Saturday, December 11, 2004

MLB Is On Its Knees! Oh, Wait.

MLB and DC have agreed to some nebulous community improvements in conjunction with the stadium bill, which goes to a vote this week.
Potential benefits could include clearly delineated grants for area youth athletic fields and community centers, as well as an increase in the number of days (currently 12) the new stadium can be used by the District for non-baseball functions.

The Baseball Stadium Agreement between MLB and the District reads that the Washington team, now called the Nationals, "acknowledges a civic responsibility to promote and contribute to charitable, education and community organizations and other public works in the District." But that responsibility is not backed by any specific dollar figures, publicly troubling several council members.

David Catania is unimpressed:
"[The expected new benefits] are nothing more than window dressing," Catania said. "If they actually come up with anything substantial, I'm going to be surprised. It's just talk, and we're being slow-walked through the vote, after which I assure you the mayor will insist any changes to the deal will make us liable for compensatory damages."

I can't see baseball giving DC anything of real value. Maybe they'll let them use the stadium a few more times a year. Maybe they'll throw a few hundred K at some city parks, but I can't see them doing something like paying cost overruns. Just count the votes and let's see what happens.


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