National Parks Service proposes ban to sports on National Mall

The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing a permanent closure of the Washington Monument grounds, halting sports and other recreational activities.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing a permanent closure of the Washington Monument grounds, halting sports and other recreational activities.

NPS has also proposed raising the reservation fees for 28 athletic fields on the National Mall and at Rock Creek Park.

The reservation fees for the fields, which can be reserved online, will change from a previous flat fee to an hourly rate. The proposed new rate is $70 per two-hour block of time to provide for land upkeep and management. That comes out to $30 per hour plus a $10 administrative fee. 

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“With the completion of the turf restoration of the National Mall we've been working to maximize our athletic field space in non-memorial/monument areas of the park,” said Michael Litterst, public affairs specialist for NPS.  

The Washington Monument grounds is currently closed for turf restoration through 2018.

Recently, NPS denied a permit to a festival that wanted to bring a 45-foot-tall naked woman statue on the mall, citing the potential for turf damage as one of the reasons. 

The new proposal will be formally rolled out next week and there will be a public comment period. 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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