Just As I Thought

Seventh Inning Stretch

Aw, the multi-billionaires that run Major League Baseball are furious that the taxpayers in Washington, DC won’t won’t pay to build a stadium for overpaid baseball players to make yet more money.
So sad. Those DC council members are so mean.
There are so many things that DC needs to do — the most urgent of which is an overhaul of their failing schools — I just don’t see the importance of a baseball team. And the way that major league sports pushes cities around to get billions in taxpayer funding always has made me sick.
It’s not surprising that DC council chair Linda Cropp has been getting a huge response to her re-working the MLB deal. It’s also not surprising what the reaction has been: District residents, her constituents, are against a tax-funded stadium. Most of the anti-Cropp complaints come from affluent people living in the suburbs — the ones who pay no DC taxes and would drive in to see a game. The ones who don’t have kids going to DC schools.
If MLB wants a fantastic new stadium to play in, let them build it themselves.

Just a little more: first off, a season ticket for the team runs more than $3,000. I’m sure there are DC residents in the more affluent areas to whom this is a drop in the bucket, but most families living in DC could never dream of affording this hefty price to see their team. It’s strictly an elites-only thing. An example is this unintentionally obnoxious letter to the editor:

A few weeks ago when I deposited $1,200 for Washington Nationals season tickets, I thought I finally had a great reason to go back into the District, and I was looking forward to adopting a baseball team of my own. On Tuesday night I was in the process of buying my children Nationals hats and shirts for Christmas when I heard the news. So much for that. I will forget about the tickets, shirts and hats and stay close to home.

Northern Virginia, I have money to spend on baseball tickets, hats, shirts, restaurants, parking and souvenirs. Are you interested?


Someone like this would do nothing for DC’s economy — he would never venture outside the stadium, never visit the neighborhoods, never enjoy the city. Big loss. I should point out that season ticket buyers were required to put down 10%; so this guy was buying $12,000 worth of tickets. There are people in DC who only make $12,000 a year.

For those of you who are not familiar with deal MLB made with the Mayor — who’s only concern was creating a legacy for himself as the mayor who brought back baseball — this letter about sums it up:

Mr. Boswell accuses the council of “business deceit” because it refused to approve what he calls “an acceptable stadium offer on the table, complete with fully negotiated concessions on both sides.” On both sides? Really?

Major League Baseball got a stadium that would be built entirely with taxpayer money. Taxpayers would also be responsible for land acquisition costs, infrastructure improvements and all cost overruns. Taxpayers would have to pay compensatory damages to Major League Baseball if the stadium is not ready by Opening Day 2008. And, in the most scandalous and galling giveaway in sports history, the tenant gets to sell the naming rights to the stadium that the taxpayers will have built and own.


1 comment

  • I so agree (again). I was so relieved when the Arlington County Board snubbed major league baseball because MLB was trying to string them along.

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