Monday, November 21, 2005

Cost Overruns Watch, Part III

Well, we've got the front runner for least surprising news item of the day now. The Washington Post reveals that the stadium costs are soaring, and that it's already well over budget.

Actual construction costs of the stadium have risen $93 million to $337. As a result, the city has had to start trimming back small, unimportant things like repairing roads or upgrading the Metro station to handle the large crowds.

Fat cat lobbyists, rest easy! Your precious pleasure dome isn't being sacrificed! You're still getting 78 luxury boxes stacked neatly in two rows to raise the riff-raff in the upper deck further away from your important business meetings (even though the Stadium Agreement asked for just 74). And you're still getting your 3,000 club seats, so you can lay back in your leather chairs having young black kids from the ghetto give you all the hotdogs you can jam into your gullet for a few bucks an hour. Oh yeah, the stadium agreement only called for 2,000 of those, too, but there are some things you just can't cut. (I suppose that the gold-lined bidet flowing with tears from area school children will be an unfortunate casualty though)

Rest easy, though, the team is making some drastic cuts (other than key infrastructure!), they're not going to build two team stores, and will cut back on some office space. (I guess Frank won't be getting the deluxe napping room)

Why did the team choose to cut where it cut? Because they know (or assume) that the city will pick up the tab for the roads and the rails. They've shuffled the money they were going to spend there and applied it towards the leather upholstery of the club level.

Remember late last year when we laughed at the city's floated idea of not really upgrading the Metro in the area in a half-cocked idea to delay things so badly that people would choose to linger and spend money in the ballpark area? Seems like that's closer to reality.

If the city didn't have much of an incentive to hold out for all $180 million of rent payments ($6 million a year for 30 years), this should be enough.


  • The city could save some serious money by jettisoning the whole glass and stone facade in favor of some 1970s faux-cedar paneling, and green shag instead of turf for the field.

    By Blogger Nate, at 11/21/2005 10:31 AM  

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