The back-and-forth about the new baseball stadium has become exasperating for everyone--and finally Thomas Boswell has weighed in, with "Play Ball--Now" in Thursday's Post. The summary: "But now is the time to abandon such tough-guy negotiating methods. Both sides should stop stalling. Stop pretending to debate who pays for the last 2,000 parking spaces for the richest customers. Or (get a load of this one) what happens if the District is destroyed by a super catastrophe like New Orleans and the new ballpark has cost overruns. Seriously, that is the kind of stuff these geniuses claim they've been squabbling about. What, no mandatory Meteor From Mars insurance? Let's finally cut to the chase. Both sides need to stop posturing over the last few million bucks and bragging rights. Instead, compromise, shake hands and start mining the gold from this Washington mother lode. Together."
The Washington Times is reporting
that the DC Council will be told at the Nov. 28 stadium roundtable
that the $535 million cap on the new stadium
's pricetag is written in stone, meaning that either the design would have to be scaled back or Major League Baseball would have to chip in (yeah, right). The story also reports that the stadium lease agreement appears to be far enough along that it will be able to be discussed publicly at Monday's roundtable (which is expected to be, the article quite rightly notes, a fairly contentious meeting). Will the "iconic" glass-stone-and-steel design
that was presented to DC officials recently have to be scaled back? Would a brick retro stadium a la Camden Yards be cheaper? Will this ever end?
The DC government has delayed by one month
the vacate date for landowners in the footprint of the new Nationals stadium
, according to Wednesday's Post
("Stadium Property Takeover Delayed
"). Properties must now be vacated by Feb. 3, 2006; the mayor's spokesman says this will not effect the stadium's completion date. The article also says that several of the landowners filed counterarguments in court this week to the city's eminent domain proceedings: "Some are contesting the city's legal right to the land, some are challenging the amount of money the city is offering for the properties and some are fighting on both fronts." A hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 24, although one owner has requested a hearing date before the Feb. 3 vacate deadline. You can visit my Stadium Offers
page to see which lots have been seized by the city, what the properties were assessed for in 2005, and what the city offered.