Worst-Face Stadium Scenario

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Between Marc Fisher's Feb. 19 Metro column, "A Bad Deal for Maryland Taxpayers," and the Feb. 20 editorial "A Gift in Prince George's," The Post seemed to be busy trying to portray Prince George's County residents as capable of thinking only what their elected officials tell them to. Both the column and the editorial were skeptical of optimistic economic projections for the impact of a proposed soccer stadium for D.C. United.

Fisher's mention of a survey regarding the perception of crime in the county seemed to fly in the face of the Feb. 4 editorial "Taking Back Prince George's," which said that "violence continues to wane in Prince George's. The county is safer than it's been in years . . . ."

Fisher fretted that soccer fans won't travel to Prince George's because of a "demographic mismatch," but people are flocking to National Harbor, just as they have to another stadium in Prince George's, FedEx Field, with its 95,000 seats. County taxpayers benefit from an admissions tax on each of those attending the games.

It is interesting to see the paper be so negative when a franchise is looking to leave Washington for the suburbs. One has to wonder if the same vitriol we've seen applied to Prince George's would have occurred had the imminent move of D.C. United been reversed or if Northern Virginia had been selected as the venue.

-- M.H. Jim Estepp

Upper Marlboro

The writer is president and chief executive of the Greater Prince George's Business Roundtable and a former member of the Prince George's County Council.

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