Thursday, May 12, 2005

He's Baaaack

Martin from DCist is back, pointing out that PR-Hound David Catania is now claiming that the DC CFO's estimate is way too low. (Check out his post for the details)

What's interesting to me though, are the comments. This debate seems to actually be worth something with people actually arguing for or against stadium economics.

I'll just point out, as an addendum to a minor point I made earlier, that sometimes you can criticize something and editorialize without explicitly doing it. That was my problem with the original post, and it's something someone noticed this time:
Why does Martin end every one of his Nats posts with a series of questions? Does he get paid per question mark? Or could it be because it allows him bash the stadium and team while claiming he's not being critical? Don't you wish he'd just sack up and offer his opinion outright? Doesn't this style of prose annoy the bejezus out of you? Doesn't it?!


  • Phew! All this responding can be taxing! But, I need to clarify a point as to the questions at the end of the post referenced here. I'm gonna review the questions and to explain the thinking behind them to prove that they are not thinly-veiled attacks on the Nats, the fans, or stadium

    1) Could this be the end of a Nationals stadium in Southeast?

    Being that Catania seems to have found that the land assessment is short by $30 million, thus exceeding the Council's requirement that it come in under $165 million or not be considered at all, I think this is a perfectly fair question. If the lands are really worth more than Gandhi claims, then the site might be deemed too expensive. This isn't an opinion, much less a celebration of the fact -- it is a real, could happen question.

    2) If so, would the city have the time to identify and complete necessary preparations on a new site for timely construction to lead to a 2008 opening date?

    The same as number 1. If the site is deemed to expensive, the city would be back at square one with respects to identifying a site, planning for the acquisition of surrounding lands, etc. Mayor Williams has even noted that if all isn't done and ready to go at the Southeast site by late this year the stadium won't be ready in time. Not an opinion, guys, but a fact based on what baseball boosters have admitted.

    3) Might RFK become the default Nationals home?

    If the stadium site is deemed to expensive and the city has trouble finding a new site, RFK might well become the stadium of choice by default. Again, not opinion, but simple fact. Also, if the Supreme Court decides this summer that eminent domain can only be used in very specific cases, it will very much limit the ability of the city to condemn the parcels of land of unwilling sellers and claim they are taking them for public use. RFK being the default stadium could honestly happen.

    I do not hate the Nats. I do not hate people who like the Nats. I do, though, have doubts about the stadium. I do not think I was trying to sneak that into my post, though -- after all, all I did was report on what could be a substantial development in stadium-related news. Love Catania or hate him, read his letter to Gandhi. He lays out a convincing case that the stadium site may be too expensive. You may think he's a PR-hound harping on a technicality, but unfortunately, it's the law. I ask questions that I think are legitimate and based in fact, and to invite debate. Had I asked something akin to "How do you feel about the expensive, shoved-down out throats, do nothing for the economy stadium that the city was threatened into building?," I would understand your criticisms.

    That not being the case, I believe everyone is a little off base here.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/13/2005 11:28 AM  

  • Wow. Ease up, man.

    RFK will never be a permanent home for the Nats - a new stadium is one of the conditions of keeping the team here, I believe.

    By Blogger Rocket1124, at 5/13/2005 12:04 PM  

  • Two points:

    1) Catania basing his assessment on the inflated property values is correct -- because those inflated values reflect what the city will have to pay for the land if the stadium goes forward.

    2) Once ownership changes, I do not believe a new stadium is required to keep the team here. The new owners could very well move the team, but seeing that they are likely to be Washingtonians, they'd probably get lynched by irate baseball fans.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/13/2005 2:01 PM  

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