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COMPLETED STADIUM LEASE MOVES SOUTH CAPITOL STREET BALLPARK CLOSER
Mayor Praises Sports Commission For "Hard-Line" Negotiations
(Washington, DC) Mayor Anthony A. Williams announced today that the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission completed negotiations with Major League Baseball over a new lease for the Washington Nationals ballpark near South Capitol Street in Southeast.
Central to the lease are three provisions which the mayor demanded: Major League Baseball agrees to severe penalties if the team is ever moved from the District; that baseball contribute $20 million to help cover cost overruns associated project; and that team continue to provide free tickets to low-income District residents.
"This lease moves us one step closer to building a beautiful, state-of-the-art ballpark along the Anacostia River. We've negotiated a good deal for the city and persuaded Major League Baseball to concede on many fronts. MLB is giving the city $20 million and even agreed to turn over fully two-thirds of parking revenue on non-game days to the District. Negotiating this lease was not an easy matter and I commend the Sports Commission for its work and hard-line stance," said Mayor Williams.
"I look forward to a full discussion of the lease during a hearing next week and I urge the Council to approve this lease as quickly as possible the following week so that we may move forward with this project," Williams said.
The 30-year lease between the city and the team allows the District to go forward with issuance of $535 million in bonds. To protect individual taxpayers, the stadium will be paid for using tax on utilities, a tax on the cities largest businesses and a tax on tickets and concessions. No general revenue is used for the stadium.
Among the major provisions of the lease:
The Council is scheduled to consider the lease on Dec. 20th. Once it is approved, Mayor Williams will sign it.
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