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New Basebasll Stadium Estimate:$1 Billion!

Guest Lucan

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Guest Lucan

Today, I saw an issue of the Common Denominator in its box bearing a blurb that a new estimate for the stadium cost has somehow escaped from CFO Gandhi's office: $1 Billion!


While I did not have a quarter to open the box for a copy-and the story isn't in its online archives yet, the gist of it is simple. With the CFO's cooked $531 mill estimate rejected by the City Council, andother estimate has turned up that originated with the CFO for almost twice as much.


Perhaps this billion dollar estimate will finally convince the nine City Copuncilmembers who oppose the stadium to move a bill to repeal the Omnibus Ballpark Finance and Revenue Act once and for all. At the very least it shoudl trigger the cost provisions in that law that move the stadium back to the RFK site.


The Neo-Nationals and MLB will have no right to complain, given that the original deal did not say anywhere that an entire BILLION would be required of the city. This cost is no doubt because of the hyperinflated DC real estate market. It is quite a credible estimate given that to do it with tree year old real estate prices(in the $531M estimate) would have still cost half that much.


When Williams was first shopping this deal, he thought he could build a stadium in the 5th and K trans sex work area for a little less than $550 million! He was blocked there by skyrocketing land prcices, and decided to strike another red light area instead-O and S Capitol. Now once again MLB may be priced out of the market. It's so funny when gentrifiers manage to evict themselves with their own real estate speculation!


If the Neo-Nationals walk over this, tough ***brown trout***. If DC residents want baseball, the O's aren't that far away on MARC trains. They will not get a better deal than playing in a stadium built next to RFK in any city-and would risk a repeat of the same scenario for a second time. Stadium costs have been skyrocketing, but $1B will make civic leaders choke almost anywhere, and stadiums have rarely if ever made the returns for a city their backers hoped for

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Eric Goulet

Councilmember Evans and the Committee on Finance and Revenue (which he chairs) continue to examine baseball stadium private financing options to determine whether any of the plans provide a better deal than the original public financing proposal.


"The review of various private financing proposals has been a very useful exercise. Right now the Deutsche Bank plan appears to have some pluses and minuses compared to the original public financing proposal. We are trying to decide, first, whether it is a better plan and then, second, do we have seven votes to pass it," Evans said.


If private financing is to be used, the proposal will have to be voted on before the DC Council's summer recess begins July 15. If private financing were to move forward, the first reading of the legislation would occur on June 21 and the second reading would occur July 6. If the Committee on Finance and Revenue does not mark-up the legislation before June 21, then the original public financing proposal will remain in place.


However, even if the DC Council does not approve a specific private financing proposal now, it does not preclude the possibility of private dollars becoming available later.


"There are still many opportunities to get more private dollars into the baseball deal as we move forward, particularly with development opportunities within the 21 acre 'footprint' of land immediately surrounding the stadium," Evans said. "With the success of the Nationals thus far, everyone wants to get involved."

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