10.25.2006

TOLD YOU SO

Every chance I get I'm bitching and moaning about the new ballpark being built on the Anacostia waterfront for the tidy sum of at least $611,000,000.00. Whenever I do, I get a few responses that can be split into two categories:

1. "The money being spent on the ballpark is an investment! No one is going to build in Anacostia unless we give them a reason to!"

This argument can be easily deflected by pointing out that investments only work if you are investing a reasonable amount of money. $611,000,000.00 is not reasonable. In fact, it's more than one hundred million dollars more expensive than the costliest ballpark in American history (Safeco Field in Seattle). Saying the Anacostia ballpark is a good investment is like saying that paying $95,000 for a Plymouth Horizon is a good investment. Sure, it's nice to have a car for your commute and it certainly helps with the ladies, but you are paying so much more than market value for the car that it becomes a wee-bit counter-productive.

2. "The money being used for stadium costs comes from a voluntary corporate tax. Saying that it takes away from public works and education is disingenuous."

How sick is it that Washington businesses are willing to shell out money for a stadium but not for better schools and hospitals?

That's beside the point. Washington businesses don't get to pick and choose what taxes they want to pay. If the City Council decides to enact a tax increase with all the cash going to public schools, there's nothing the businesses can do about it. Except for move to Reston or Rockville, but in a city that worships the prestige of a good Washington address, I don't think that going to happen.

You know what? That's beside the point too. Hat tip to the Express Blog for leading me to this:

If the city cannot reach a decision on how to provide the required parking spaces at the Nationals new stadium, the city may have to raise taxes on big businesses and it could make it harder for the city to borrow money for big ticket projects, such as school improvements.

It's possible the new stadium could be completed, but because the parking doesn't meet team requirements the Nationals would play at RFK rent free during the 2008 season, adding substantial cost overruns to the $611 million price tag.


[DC Chief Financial Officer Natwar] Gandhi says only three options remain. All of those options require either millions more in city funds or approval from the Nationals. Last week the City Council failed to agree on any of these options.

Anyone still want to argue that saying the stadium deal hurts Washington schools is disingenuous? Seriously? Anyone?

The stadium deal that Anthony Williams and the City Council orchestrated with Major League Baseball continues to be an absolute disgrace. A disgrace that is going to ultimately hurt the people of the District. The city is going to be financially crippled so people can play a simple game. But, it's a sound investment, right? An investment so sound that a simple parking garage could set the city back decades. Shame on anyone who still supports this playground for millionaires.

10 comments:

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  2. That's $611 million in "fuck you, taxpayer" money.

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  3. Rusty,
    Making a sound investment has nothing to do with the amount of money invested, but rather the rate of return.

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  4. I made this user name just for you Rusty...this stadium rules because I want to leave my nice condo in the Virginia Suburbs and take the metro to a classy stadium and not some old, decreped, heatbox of a stadium like RFK.

    $611,000,000 for a stadium?? If you ask me we aren't trying as a city until we hit a billion!

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  5. Did you know that the Stadium orignally cost only $180 million? Check out the DC City Council Transcripts:

    Mayor Williams: All those in favor of approving $180 million for a new Nat's stadium, say aye.

    Councilman Fenty: Mr. Chiarman? If I may, I'd like to amend the motion to include the addition of rims to the stadium.

    Williams: Alright $180 million plus rims. All those in favor--

    Councilman Cropp: Mr. Chairman, if we're gonna get rims, we gots to get those flat screens that fold down from the ceiling.

    Mayor Williams: Ok, so all those in favor of the stadium with rims and flat screens say--

    Councilman Barry: Nigga please, those rim need to spin. And they need to be solid gold.

    Mayor Williams: Ok, gold spinning rims. All those--

    Councilman Orange: Oh DAMN! And gets some tight Hydrolics.

    Councilman Barry: Word. Anybody got any crack?

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  6. Rusty,

    1. Can't resist busting your balls: What do you know about automobile ownership... and ladies?

    2. I see your point about the stadium cost but I will say that after having attended a Nats game this year in a "luxury" box I can see why Corporate America felt the need to fleece the taxpapers here. I felt like a real plebe sitting in that box. And where was the drink cart w/ expensive chocolates and liquors?! Damn. Why don't I just live in Bosnia.

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  7. My god. People... listen to yourselves. Gringo and Matt- You're saying that having a tricked out stadium to WATCH BASEBALL IN is more important than education and public safety!

    I don't want to hear any of you bitch about crime or poverty AGAIN.

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  8. Matt, I was the proud owner of a 1988 Plymouth Horizon. It lasted five years and two girlfriends.

    Granted most of those years were spent in college when I didn't drive it, but 35,000 miles out of a car that had squirrels living in it...that's impressive.

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  9. I hear ya, Rusty.

    Let me do ya one better. Years ago when living in Vermont... dirt settles in the car rugs and snow melts from boots.... I looked in my back seat one day and found a two-inch tall marijauana plant growing on the floor.

    I laughed and I cried.

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  10. I think what you meant to say, was you laughed, you cried, then you smoked? But I digress from my original intention, which is to say this:

    I'm from Philly, so I know bad baseball teams.

    The Nationals aren't worth a $611,000,000 stadium.

    In fact, I don't think anyone is.

    I'm siding with Rusty. You can't justify it on the publics nickle.

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