I have been reluctant to weigh in on the baseball stadium issue for fear of jeopardizing what would be the perfect name for a new stadium, "Mr. Tony World." But after reading that the cost of the stadium and improvements to the area could exceed $700 million, I just had to say something. And that something is: "Whoa! Hold on a second, Sparky."
Seven hundred million dollars? (The story literally said the doomsday estimate was up to $714 million. I assumed that was an inside joke, and laff-riot Natwar Gandhi is a Babe Ruth guy.)
Man, oh, man, this thing keeps going up every day. It started out last year around $400 million. By the summer it was up to $535 million. Now the total package is at $700 million?
Is it a baseball stadium or the Powerball?
As one of dozens of people who actually pay taxes in the District of Columbia (not everyone does; Marion Barry, who serves on the D.C. Council, declined to pay taxes for years, like it was something you could think about and get back to them, you know, next year or whenever), I draw the line at $675 million, dammit. I'm already working three jobs.
A few months back they told us that a paltry $535 million would bring "a Ford, not a Cadillac" of a stadium. (What, no heated seats? No GPS? No pitching rubber? No bathrooms?) And yesterday Tony Williams reiterated that the stadium would cost no more than that. But the $700 million figure didn't come out of thin air. Don't these infrastructure improvements cost money?
Let's say the package does climb to $700 million. For that kind of cabbage, I want a Bentley of a stadium. I want so many bells and whistles you can hear that bad boy coming from the Beltway. In fact, I want the stadium on wheels so I can drive it around the Beltway and park it at a new place every game. It'll be at my house for the first Mets game.
For $700 million, this thing ought to look like the Taj Mahal with rose petals on the base paths, and floating orchid gardens in the outfield. (Seriously, for $700 million, it ought to make dinner and clean your house!) And for $700 million, I want amenities. If I buy tickets, I want Chad Cordero to place a chocolate on my seat before every game.