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Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp
Letter to Mayor Anthony Williams on the need to improve the baseball stadium lease
January 11, 2006




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Government of the District of Columbia
Washington, D.C. 20004

January 11, 2006

The Honorable Anthony A. Williams
Mayor of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

Dear Mayor Williams:

I am writing as a follow-up to my December 29, 2005 letter to you (attached) regarding the need to improve the proposed lease for the new baseball stadium, and after further dialogue with members of the Council. Prior to Council consideration of any revised ballpark lease, we must have documentation that the following issues are being addressed:

  1. No residential taxpayer will pay anything for baseball.
  2. No more money shall be allocated for baseball other than the $535 million already authorized and all baseball-related income.
  3. All local, small and disadvantaged business enterprise contracting and employment requirements will continue.
  4. The commitment from baseball for local ownership of the team, and, for tax purposes, that the team will be based in the District.
  5. Land and environmental costs of the baseball stadium will be capped and guaranteed by third parties, such as Major League Baseball, potential owners and/or developers.
  6. Construction costs of the stadium will be guaranteed so that taxpayers will not face an open checkbook problem. The checkbook will be closed.
  7. All development rights in the area outside of the baseball footprint, and taxes generated therefore, will benefit the District and its residents, not baseball.
  8. The District will have development rights (on top of parking required by baseball) on the baseball footprint, which will be directed to protect taxpayers from any cost overruns.
  9. The $20 million team contribution to the stadium project budget shall be applied only to previously approved costs within the initial project budget as designated by the Sports and Entertainment Commission, and may be increased by the team's new owners.
  10. Certain community benefit obligations of the baseball team will be strengthened or clarified.

I look forward to continuing to work with you, the members of the Council, and the baseball team owners to ensure a timely resolution of this matter.


Linda W. Cropp

cc: Councilmembers
City Administrator
Sports and Entertainment Commission

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