Tuesday, November 09, 2004

D.C. first plays paying game

By Laura Vecsey
The Baltimore Sun
Originally published Nov 9, 2004

IN NEW YORK, baseball officials sit and wait. This is Washington's problem now. If D.C. can't deliver what it promised, then the Expos don't become the Nationals and they can go back to Montreal.

"Adieu?" to Canada.

How does "Bonjour" sound? "We struck a deal with the city council. They have until the end of the month to get it passed. We're supportive of that deal. We'll let it play out. We don't want to get into the middle of a political battle," Major League Baseball spokesman Rich Levin said yesterday.

In Baltimore, the owner of the Orioles is likely attending to business far more pressing, like Vioxx lawsuits, than figuring revenue guarantees for when the Expos move into the Orioles' "territory." With the D.C. stadium proposal cracking like a Maryland crab, what's the rush? If anyone out there can think of a stadium deal that got done in this country without a crisis and widespread panic, not to mention some righteous name-calling, please pass along the time and place.

These are the main ingredients of stadium deals: threats, doomsday deadlines, scorched earth scare tactics, political ploys.

So it is in D.C. A key vote for the proposed baseball stadium's location and financing is today - but not before Mayor Anthony A. Williams and council chairwoman Linda W. Cropp took to the airwaves and Internet yesterday. Each tried to drum up support for different proposals about where District taxpayers should dump hundreds of millions and just how many millions the District should spend on public welfare for the great game of baseball.

Read the entire article here on the Baltimore Sun website.