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Lawmaker: No Council Vote, No D.C. United Bill

Rosalind Helderman

The chairman of the key committee considering the D.C. United stadium study bill said today that the Prince George's County Council's failure to take a final position on the item yesterday "jeopardizes the fate of the bill for this session."

Chairman of House Appropriations Norman H. Conway (D-Wicomico) noted that Council Chairwoman Marilynn Bland had indicated to him over the weekend that the council would take up issue. A majority of the council voted preliminarily last week to oppose the bill but Bland had told Conway she was hopeful the council would change its position.

But Bland recessed a meeting yesterday without holding the vote (read more in Ovetta Wiggins' item below.) Without that vote, Conway said he will not move forward with the bill. Though the bill got initial support from his committee on Monday, its staff had discovered an amendment to the bill made it unconstitutional so the committee must vote anew before it can proceed.

"We do not have a letter from the County Council," Conway said. "At this point, the bill will not go anywhere."

Bill sponsor Del. Melony G. Griffith (D-Prince George's) said she still hopes the council will take up the issue in coming days. She said she hopes citizens will convince the council they want to let the state fund a study to see if the stadium could bring economic development to the county.

"They say in the legislature, a day is like 1,000 years and 1,000 years is like a day," she said. "If that letter comes on the final day of the session, I will works as hard as I can to make sure Prince George's gets this information."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  April 1, 2009; 12:39 PM ET
Categories:  Prince George's County , Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

The United can now turn their focus back to DC where it should have been all along!

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 1, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Turn the focus to DC to do what? The District had United in an indefinate holding pattern. Barring a change in mind from somebody, there's nowhere left to go in the greater DC area.

Posted by: evwill | April 1, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The issue with DC United was never that they didn't focus on the District, it's that Mayor Fenty doesn't give a flying hoot about United.

With Fenty in office, there is no hope for United to remain in DC.

Posted by: kolbkl | April 1, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Powerboater 69,

It's not over yet for this session or the next session. Didn't your mother tell you not to count your chickens before their hatched? As they are only voting on a study at this point, I think passage is very likely eventually. There simply is no justification for not doing it.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 1, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

No place to go, and too expensive to stay. The franchise should move - too bad. RFK is probably the best soccer venue in the U.S. The fan base is as attached to the stadium as the team. A shame that selfishness trumps the fans, but what's new?

Posted by: dgm3 | April 1, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

>> RFK is probably the best soccer venue in the U.S. The fan base is as attached to the stadium as the team.

Ummm, which fan base are you talking about? I've been to every home game since the inception of the league, and RFK is ATROCIOUS. Everyone hates the stadium - the crumbling infrastructure, the awful concessions, the sightlines, and the ridiculous distance from the field. The fan base is committed to the team - we hate the stadium.

Not only is RFK not the best soccer venue in the US, it's very possibly the worst in the MLS.

Posted by: dkorn | April 1, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Powerboater,

WTH is your problem with our team? Did some soccer player make fun of you in middle school? Too steamed that the Nationals couldn't sign anyone besides Dunn and are now doomed to 71-91 record instead of 61-101? Please, you have you fancy new ballpark that no one goes to, which is the reason we now cannot get ours. It almost pathetic the way you seek out anything with regards to our stadium, purposely refer to our team incorrectly, and belittle our fans. Please, go home and cry to your Zimmerman poster.

Posted by: Josh8 | April 1, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Amen!

Posted by: DadRyan | April 1, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

dgm3- it'd be selfishness on the owners' part if they saw fit to keep the team at that decrepit stadium RFK instead of having a true soccer venue for us DC Unied fans. well, not selfishness, more like insanity, since staying at RFK would ultimately be a huge financial waste.

Posted by: Comunista | April 1, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I say we find out where PowerBoater69's house is, then condemn the whole neighborhood under the rules of eminent domain.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeagh!

Posted by: bs2004 | April 1, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't see a reason to take it out on the Nationals and the stadium deal. The baseball team is not the reason why Fenty quashed MacFarlane's Poplar Point vision. He crushed United to show that he was going to be "fair" in awarding development rights (after people questioned his methods in the West End/Foggy Bottom deal). The first Poplar Point setback was the killer.

