By DAN KARELL
The proposal for a new soccer-specific stadium in Washington D.C. is facing further delays as the nation prepares for election day.
D.C. City Council chairman Phil Mendelson reportedly decided on Monday to delay the release of a study on the financial risks of the stadium project until Wednesday, Nov. 5, the day after election day. The study was due to be released on Tuesday at a City Council hearing, and a number of the council members and candidates were waiting on the findings of the story before giving their take on the stadium proposal.
The Washington Post reported that Mendelson, who is critical of some aspects of the stadium proposal, including the potential land-swaps that would see the Reeves Center transferred to private ownership, wasn’t even sure if the study’s findings would be released in time for election day before voters go to the polls.
In the meantime, the delay increases the likelihood that the proposal won’t be approved before City Council adjourns in December, with the new City Council set to begin in January.
Mayor Vincent Gray, who proposed the stadium plan in 2013, lost in the Democratic primary in April and will not be involved in the next session of City Council, hurting the proposal’s chances of being approved.
The stadium proposal calls for a “complex series of land-swaps” with real estate company Akridge and other businesses who are currently on land a few blocks south of Nationals Park at Buzzard Point. D.C. United would pay approximately $140 million for the 20,000 seat stadium, and would also be given tax breaks from the city for the first 15 years of the stadium’s existence. Taxpayers would contribute $120 million in the land-swaps and other infrastructure improvements in the area.
What do you think of this development? Confident that the stadium proposal will still be approved by December? Think this could be the end of the proposal?
Share your thoughts below.