pitching machines. Beyond the daily family outings, Columbia SportsPark regularly hosts camps, skate lessons, and community gatherings throughout the year.
In 2005, the Montreal Expos became the Canadian Expats, pledging a new allegiance and taking on a new identity as the first big-league club to inhabit America's capital since the Senators moved to Texas in 1971. In 2008, the team christened its new stadium, Nationals Park, which today welcomes up to 41,418 fans, its 4,500-square-foot HD scoreboard almost distracting from the panoramic views of the Potomac riverfront, the Capitol dome, and the Washington Monument. Accredited as a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design stadium, Nationals Park also sits 24 feet below street level, making its main concourse even with city sidewalks and saving many fans the danger of riding frozen, thin-aired escalators just to reach their seats.
Spanning 18,000 square feet of turf-covered courts and batting cages, Raider's Edge hones bat-swinging skills with practice areas and instruction for individuals and groups. Baseball- and softball-pitching machines spit endless volleys of spheres, their speeds adjustable to accommodate both little leaguers and six-armed spider-men. The two spacious turf courts can also accommodate practice for soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey, and dual pitching lanes allow pitchers to perfect their craft side by side. Weekly exercise and softball practice programs focus on skills such as hitting, fielding, and pitching, and young players put their skills into practice as part of Raider’s Edge’s Red Raider softball teams.
The Class AA Minor League Baseball Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, the Bowie Baysox won their first division title in 2008. Managed by Brad Komminsk, the team plays at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie, Maryland. Take your pick from 33 non-Saturday-night games.
For more than 10 years, athletes looking to improve their game have turned to Axis Sport. Using their more than 5,000-square-feet of space and equipment including bands, balls, battle ropes, and more, trainers focus on performance training to hone their clients’ agility, strength, speed, power, flexibility, and running mechanics. But you don't have to be an athlete to get fit at Axis. Instructors welcome clients of all levels during group classes, from high-intensity interval training to less intense sessions that aim to get heart rates up and prevent injury.