Actually, when contacting Maryland reps, I'm happy to mention the Nationals stadium as an example of how a smaller scale deal with United could be a good one. Though the Nationals Park adventure has been rough, the District are taking in revenues above bond repayment levels. Not to mention the astronomical rise in property values in near SE - with new property taxes coming in with it. Oh and the District are AAA bond rated for the first time ever.

http://www.jdland.com/dc/index.cfm?id=2898

Attendance sucks, team stinks, the owners got into a bitter rent dispute with the city - and the bonds are still being paid! And that Nationals bond repayment surplus almost offered United a chance at a stadium in DC...

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2006/jan/10/20060110-124136-8921r/

So, amazingly, United fans should be more "pro" Nationals Park than "anti".

Posted by: Kev29 | April 1, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Kev29,

To be fair? Nothing about what Fenty did to United is remotely resembling fair. Sucker punch I'll buy.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 1, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Hence my quotations. Fenty wanted to make a point with his call for competing proposals at Poplar Point - and they Anacostia, United and the city are now suffering for it. MacFarlane could have gotten PP going before the economic downturn - even with the logistical worries there.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 1, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

RFK is probably the best soccer venue in the U.S. The fan base is as attached to the stadium as the team.

Posted by: dgm3 | April 1, 2009 2:17 PM
-----------------------------------------

In what alternate reality? You must not go to games at RFK. You'd have to search long and hard at games to find a fan that has ANYTHING good to say about RFK. The bouncing stands are kinda cool -- it's too bad you can't really see the game from them. RFK is a rat-infested toilet. And, it sure wasn't built with soccer in mind -- It wasn't very good as a baseball stadium, but it's a terrible place to watch a soccer game.

Posted by: fischy | April 1, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I live in Prince Georges County and I hope that DC United continue to play at RFK stadium.
Councilwoman Bland please do not push for this bill. It will get you voted out of office.

Posted by: doctee5 | April 1, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

doctee5,

The current bill is simply authorizing a study. Are you afraid of the results? If not, then there is nothing to oppose right now.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 1, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

DC United has all these French and Nigerian backers. I don't know. I am not comfortable with these deals.

Posted by: MC_Pee_Pants | April 1, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I'll save everyone a "long and hard look" - I love RFK, it has what we like to call "Charm" :-) And I can see the game pretty well from my bouncy seat, albeit from a low angle but that's what you get when you buy low seats.

It is a horrible place for any team to operate in due to the DCSEC and complete lack of anything resembling "hospitality", and if you eat inside ever, it is beyond nasty (luckily I never do).

I do not expect this process to be smooth, but this cluster%^&# of a county council is getting on my last nerve. They came and begged us to consider moving there, then suddenly they aren't getting paid (or talked nice about or have their egos stroked or whatever) so they're suddenly against it? It is weird. Very unprofessional - but then so was the meeting being changed to remove the stadium from the agenda and the shutting off of the mics, so there seems to be a theme.

Great job of voting, PG residents...... (that's sarcasm for the slow ones reading along)

Posted by: dcufan | April 1, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"DC United has all these French and Nigerian backers. I don't know. I am not comfortable with these deals."

Huh? What on Earth are you talking about? The fans are overwhelmingly American.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 1, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

DCUfan,

Since we are talking a study not the construction, it begs the question: What is the County Council afraid of? It is merely a study.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 1, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Okay, first disclosure: I am no longer a resident of PG County or southern Maryland. But I am a traveling sports fan, who spends money (and pays local taxes) whenever I visit a stadium or arena.

I've been following this story for a while now, since the Poplar Point site was first mentioned and then discarded. I have yet to see any reasoned, coherent discussion of WHY those of you who are so opposed to having a soccer stadium built in the county are so hell-bent for leather against it, beyond the apparently misplaced belief that you feel your tax dollars would be misused in its construction and support.

Meanwhile I see the fans of United are putting forth quiet (for the most part), logical, informed, well-considered reasons as to why this facility should be built. Sure, they're biased -- they're fans. But if I'm an elected official, I'm thinking that reason should triumph over mindless hysteria.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | April 1, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Raze Ward 7 and build a soccer complex... or alternatively, look at sites in Northern VA. There might be a larger soccer (futbol) market in Northern VA than MD or DC anyway.

