Monday, November 08, 2004

On the Waterfront

Over the weekend, the mess surrounding the stadium bill exploded when DC Council Chairwoman Linda Cropp proposed an alternate bill for a stadium on the grounds of RFK that would cost 20% lower than the Anacostia plan.
Cropp (D) made her announcement just four days before the council's key vote Tuesday on the future of the stadium. She shocked Williams (D) and her council colleagues by saying that the mayor's plan was too expensive and risky for the city's businesses that would be taxed to pay for construction...

"This is a better deal for the District of Columbia," Cropp said at a midday news conference at the John A. Wilson Building. "The business community said they are willing to support baseball, but not at any cost."

Mayor Williams reacted angrily and claims that the new proposal would threaten the entire deal with MLB.
"The dream of having a team is at risk; it is in jeopardy," Williams said. "I can't emphasize it enough, so I'm trying to raise the volume. We've worked for 10, 20, 30 years for this, and now it's in jeopardy."

Today's Post claims that Cropp lacks the votes, but also reveals this somewhat startling detail:
But Cropp (D) said she believes that Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) does not have enough votes for his plan to construct a baseball stadium along the Anacostia River in an industrial area of Southeast Washington.

Post and media darling Michael Wilbon weighed in.
Now, after issuing her "new proposal" yesterday, it turns out that she is pretty much a complete fraud. While Williams is standing steadfast in the face of some predictable opposition, Cropp has turned her back on the very deal to which she gave her word. As a result, baseball in D.C. is in jeopardy.

DC Sports & Entertainment Commission Chairman Mark Tuohey painted a bleak picture of the Cropp proposal in the Times.

What a mess. The vote will be taken on Tuesday and from today's articles, no one seems to know how it will end up and with MLB's deadline, as well as the impending change on the council, it's imperative that something gets done soon--otherwise it will probably be two years and out for the lowly Nationals.

This is the kind of stink that usually gets associated with stadium construction. No one's every truly happy--especially when politics gets involved. The best advice I can think of is the same I've offered before; Just hold your nose and swallow.