Field of Schemes
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October 05, 2006

Nats stadium cost hits $686m

Stop the presses! We have a price tag for the added public costs of building parking garages alongside the new Washington Nationals stadium. According to D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, it will cost an additional $75 million to build 5,000 parking spaces, bringing the total project cost to $686 million - or just $253 million more than the mayor said it would when he first cut the stadium deal back in September 2004.

In order to get the added money, the city council would have to lift the $611 million spending cap that it approved back in March. Pro-stadium councilmember Jack Evans told the Washington Post that "under no scenario will the council raise the cap, in my view" - but then, he's said that before.

Making things even more interesting is that the next mayor of D.C. will almost certainly be Democratic primary winner Adrian Fenty, who was one of the strongest voices of opposition to the stadium deal on the council. Could Fenty tell the Nats that they'll only get the 1,225 parking spaces guaranteed in their lease, and if they want more they'll have to build them themselves? Probably not, but it does seem likely that this never-ending saga has a few more plot twists to come.

LATE NOTE: Of course, looked at another way, the latest D.C. stadium cost estimates are right on target. (Thanks, Progressive Review.)

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