Posted by: SUMB44 | April 1, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

To PG Council, Hang Tough, You did what good legislators are supposed to do. You have restored my faith in government. To Chairman Conway, thank you for your common sense approach. To Del Melony Griffith, drop it, the stadium is dead. To those fans who want to know why Prince George's County can't pay any part of $195 million for a stadium, look at our taxes and our services. WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY - WE ARE RAISING TAXES, CLOSING SCHOOLS, FIRING AND FURLOUGHING COUNTY EMPLOYEES, FIREMEN, AND POLICEMEN, NUMBER 1 IN HOME FORECLOSURES IN THE STATE AND YOU WANT US TO PAY FOR A STADIUM. To DC United Owners, if you pay for your stadium 100%, welcome to PG; if you want us to pay, you can't find dollars when there's only pennies left in the piggy bank.

Posted by: robinsonawjr | April 1, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

SportzNut21,

Thank you for an outsider's viewpoint. I'm becoming more and more convinced that the opposition has nothing to do with tax dollars. The bill is nothing more than a study now and we still get the same rambling, incoherent, illogical, heated arguments as before. I am convinced that they just don't want a soccer stadium in the County and everything is viewed through their anti-stadium narrow minded goggles. I just wish the County Council would read these posts and see who they're supporting and not supporting.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 1, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

The United are my team and I'm very concerned about the future of the franchise if they move out of the District; I was one of the few at RFK this past Saturday and if it was in PG there's no way I would have gone.

The United's ownership group needs to pay for their own stadium regardless of where it is located, I was also against DC paying for Nationals Park but at least in that case the city did not already have a team and were forced to overpay bring the Nats to town.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 1, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

robinsonawjr,

Thank you for so incoherently making our point above. As with most of the opposition you don't have a clue. The bill is a study right now, not a plan for construction. What is with your tax dollar rambling rant? It is simply not relevant.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 1, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Powerboater69,

It's a study right now. Your point makes no sense. If the study proves it as a moneymaker who cares who pays for it. if it doesn't then it is the time to talk about them funding it.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 1, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

To doctee5 and robinsonawjr:

Where are you getting your info? The team is asking the county to use its credit (bonds) to fron the construction. The bonds will then be paid back by the revenue generated from the stadium use. Even if no additional economic activity is generated (more on that later), it is a wash.

Now, you need to understand that the average DC United fan is pretty passionate. We are not fair-weather fans. We stick by our team, and we support it through thick and thin. I do not think I am alone in saying that I will go out of my way to spend money in PG County if the stadium is built there. I am already going out of my way to NOT spend money in DC because of the way the team was treated by Fenty and friends. Without a stadium, I can promise you that this Virginian has no reason to set foot or spend a dime in PG.

Posted by: DCU4LIFE | April 1, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

dcufan:

FWIW, the County Council never asked DCU to come to the County. I regularly see this misstated. The County Executive made this deal without the Council and apparently without discussing it with the Council. He wants a monument since he hasn't brought any real economic development (National Harbor was approved under Wayne Curry).

Haven't you seen the DC Mayor at odds with the City Council over a stadium deal before? Its rather dangerous for an Exec to presume to know what a Council will do without working it out in advance.

One thing you really need to do (if you can stomach it) is review the tape of the County Council briefing with McFarlane. It was too hard on McFarlane, but his inability to provide reasonable answers undermined his credibility and empowered the NIMBY opposition. DCU never required from that briefing. So, those who whine about PG govt officials and crazed NIMBY's and how they have no substantive arguments... well, the County Council asked dozens of substantive questions and McFarlane failed the oral exam miserably.

FWIW, one segment of the vocal, crazed opposition is taking the DVD around and showing people the DVD as the substance behind their opposition. So, they may not write articulate comments here but they are killing you in PG with McFarlane.

Bummer.

