So the Washington, D.C. council held that hearing yesterday on councilmember Vincent Orange’s plan for a 100,000-seat football stadium/hotel/golf course/indoor water park/etc. on the site of RFK Stadium, and I’m sure there was lots of important testimony about how much it would cost and how it would be paid for and stuff like that. Right? Right?
“I believe RFK Stadium and the surrounding land could be turned into a successful financial venture for the District of Columbia,” testified D.L. “Corky” Calhoun, a D.C. business executive and former member of the 1976 championship NBA Portland Trail Blazers.
“Like the Washington Wizards and the Washington Nationals the Washington Redskins should be playing their games here in a facility in Washington D.C.,” said Calhoun.
Okay, people in the sports world think sports teams are peachy keen. What else?
“It creates new opportunities and lots and lots of new jobs. One hotel, the size of 500 rooms, could create as many as 1,000 new jobs in the area,” [Hotel developer William] Conway testified.
And hotel developers think hotels are peachy keen. Come on, somebody testified about the details of the plan, right?
“If there is to be a new football stadium built in the metropolitan region, and the Redskins organization certainly wants that, there is no better site than where RFK now sits,” declared D.C. Council member Jack Evans, a member of the Economic Development Committee.
We got it, people like football. Anybody?
District resident Ronald Dixon said, “The Redskins need to be in D.C. Because they are a destination. You can build on that.”
From the looks of things, the only person who actually talked about economics or finances was neighborhood advisory commission chair Brian Flahaven, whose website I’ve linked to before, and who raised the issue of a football stadium being a terrible anchor for hotels, given that “there’s only ten football games a year … plus maybe you get a concert here or there. The rest of the year, the stadium is not open… it just sits there.” Which is an interesting point, but, you know, FOOOOOOOOTBALLLLLLLLLL!!!! Because that’s what public oversight is all about.