: "Washington's planned waterfront baseball stadium
cleared its last major obstacle on Monday after the city and Major League Baseball signed a 30-year lease that caps city-funded costs at $611 million. " The article says that the path is now cleared for CFO Gandhi to sell the bonds to fund the stadium, a process expected to take four to six weeks. It also says that the construction contract
is expected to be approved by the city council on Tuesday.
UPDATE, 10:43 pm:
And here is the AP's very similar piece
, with the quote that makes me perk up: "Once the construction contract is approved, the city hopes to unveil ballpark designs next week." Because we haven't had enough acrimony already!
UPDATE, 8:38 am:
Tuesday's Post has "DC Exempt on Stadium Overruns
," focusing the mayor-signs-lease story on a letter from CEO Gandhi to the city council certifying "that the deal struck over the past few days between the mayor, the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission and baseball officials includes a legal "acknowledgement" of the council's mandate to cap public spending on the project at $611 million" and that "excess tax revenue may be used only with the council's approval," thereby erasing the last major doubts from council members about the deal. A new owner could be named by the end of March. The WashTimes
article this morning is very similar to the others, although it does have a new tidbit that says MLB has allowed the new stadium to open as late as July 31, 2008 without penalty. It also says "council members said they had no plans to disrupt the deal." Let's wait until today's council session is finished before putting all our faith in that statement :-).
UPDATE, 8:45 am:
And, just for the heck of it, here's the MLB.com story
on the lease signing. And if you feel like watching today's council proceedings (you masochist!), here's the streaming video link
UPDATE, 10:30 am:
I'll add in this nice Baltimore Sun piece
, which uses a good hook of the long-suffering fans hoping that this finally makes the Nats DC's team.