Posted by: erimaren | April 1, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

erimaren,

Yours is by far the most eloquent argument I have read. However, the bill as many have stated above is merely requesting a feasibility study now. Whether he was incompetent or not, the County Council has absolutely nothing to lose in giving the thumbs up to the study. It would supercede his incompetence. I simply have not heard a single solitary viable reason for opposing the study and I doubt there is one.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 1, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Besides the I'm against the stadium in general argument, is there one person out there that can give one valid rational reason for opposing the feasibility study? Hint: the old tax dollar argument isn't a valid one.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 1, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

easy there; RFK's a good venue for soccer, it's got good sight lines and a nice surface when not torn up for baseball. But, it's ancient and unsafe and there's no way the team can be financially viable there.

DC United needs to get some real political muscle on their side and start playing the game or they are just going to keep getting jerked around.

Posted by: hacksaw | April 1, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I agree hacksaw and someone in the FO told me they are going to do just that.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 1, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

hey blackandred777,PowerBoater69,SportsNut21 and all your kind stay out of PEE GEE CEE affairs. Last I checked we opponents were never invited to your government's district and ordered those folk how to spend their tax-subsidized study for a soccer stadium.

We oppose the soccer stadium totally cause we do not like stuffings from the politicians in our taxes like it or not that is the deal. We in PEE GEE CEE see a new era of halting decades long corruption and we want to stop the illegals from coming to our couty to play soccer.

Too bad these illegals received driver's licenses and now they want to come here to a plya a sport nobody even cares about or consider a sport. Frankly, speaking I have more respect for strip club pimps and hoes than I do dirty politicians,bully millionaires and sleaze bag lobbyists.

The strippers show you the honey and politicians in this county steal the money and will not deliver honey.

Posted by: truthbeebold | April 1, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

It was political muscle (the governor and the state's economic and tourism agencies) that enabled the RSL stadium to be built in Salt Lake City. The major reason: revenue brought into the state and into the locality, Sandy, where the stadium is located.

It's interesting how the tone in Salt Lake County, originally against, changed once that stadium was up and in use.

Posted by: seahawkdad | April 1, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Truthbeebold,

How is this for a change of pace. When making an argument have an intelligent thought. In particular, stop the racist garbage your tossing. As a former Prince Georges County resident, I would like you to know that you're an embarrassment to the County. Oh by the way, you didn't meet the challenge I gave above. Not one valid argument in your whole racist diatribe.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 1, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

"illegals coming to our county to play soccer"

OMG, the horror of it all!

Geez.

When last I checked, Luciano Emilio, Christian Gomez, Fred, Thabiso Khumalo, Francis Doe, et al. were in the United States quite legally. Get a grip, get a life, and come correct next time.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | April 1, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

truthbeebold,

Really? You want to go down the bigot road?

Please forward your thoughts above to the Prince Georges legislators. I think they would be overwhelmed with joy that they are supporting such a warm and delightful citizen such as yourself. It gives me chills that the opposition has such forward thinking citizens as you. Maybe I'll save you the trouble and do it myself.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 2, 2009 3:00 AM | Report abuse

Why not a study? Let me count the ways (a few of the many):

Part I

An honest review of the first study shows it was contrived and inflated, and hence of little worth. It was conducted by a 2nd rate group on behalf of MSA. At the Council briefing, MSA called it “conservative” and McFarlane confirmed that DCU stood by it. Then came the questions and the report was shredded right in front of your eyes. It was pathetic.

So, PG citizens are used to pols trying slide one over. Now, MSA & MNCPPC will handle the second study – does it surprise you that your opponents (and apparently the Council) don’t believe that the next study will be fair and accurate? MSA & MNCPPC both have a vested interest in the outcome and they are in charge of the study. That arrangement is a prescription for trouble.

Posted by: erimaren | April 2, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Part II

MNCPPC has inserted itself into this discussion for a HQ building. Several Council members call this a poison pill. In case you need to learn about PGC, the Board of Ed bought themselves two new HQ buildings and the proponents have been repeatedly stoned in public. The last that they were seen, they were staked naked to an anthill and covered in honey. So, Griffith, seeing what happened to McFarlane at the Council, decided to “improve” the bill by gutting the substance (good move) but then added MNCPPC as a partner (along with its HQ building). Residents see this as a horrible idea that undermines the concept of a study – it makes the HQ building all too real and all too familiar.

