Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Say no to baseball subsidy

The Washington Times
August 24, 2004

Last week, during its meetings in Philadelphia, Major League Baseball owners declined to vote on whether the Montreal Expos would move to Washington or elsewhere. Following the meetings, Commissioner Bud Selig said owners would look at all "variables" before casting votes. A decision next month, or even post-haste following the post-season, would give Washington time to pull off stupendous opening day ceremonies in RFK Stadium. Yet April 2005 is not our essential concern.

Question: Who will pay the costs for baseball to return to Washington?

Answer: Apparently not the owners.

The foot-dragging by MLB owners is indeed nagging supporters — in Washington proper, as well as those in Northern Virginia. It is nagging because baseball's owners know that Washington is the only jurisdiction that meets all of the so-called variables that concern (including a new home on the cheap and demographics to fill the seats and concession stands). Washington has all that and more.

And therein lies our primary rub. Why offer the owners heavily subsidized housing when Washington demographics prove strong enough to sustain a new team and a new home? The city should neither increase taxes nor use tax dollars to finance a new stadium.

Read the entire editorial here on the Washington Times website.