Stadium Vote Updates thread.
UPDATE, 8:20 pm: Now approaching the 2.5-hour mark in their 30-minute recess. The AP says that the councilmembers have spent the past two hours "haggling over the wording of emergency legislation limiting the cost of the project." I hope they're haggling to get the reference to MLB out of the cap, otherwise all this will be for naught.
UPDATE, 7:40 pm: Still in recess/private session. I haven't abandoned you :-).
UPDATE, 6:25 pm: The council is in recess after a very contentious session. They may come back to vote on the emergency cap, otherwise a vote on the lease agreement itself tonight would appear to be doomed (Vincent Orange having said as much to the Associated Press). The council is now in a private session.
UPDATE, 4:19 pm:
that the lease agreement (PR-619) is starting to be discussed at the council right now, but this could just be an initial procedural move. Turn on the feed
UPDATE, 3:35 pm:
The Post's DC Wire blog has an update from David Nakamura
--I can't even summarize it, it talks about Cropp's cap bill possibly putting MLB on the hook for cost overruns, which will be unacceptable to the mayor and to MLB, so it would be possible that the pro-stadium forces would vote the cap down, then just try for an up-or-down 7-votes-needed vote on the lease. But negotiating is still going on....
UPDATE, 2:49 pm:
The Post has an updated version
of last night's story posted, now including all events since last night. A quote: "By packaging the council's cost cap with the lease, Cropp said the council will take just one vote on the stadium deal today and it will require nine votes among the 13-member body for approval."
UPDATE, 2:05 pm:
A Reuters story
quotes Linda Cropp: "The citizens need to know where the council stands on baseball in the District of Columbia. We will vote up or down today." The article also says: "The emergency legislation requires the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission to certify by March 7 that any hard construction costs over $300 million be paid by the team owner, savings from re-engineering or federal, private or other non-local funds."
UPDATE, 1:03 pm:
A story on WTOP's web site
says that Adrian Fenty believes there are enough votes to pass the (emergency?) legislation. And, just to add to the fun, the article also says: "But if the District cannot pass the lease, WTOP has learned that Virginia is ready to make a move. A spokesman for Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine tells WTOP he would be interested in pursuing the Nationals for Northern Virginia if D.C. is unable to approve the lease."
UPDATE, 11:56 am:
Mayor Bow Tie is not
happy with the consultant that the Council picked to review the lease and construction agreements, because he also worked for the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority when Virginia was trying to get the Expos. Here is the mayor's press release
UPDATE, 11:44 am: AP reports: "Members of the D-C Council may not vote on a proposed stadium lease today. Councilman Marion Barry says the lease proposal could be tabled in favor of a proposed emergency session. That would enable the Council to consider emergency legislation capping the District's costs for a new ballpark. Barry says if there was a vote on the proposed lease right now, there would not be enough votes to pass the measure. Councilman Adrian Fenty says he doesn't know if there are the nine votes needed to approve emergency legislation to establish the cap. Councilman Phil Mendelson says that could amendments might have to be introduced during the emergency session to get enough support."
UPDATE, 11:24 am: Go ahead and get your lunch, and maybe your dinner--it appears that the council will handle all of its other business first, then move to the stadium.
: According to David Nakamura on the Post's DC Wire Blog
, the council chambers are beginning to fill up, and the session should get underway soon. He also says: "Council staff, along with Mayor Williams's aides, the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission and a council-hired consultant, worked late into the night and early this morning on the new stadium cap that Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp wants her colleagues to approve." He says it's unclear whether Cropp has the 9 votes needed to pass the cap as emergency legislation. According to David, the emergency cap vote should come first in the session, with the lease vote coming later in the day.