Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Intermezzo, or Development and Recapitulation.

It's hard to say that forking over $600 million to an entity that generates over $4 billion in revenues a year is a good deal. But, with everything that's gone on, it is....well... hard to characterize!

The Council reversed course and played hardball -- or at least their version, which involves a foam sphere and a tee. The legislation they passed last night includes a $611 million cap on construction costs for the stadium. It also limits the amount of revenue associated with development on the site that can be applied to any potential cost overruns. Because of the late hour of the vote (12:40), the reporting will sputter out this morning, and we'll have a better sense of what other bells and whistles were tacked on to the bill.

MLB has until March 6 to decide whether to support or reject the lease. It's changed fairly significantly from the lease they signed off on a week ago. Namely, it appears that MLB (or the new owners) would be responsible for the cost overruns. Although, Adrian Fenty (I can hear you booing) thinks that it isn't strong enough to actually ensure the city is off the hook.

MLB will likely bluster, rambling crap about how the city isn't living up to its deal. But, in the end, there's no way they can pass it up. They got a lease through the council that's giving them over $600 million in assets. That's a lot of money to walk away from.

As far as ownership? Don't hold your breath. MLB is going to want to see all the Is dotted and Ts crossed before turning over the keys. And they'll definitely wait until the bonds are sold. Once the city's borrowed a bazillion dollars there's little chance for the city to turn back and extract more (any?) pennies from the owner. If I had a buck, I'd bet it on the All-Star Break at the earliest.

  • I'll add more links as they come in

  • WaPo's multiply updated story on the events of yesterday; WaPo on the chaotic evening.

  • Tom Boswell's column, which changed from the time it originally hit the web. Boz' sense of entitlement is a bit much for me, but it's a decent column for one having been written at 1AM. It has multiple juicy quotes from Bob Dupuy and a quote from an early frontrunner for the asshat of the year award:
    "People are beside themselves. They're trying to blackmail us," said one baseball source. "We're not going to take it."
    Let me get this right.... You're being handed half a billion bucks and YOU'RE the one being blackmailed? Douchebag.

  • The Times doesn't quite have Dewey defeating Truman, but it does have him leading in the exit polls. Expect a story by next Friday.

  • Missed the hearings? JD Land gave frequent updates here and here and here!

  • Just A Nats Fan did the same: 1, 2, 3, 4


    • I was so depressed when I went to bed last night after hearing that the council had killed the lease, so boy was it a great surprise when I read the headlines this morning! Now, if we could just get an owner so we could start bitching about how he should be running the team differently!

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/08/2006 2:17 PM  

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