Griffith and others claim that relocating MNCPPC to the stadium site will bring positive economic development in the form of 500-700 jobs. However, residents figured out pretty quick that these are just a relocation of MNCPPC existing jobs. Nothing new. Positive impact for the stadium site and negative impact wherever MNCPPC employees are located now.

PS: Gov just issued Press Release announcing that the Maryland Clean Energy Center will be headquartered in Montgomery County at the University of Maryland’s Shady Grove Campus. He credits the Center being the result of the efforts of Montgomery County and the legislation of Dels Bronrott, Hecht, and Stein. Oh, so Jack Johnson, Marilynn Bland, Melanie Griffith and Tony Muse are working on a stadium (err, studying a stadium) that they have legislation for, and Montgomery County is working on the Maryland Clean Energy Center. And you wonder why the crazy PGC NIMBY’s don’t get “it”. Perhaps you should give them a little credit for watching their leaders up close and personal for longer than you have?

Posted by: erimaren | April 2, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Part III

Ironically, the delegates are all excited and the Council hates the proposal (err, study). However, after the legislation passes, dealing with the study will become the albatross of the County government (and MNCPPC). Meanwhile, the Council is dealing with a budget crisis and other major issues, but they will be able to entertain themselves with Judy Robinson and crew coming down to scream at them on a regular basis. They can get regular study briefings. And, best of all, they can look forward to their chief negotiator, Jack Johnson, sitting down with McFarlane and working out a beneficial deal. Oh, that’s a good one. Jack negotiated the first deal where he offered to buy a billionaire an expensive, high-end stadium. And, Jack’s friends already had the rights to the Morgan Blvd development and now they’re written into the “study” deal. Can you spell “FBI”?

Posted by: erimaren | April 2, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Part IV

The study is focused on a type of economic development (stadium) that historically does not pan out. [So, study it and prove it? See above for all the mistrust, BS and distractions attendant to studying something controversial, but useless.] It’s not a stretch to guess right now that the likely outcome is no better than a wash, and will have to cost some share of the tax revenues (or else we wouldn’t be talking about it). As noted, we can study a stadium wash, or we could work on legislation to bring the Maryland Clean Energy Center. Oh, wait, someone already did that! I guess PG’s pols were too distracted... err, studying a stadium last year? Funny, but in the 17-7 Appropriations Committee vote, the Montgomery County delegates helpfully voted to allow PG’s delegates to score this new stadium study. NOTE: PG’s OTHER delegate on Appropriations voted “NO”. hmmm… maybe we should study voting patterns?

Unless I’m missing something, DCU has tremendous support from out-of-County fans, but next to no support in County. So, our local pols should impress their constituents by studying something that is likely no better than a wash just to irritate the populace by making clear that they don’t want to focus on the next Maryland Clean Energy Center. Soccer is much more fun than Clean Energy. Not as entertaining as PG politics, but still pretty good.

Posted by: erimaren | April 2, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if last year, the PG Delegates voted to support the Maryland Clean Energy Center legislation for Montgomery County? No wonder they like us so much that they want us to have this stadium – or, at least spend our time studying it.

Finale

What can it hurt to study? Nothing. But, since the Council has pronounced that it will not fund a stadium, then is MSA willing to fund all of the public portion? Or, is DCU willing to fund the entire stadium privately? You know the answers are “No” and "No". So, next Spring, when the PG Council refuses to fund the actual stadium, will the General Assembly vote to fund 100% of whatever the agreed public portion is? In an election year? Umm, that answer is NO.

So, why are we studying this again? Oh, that’s right – to convince Judy Robinson that she’s not paranoid, there really is a conspiracy to subvert the public will. That’s why.

Do I win a prize for real live substantive arguments? Or, should I try again? I know we PGers are not too articulate or as smart as NoVa’s, but we try to stumble by…

Posted by: erimaren | April 2, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

The United stadium supporters need a new script, nice job erimaren!

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 2, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

erimaren,

Problem:

As you stated towards the end of your statements, what does it hurt to do a study? Nothing. That alone discounts everything you stated. You are speculating on everything and that's what a study is supposed to be for. To answer questions on both sides. If you think it will be biased then, let the opponents hire an independent third party just don't hire a schmuck.

