(WUSA9) -- On Monday, WUSA 9 is at Nationals Park where 41,000 people are expected for Opening Day. Former D.C. mayor Anthony Williams was a huge part in making the park a reality.
We asked Williams about the success of his vision of bringing baseball back to D.C. He told us, "Success has a lot of parents. I happened to be there when it happened and rally people, but it is a lot of people coming together and working together."
As everything was built, the 2008 crash happened and we saw the construction cranes stop and some developers had to leave town because they ran out of money. We asked Williams about that experience. He told us, "I always had an abiding vision about the future. You are concerned and worried, but it is a good story."
The building of Nationals Park brought other concerns. Some critics asked: what about the character of the neighborhood? What about the people who live here? Can they afford this new house something and are we seeing the tax revenue for expulse libraries?
Williams told us, "First of all, the project is paying for itself. It is not taking money from something else. Number two is producing positive net value for the city. It is going to produce the kind of jobs and resources we need for the neighborhood. Number three, some of the projects we have done here , we have replaced every unit of low income housing.... So I dispute all three of those."
In the five years since the crash, the Nationals went from the worst team in baseball to the best record in the Majors. The economy steadily improved and the cranes and leave haulers came back. In fact in the next two years, you'll see things like a Harris Teeter grocery store, and a huge health club.
Williams and his wife come to the Nationals games all the time. We asked the big fan how far the team can go. His reply, "I'm predicting all the way. All the way."
He added that the team has "A great manager, a great general manager. We have a great team, and a great ownership group that put together a fabulous operation."