Washington to fund park if MLB moves Expos

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Washington to fund park if MLB moves Expos

Postby BringThePain! » Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:37 pm

Just in case anybody's interested....

I've been hoping for years that they bring a baseball team to the Washington Area and this may be a little spark in us getting one...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1779131
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Postby welch » Sat Apr 10, 2004 10:56 pm

Major league baseball is just minor league if there is no team in the Nation's Capital.

- The Senators drew well whenever they had a respectable team. In my lifetime, that was 1960, 1967, and 1969; the '69 team was the only one to finish above .500, and DC went wild.

- Washington baseball would draw from the same incredibale fan base that powers the Redskins. How many years long is the waiting list?

- Edward Bennett Williams and Jack Kent Cooke had the foresight to see that they could make the Skins ticket a hot, sought-after thing: a nationally televised game, the camera swings to The Baron's box, and who has been invited to sit with JKC? Is it the Chief Justice? Majority Leader of the Senate? Henry Kissinger? etc etc

- Calvin Griffith (old Senators, left after 1960) and Bob Short (new Senators, left after '71) had no sense and no forseight.

- It is often argued, without much thought, that Washington is a "transient town", that "everyone leaves every four years". As if everyone in Washington works in the White House?

- Note the other cities:
Las Vegas; Monterrey, Mexico; Norfolk, Va.; Portland, Ore.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Northern Virginia
Those are small-market, minor-league towns. NoVa is not a city, but a suburb of a city, and a suburb that has lousy transportation. A team that plays on week nights, regularly, has to be located in the center of the population.

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Postby DEHog » Sun Apr 11, 2004 3:46 am

I can think of many needs in D.C. and to fund a new stadium is not one of them. For starters how bout the school system??
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Postby welch » Sun Apr 11, 2004 8:21 am

If the question is, who should pay for a new stadium, then yes, you are right. Let the owners pay...they take the profits.

We have the same issues in New York / New Jersey, where there are active efforts to build new stadiums for:

- Nets (Brooklyn)

- Devils (Newark)

- Jets (mid-town Manhattan)

There is a standing plan to spend $1Billion to build a new Yankee Stadium in mid-town, and a new Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows. They might be back-burnered a while, but only for a while.

Agreed: no government has spare cash to fund these projects; in general, it seems like public theft to give public money to any privately owned team, anyplace. Steinbrenner makes the money and takes the money.

*

I want baseball back in my home town. DC Stadium / RFK was a pretty good ball park. It was the best of the 1960's era two-purpose, baseball-football stadiums. At most of them, like Shea or Oakland, the stands are too far from the baseball field. They were built in almost-circles, to fit the gridiron better. Go to Shea and take binoculars to read the players' numbers.

Furthermore, RFK is about the right size: roughly 50,000 for baseball. What does it lack? luxury skyboxes (oh!! and I remember when the DC Stadium mezzanine was considered luxury!). Maintenance: RFK has suffered from "deferred maintenance", as they called it in NYC when the city refused to scrape the paint off the bridges and highways.

So repair it, maintain it. There is no way that repairing a 40-year-old stadium can cost even a third of the cost of building something new.

The Metro goes to RFK. There is some parking -- lots more than at Griffith.

Why can't MLB wake up? Put a team at RFK until its owners can afford to build closer downtown.

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