Monday, December 19, 2005

Rain Delay

They haven't even turned over the first spade of dirt, and already the new stadium has been hit with a rain delay. The lease has been pulled off tomorrow's schedule, and won't come up for a vote for several weeks.

Reading between the lines, it's clear that they don't have the votes to approve it. Rather than letting it go down in flames, they're tweaking it, trying to see if they can twist some arms, and get that final vote or two.

There was talk that several council members were waiting for confirmation that the Feds would pay a portion of the necessary Metro improvements (because they're going to need an upgraded stadium because of DoT's relocation). It's quite possible that they're waiting for more info on that.

Nakamura's article notes a few other sops to the Council items that could be added to the bill:
Changes could include increasing the number of free tickets for D.C. youth, which is currently 8,000 each season. Also, the lease says that a $20 million payment from baseball to the city for stadium construction should be used for fixtures, but the city wants to be able to use the money for any aspect of the construction. A group of developers has sent a letter to Williams offering to pay for $12 million worth of repairs to roads around a new baseball stadium along the Anacostia River

Children are our future, so more tickets for them is a good thing. The $20 million figure is just another way of DC saying we don't want to spend all that money on that stinking VIP parking garage; we want to be able to spread it around. And the developers are the same ones that were awarded the Anacostia development rights last week. Left unsaid is that they'll presumably be asking for $40 million worth of giveaways for the upfront payment.

Just when you think the end is near, you get another twist. It's like a bad M. Night Shyamalan movie. (And yes, I'm aware that many would consider that to be a redundancy)

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The always informative JDLand blog helpfully provides Mayor Tony's latest Pro-Stadium talking points, which were sent out over the weekend. If you haven't yet had your fill of propaganda, here ya go! (PDF)