The Post has already posted a version of tomorrow's stadium story, "Mayor Insists Stadium Costs Will Not Rise" (changed to "Williams Dismisses Stadium Estimate" in Wednesday's print version), which quotes Mayor Bowtie as saying, "Under no circumstances will this stadium cost $700 million," and that the reports of that pricetag were misleading, the result of misinformation perpetuated by stadium opponents "who have been against this deal from day one." (Gee, I wonder who that could be?) More: "Williams acknowledged that the stadium project budget does not contain money for ancillary costs such as improvements to a nearby Metro station and roads, an underground parking structure, bond financing fees and other potential costs. [...] 'I never believed these costs should be borne completely by the baseball stadium budget,' Williams said. 'They never have been borne completely by other cities with stadiums.' But several council members said they approved the $535 million budget with the expectation that the figure included money for roads, Metro and bond financing."
Zoning Commission news: the expected Dec. 8 hearing on Florida Rock's second stage PUD has been cancelled, with plans for a new date in Spring 2006. Also, the new proposed amendment to the Capital Gateway Overlay has been approved for setdown (hearing date TBD); here is the Office of Planning's report and draft of the proposed text change that was submitted to the Zoning Commission for discussion. If you have comments or questions or additional input, contact Joel Lawson at the Office of Planning.
Did we say $435 million? We meant $535 million. Or $589 million. Or $714 million, if you watch NBC4 ("New Cost Estimate Jeopardizes Baseball Stadium Plan") or read this morning's Post ("D.C. Baseball Stadium Cost Could Exceed $700 Million") or Washington Times ("D.C. re-evaluates ballpark figure for higher costs"). Or is it really that high? "Officials stressed that the new estimates are preliminary and take into account all potential costs, including $41 million for underground parking, $20 million to upgrade the Navy Yard Metro station and $12 million to rebuild nearby roads. They added that some of the work might not have to be paid for by the city or done at all." Mayoral spokesman Vince Morris disputes the figure: "The $700 million doomsday budget is not ours and does not reflect reality." And as for the city's concession in the lease agreement, the city has agreed to give baseball one-third of parking revenue generated by a new stadium on non-game days. In the meantime, David Catania continues to fight the stadium, by introducing two emergency measures at today's council session: One would slap a $535 million limit on spending to build the stadium, and the second would state that the stadium and related infrastructure improvements can only be paid for by city bonds. UPDATE: AP is reporting that both of Catania's measures failed (votes were 8-5 in favor, but 9 votes are needed for emergency legislation).