Thursday, October 19, 2006

Council Nixes Funding Plan for Stadium Parking

The DC Council yesterday failed to advance legislation to fund two above-ground (and one underground) parking garages adjacent to the new Nationals ballpark, punting (sports puns being appropriate) the issue out of the Council. Mayor-in-wait Adrian Fenty had proposed a funding mechanism for the new garages (the city is required to provide 1225 parking spots for the stadium) that would not raise the previously agreed $611 million spending cap for the new stadium – of course, this creative accounting would require $56 million to be taken from non-stadium city funding, a method only a budget director could love. The new owners of the Nationals have proposed less expensive free-standing, above-ground parking, but Mayor Anthony Williams has proposed below-grade parking to allow for mixed-use development above the garage. The Council’s vote - for an emergency declaration to proceed – was 7 for, 6 against, which failed to meet the required supermajority for emergency measures. The worst-case scenario, if all options fail, is for the city to simply pave over the five-acre northern parcel to provide some parking spaces – a solution nobody wants. It is unclear whether the issue will next be taken up by the Council or by the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission.


Anonymous said...

Scary to think that without the Supermajority provision we could have been faced with yet more costs to fund the Lerner's ballpark. I'm sure one way or another DC residents will be paying for this parking lot.

Anonymous said...

Why do taxpayers need to pay anything for this stadium? What is the team owner there for? Just to collect the money from ticket sales and other profits? Does not make sense at all. Thanks Tony.

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