January 27, 2006

Afternoon Flash

DC, BASEBALL AGREE ON REVISED STADIUM LEASE. The revised lease calls for the city to use traditional, tax-exempt financing to build South Capitol Street Stadium and to get most of the proceeds from the condos, restaurants or retail built on the site."The new agreement is a much better deal for the city with as much as $12M in concessions from Major League Baseball," Bill Hall, baseball chairman for the DC Sports Commission, tells WTOP. The Post downplayed the "deal's" significance noting that there is no word that it does much for controlling costs, which was the major concern of holdouts on the council.

Here are details:

  • No private financing. Goodbye parking Deutsche Bank parking scheme.
  • Parcels at the south end of the stadium site can be sold to developers. DC gets 57.5 percent of proceeds and the Nationals receiving 42.5 percent.
  • The team will have an option to lease and develop the retail space designated on the east side of the stadium on 1st St.
  • MLB will lease RFK in 2008 if the stadium is not ready.
  • The Nats will help develop a new youth baseball facility.
  • The Nats will give away more tix for kids.

We dont see how this is not a good thing for the city and for baseball fans. The stadium will push development into a decrepit, forlorn and forgotten part of the city and that means tax revenue. The rendering at the left gives you an idea of how it might look.

You can always say, DC should have gotten a better deal, but this is the deal. For better or for worse. At least another $12M was squeezed from the rock that is Major League Baseball.

But before we start congratulating Mayor Williams, let's see what the DC Council does. It ain't over til it's over.

Pix from ballparks.com

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