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Civic groups and Washington Post Columnist Blast Baseball Stadium Proposal
The chorus of criticism of a proposal to build a baseball stadium downtown grew louder today as civic groups and opinion leaders spoke out against the plan.
Washington Post Columnist Rudolph A. Pyatt, Jr. called the stadium proposal a "half-baked idea from left field" that is the product of special interests, not sound planning or economic development principles. The proposal would eliminate the ability "to add more housing in the downtown area, to attract more people who pay taxes and spend more for goods and services where they live."
The Committee of 100 on the Federal City issued a statement calling on Mayor Anthony A. Williams to reject the proposed Mt. Vernon Square location and consider other sites. A site at New York and Florida Aves. was mentioned as a superior alternative that would stimulate economic development in the New York Ave. and North Capitol St. corridors without destabilizing residential areas.
Stadium proponent and Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans was stung by critical comments when he broached the stadium idea at a meeting of the Ward 2 Democrats Thursday. "You¹re building convention centers and baseball stadiums when we need residents to stabilize the city¹s tax base," said ANC Commissioner Richard Westbrook.
"It does not make sense to build stadiums where downtown housing is planned and needed," said Shaw activist Beth Solomon. "We need sound economic development with residents downtown, not another half-baked Field of Dreams."
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