Thursday, November 11, 2004

Cropp Backs Stadium Plan, With a Caveat

Council Leader Agrees to Support Williams's SE Proposal if Private Financing Is an Option
By David Nakamura
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 11, 2004; Page B01

Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp (D) says she
is "just looking for a better deal" for the city.
(Susan Biddle -- The Washington Post)

D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp said yesterday that she would support Mayor Anthony A. Williams's plan to build a publicly financed baseball stadium along the Anacostia River in Southeast, as long as the contract stipulates the possibility of adding private funding in the future.

"We probably will do that," she said. "I have said from the start that I am in favor of baseball. I'm just looking for a better deal. It's premature to say whether anything will come up that is a better deal."

Cropp's statement came after she and Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) met with Fred Cooke, an attorney for BW Realty Advisors LLC. That group has proposed using as much as $350 million in private funds to build the stadium, estimated to cost as much as $530 million.

Evans said Cooke was unable to answer many of the key questions about the company's plan. Cooke said in an interview that he needed more data from the city about the ballpark to supply those answers. Cooke will return Monday to provide additional information to the full council.

Read the entire article here on the Washington Post website.