Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Contractual Rough Edge
About National's Stadium's
Above-Ground Parking

From Jacqueline Dupree:
Mayor Calls for Cease Fire with Lerners
(7/27 9:02 AM) From the Post: "D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams called yesterday for a meeting to restore goodwill between city officials and the new owners of the Washington Nationals, saying that the family of Bethesda developer Theodore N. Lerner had been "condescending" in dealings with the city." Tony got in a few good licks: " 'We're both in this,' Williams said. 'You put up $450 million for the team. Well, we put up $611 million for the stadium, and we're trying to get some benefits for our people. Excuse me, we do not need the condescending attitude. Maybe I have not built a stadium, but we brought $40 billion of investment to this city. Someone must think we know what we're doing.' " Team president Stan Kasten attempted to dial back the hostilities by releasing a statement saying "The new Nationals ownership has nothing but appreciation and respect for the enormous work and political courage of Mayor Williams and the D.C. Council in making big league baseball a reality in the Nation's Capital. We have been consistently supportive of their commitment to Major League Baseball to deliver a first class ballpark on time and on budget." [snarky emphasis mine] Other tidbits in the article: Herb Miller is scheduled to present his financing plan for The Garages Wrapped With Development Goodness to the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission on Monday. And the Mayor has said that he would go to the council for more money (up to $83 million according to CFO Gandhi) if the Miller plan falls through. The WashTimes has a similar article, with the additional info that after the financing plan is presented to DCSEC on Monday, they will vote on it on Wednesday; at that point, it would then need the Lerner group's approval for it to move forward.
This centers around the stadium contract's requirement for its on-site parking spaces to be operational by the stadium's April, 2006 scheduled opening, with the lack of any contractual requirement that the these be underground; hence these parking spaces were to be in above-ground multi-level structures.

Placing this parking partially or entirely underground will raise this stadium's acknowledged costs to over $700 million.

It is not known to this blogger if this issue about underground versus above ground parking was even mentioned anytime in the negotiations between the District of Columbia government and MLB over this whole Nationals Stadium fiasco.

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