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Washington, D.C. stadium seen costing $667.3 million


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Washington, D.C. stadium seen costing $667.3 mln

Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:39 PM

By David Lawder

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington, D.C.'s new baseball stadium will cost $667.3 million if the city pursues plans to build it near the Anacostia River, according to new cost estimates released on Monday.

 

If the stadium is built instead on a site next to the existing Robert F. Kennedy stadium, it will cost $605.5 million, according to the projections made by the city's chief financial officer, Natwar Gandhi.

 

The new estimates come as the city council is nearing a crucial December 20 vote on a 30-year stadium lease for the Washington Nationals at the Anacostia River site, about a mile south of the U.S. Capitol building.

 

Several city council members are advocating that the District of Columbia build the new ballpark instead at the RFK site because it would involve lower land costs.

 

But the difference of $61.8 million between the two sites is smaller than RFK advocates' predictions that the city could save $100 million or more by switching sites.

 

Gandhi said, however, that he added $31 million in contingency costs to the RFK site because of possible delays in obtaining federal government approval to amend the land lease for a new stadium, environmental tests and new lease negotiations with Major League Baseball.

 

The total project costs for the Anacostia River site include $109.7 million in land acquisition and preparation costs, versus $16 million at the RFK site.

 

The estimated cost for building the stadium itself would be $376.6 million at each of the sites.

The Anacostia estimate also includes about $36 million in street reconstruction and expansion of a nearby Metro rail station.

 

Mayor Anthony Williams has said the city would not pay for these improvements under its stadium budget, and would drop them from the plan or look for other sources to fund them, including private developers and the federal government.

 

"Regardless of external factors, the District will only issue $535 million in bonds to build the new stadium," Williams said in a statement on Monday.

 

Rising land and construction materials costs have chipped away at council support for the project in recent weeks as the city sought additional funds from the team's owner, Major League Baseball, in lease negotiations.

 

The league agreed to contribute an additional $20 million to cover cost overruns as part of a reallocation of parking revenues that will give the city two-thirds of non-game day parking receipts at the facility.

 

Williams and other advocates of the Anacostia site view the stadium as a catalyst for redevelopment of a run-down neighborhood adjacent to the Washington Navy Yard.

 

"Our new ballpark will spark a renaissance in Southeast, bringing apartments, condos, shops, restaurants and open space that together could result in more than $100 million in new revenue for the city each year," Williams said.

 

Separately, a city-sponsored development authority, the Anacostia Waterfront Corp., announced it had chosen a team of developers to create a development strategy for sites adjacent to the proposed ballpark in the next 90 days.

 

Source -- http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle....&archived=False

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I guess they actually like baseball in Washington

 

Not many in DC like it. Then again, it's not entirely a bad deal when you look at it. Most of the funds are coming from taxes on ballpark purchases or large businesses.

 

The mayor had a vision and followed through with it. Perhaps giving up more than he should have. He got baseball and a rudimentary commuter tax in return though. No one was able to do that before.

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Not really.

The main reason why the price is so high is that it is to fit MLB's wet dreams. Over 75 luxury boxes double-stacked. All the amenities for an additional 3000 premium seats. Restaurants. Offices. In-stadium walkway, ala Camden Yards' Eutaw Street. Basically everything that has gone into future stadiums, except a hotel.

DC is in a real estate boom that looks to slow down only when the fedral government collapses. The price of land is incredible at the site, and that's a point of contention - with some council members wishing to forego some of the tax revenue from a redeveloped waterfront for the cheap land near RFK, which is surrounded by nothing but parking lots and highways.

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