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What Is DCWatch?
|Government of the District of
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:
After additional dialogue with my colleagues and with you and others
during the past week, I am forwarding you further definition of the list
of issues that must be addressed with documentation, prior to the
Council's consideration of any revised ballpark lease. This list is
identical to the list set forth in my January 11, 2006 letter to you, with
the following further definitions that we have been discussing: defining
the “baseball-related income” in item #2; providing an example of how
to guarantee construction costs in item #6; specifying some of the
strengthened community benefit obligations in item #10, and including
items #11 and #12:
- No residential taxpayer will pay anything for baseball.
- No more money shall be allocated for baseball other than the $535
million already authorized and the following baseball-related income:
$37 million collected, plus any interest, in the Ballpark Revenue Fund
in 2005; $30 million in interest earned on the borrowing; $9 million
in premium received on the sale of the bonds due to investment grade
rating; and $20 million and any additional contribution from the team
or third parties.
- All local, small and disadvantaged business enterprise contracting
and employment requirements will continue.
- The commitment from baseball for local ownership of the team, and,
for tax purposes, that the team will be based in the District.
- 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.
- Construction costs of the stadium will be guaranteed so that
taxpayers will not face an open checkbook problem. The checkbook will
be closed. This could be accomplished through the development of a
formula that provides a fixed amount of dollars to the builders of the
stadium to whom control over construction would be provided; under
this example, a check would be provided for the budgeted hard costs of
construction and the District would provide no additional dollars for
- All development rights in the area outside of the baseball
footprint, and taxes generated therefrom, will benefit the District
and its residents, not baseball.
- 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.
- 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.
- Certain community benefit obligations of the baseball team will be
strengthened or clarified, including:
- an initiative to rebuild youth baseball infrastructure in the
District, which shall include sponsorship of a baseball academy
for youth, renovation of baseball fields, support for baseball
clinics for players, coaches and umpires, expanding after-school
and summer leagues, and provision of baseball equipment and
- ensuring that the minimum 50 personal public appearances per
season by the team, in support of education, youth sports or other
public service activities, will take place in the District of
- substantially increasing the number of regular season tickets
for free each year that will be made available to underprivileged
District youths accompanied by adult mentors; and
- a commitment to employ District residents at all levels of the
team's operations, from the front-office to game-day personnel to
- Failure by the team to pay rent shall include sufficient remedies
and penalties to enforce the requirement and shall not trigger a
cancellation of the lease that would trigger the cancellation of the
- If the March 1, 2008 deadline for completion of the new stadium is
not met despite reasonable best efforts by the District to meet the
deadline, the team will continue to pay rent for playing at RFK
Stadium in the first 12 months beyond the deadline.
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
Linda W. Cropp
Chief Financial Officer
Sports and Entertainment Commission
Anacostia Waterfront Commission