The question asked above is why not do a study, not why not build a stadium. The latter is an argument for next year if the stadium study doesn't go in your favor as you obviously don't care if the stadium is a moneymaker.

Powerboter69,

The only one that needs a script is you. You never bring an intelligent argument to the plate. At least erimaren does.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 2, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

erimaren,

If the second study (done by a third party both sides agree on) shows the stadium to be financially viable, then public sentiment is likely to change both within the elected circles and within the citizen ranks. It will eliminate the biased argument. I doubt very seriously that the legislators will have no input as to whom is responsible for the second study. Neither side wants the cliched biased aftermath. It solves nothing for either side.

Lastly, as you noted above DC United had nothing to do with the previous study. It was commissioned by MSA and your elected politicians to lure the team out of DC. McFarland had no reason not to stand behind it as the team was told it was done by an independent third party (which by the way it probably was). Did you see my comment about global warming?

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 2, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

My bad. My global warming comment was posted somewhere else. Basically I was referring to someone's post I read about global warming being studied over and over again but the opponents never trusting the results.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 2, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

truthbeebold- Your comments crossed the line. I would report you but I would rather everyone view it for what it is. Keep up the good work, you're helping the pro-stadium side.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 2, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

blackNred, croftonP

I am mildly amused by your comments. You and others have complained about the inherent stupidity of PGers and the fact that there are no substantive arguments against a "study". I believe that i put forward multiple substantive points that play off of each other. Rather than address these arguments - of which you lack local knowledge - you do exactly what you protest against: you go back to your non-substantive (and desperate) chant "what's wrong with a study"? Feel free to dismiss real arguments, but Conway says U are dead in the water without a lot of stuff happening real fast. Its not happening.

So, this Bud's for you!!

Gambi, i do agree that too much of this stuff from some people is over the line. However, at this point, there doesn't appear to be anything helping the pro-stadium side. You guys seem to need something more worthwhile than your lame "study" chant.

Posted by: erimaren | April 3, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

erimaren:

Your arguments against a stadium are not arguments against a study. Frankly, the other posts calling for a study make more sense and seem more reasoned. You don't argue against a chicken before there is an egg. That is precisely what you're doing in spite of your claims otherwise.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | April 3, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Gambi:

I find that interesting, since all the pro posters complained that no one had any arguments against a study. Now, you state that the others are better.

I guess I should just call it a day and top it off with a Bud.

And, good luck with that "study" argument. Let us know how it works out for you. I'm busy studying road maps to St. Louis.

Cheers!

>>Meet me in St. Louis, Louis
Meet me at the fair.
Don't tell me the lights are shining
Any place but there.
We will dance the hootchie-kootchie
You will be my tootsie-wootsie
If you will meet me in St. Louis, Louis
Meet me at the fair. <<

Posted by: erimaren | April 3, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

erimaren,

You asked for it so here it goee:

Part I-a study done by an independent third party agreed on by both sides solves all problems in Part I. If the Council agrees on the partner then doesn't like the results well then too bad.

Part II-this one is simple. Remove the building from the bill. However, this is an issue for next year.

Part III-the statements in this section are purely speculative but here it goes. If the Council has a study that was done by third party they trust, then positive pro-stadium results changes everything about their current thought process. The County Council aren't idiots. If proven to be a moneymaker, they will get on board. They would be foolish not to and politically they would be in a very difficult position standing against it.

Part IV-There is nothing of substance to this section. Everything is speculative and you are assuming you need to argue against the results already. As I stated earlier to you, it is obvious that you don't vcar if this makes millions, you will stand against it anyway.

No prize

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 3, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Good luck thinking this is over. Please by all means celebrate your victory. It's one session not an eternity. But please go on thinking this is over. Please please please continue that train of thought.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 3, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

B&R7

My sincere apologies for unsportsmanlike taunting. I actually do wish that DCU gets a new stadium somewhere in the area. I will attend.

Unfortunately, i am appalled both at the uncouth comments of the opposition and at the condescending, know-it-all attitude of non-PG proponents. I am having really trouble with fans (truly fanatics) from elsewhere telling PG residents that they are too stupid to understand this stuff and they really need to sit back and wait for a study. I'm going to move on to other pressing issues after this, but the proponents' attitude has harmed their case. Opponents keep pointing out that none of your county governments are begging to be studied for DCU. Smarter people seem to know better.

