Friday, October 29, 2004

Approval for New Stadium in Washington Hits a Snag

By RICHARD SANDOMIR
The NY Times
Published: October 29, 2004


WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 - Maybe the idea of financing a new stadium here for the relocated Montreal Expos seemed easy last month when the city received the news that Major League Baseball would send the team to the nation's capital.

The celebratory rally was led by the bow-tied Mayor Anthony A. Williams, who wore a red Senators cap, John Fogerty's song "Centerfield" played on loudspeakers and children in baseball uniforms shared the stage with politicians eager to congratulate themselves.

Legislation to authorize the $440 million stadium package is still likely to pass, but the ride is getting bumpy.

The plan has exposed a schism within the District of Columbia's City Council, which must approve it, and among its citizens, over the size and predominance of the public contribution - taxes on tickets, concessions and parking at the ballpark, plus a citywide business tax. The team will pay rent starting at $3.5 million annually.

Read the entire article here on the NY Times website.