Barring one of those miracle finishes where Liverpool takes down Milan on 3 goals in 7 minutes, I think this one is done for this year. Please don't worry about over confidence. We really aren't as dumb as you all think. And, if you keep playing away matches, you're building a tough schedule. And, next year is an election year, so all of the complex politics will be squared.

You know, all of this regional posturing is making for quite the NoVa/PG derby - we just need a good name for it.


Posted by: erimaren | April 3, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

erimaren,

I don't believe anyone is insinuating that Prince George's residents are too limited to understand. However, I do believe that they are stating that there is a limited knowledge of the bill amongst the opposition (it is obvious this does not include you). For instance, post after post states that this will take away from schools, roads, etc and their tax dollars belong elsewhere. That is not true and anyone familiar with the bill knows it's not true. Current tax dollars are completely unaffected by this proposal. It's a legitimate point to worry about the projected income and what may happen down the road but that is what a study is for. It is not a legitimate point to say children won't have books next Fall because of this and we keep hearing that argument. It gets old after awhile. I do believe that you are well versed on this issue but at least on these blogs, you are in a minority within the opposition.

Finally, truthbeebold deserved every negative comment that came his or her way. The author was racially insulting.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 3, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

erimaren,

I have lived most of my life in Prince Georges County and I am a Maryland resident. I agree with just about everything B&R, Gamby, and SportsNut said. By the way, Gamby is obviously a MD resident as well.

Posted by: croftonpost | April 4, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

The soul of the question is in the following phrase:

Amusement Tax.

This is the special tax Maryland has on stadiums that is designed to assure that they aren't just a check to stadium owners. The revenue from it is, by the way, shareable between the state and the county the stadium is based in.

It is the reason why building a stadium is not just welfare for millionaires. It is the reason why there is a set of numbers that works for United, a set that works for Maryland, and a set that works for Prince George's. (The question is whether there's any number that works for all of them at the same time.)

It is the reason why the State of Maryland, even believing that the MSA numbers (and I'll quickly defend the MSA by saying that their political clout is based on being able to fund stadiums from the Amusement Tax, and would be dashed if they had to go begging to the general fund to make up gaps, and by saying that they've never been wrong before on a stadium project) may be too optimistic, would still want a second opinion.

And it is clear that the State of Maryland *wants* to continue looking into the issue. It also seems obvious that United has some give in their proposal, since the second study is essentially an elaborate way of making a counter-offer.

The State would have gone forward, were it not for the reaction of the County, which technically wouldn't even be paying for the study and therefore has nothing to lose. Even so, they voted against an amended HB1282 -- *WITHOUT SEEING WHAT THAT AMENDMENT WAS*.

They literally did not know what they were voting against, and that reaction naturally gave Maryland pause, even though the County, since it isn't their study in the first place, technically does not have the right to stop it.

There is no word for that attitude except prejudgment. They're judging the issue by three factors, none of which are actually relevant here:

1) Bad experience with FedEx (which, if you look at the proposals, couldn't be more different from this one)
2) Enmity between the Council and Jack Johnson
3) On the part of a few, em, 'activists', (one of which, Mr. Dernoga, happens to sit on the Council), pure class envy--this type will call it 'welfare for millionaires' regardless of what the proposal actually is and how much it could make for the government (and make not mistake here, there's a possibility of actual *profit* for the government, not just covering costs, though that would depend on United and other events staying in the stadium for a rather long time. Not any longer than RFK was open, though.)

Do I think that's stupid? No, I don't think it's 'stupid'--except in the sense that we're all acting stupid when we're being that stubborn.

Posted by: stancollins | April 4, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

stancollins,

May I get an amen. Well said.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 4, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Why do you believe that the County Council did not read the amendments?

I know that it was the week before, but if you saw the tape of the DCU briefing of the Council, the members were well-prepared and asked numerous questions. Their vote the following week was against the original bill AND against the Griffith/MNCPPC/DCU amendments. What is your basis for claiming that the Council did not read the amendments?

Posted by: erimaren | April 4, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

The Amendments **HADN'T BEEN RELEASED YET**. Melony Griffith was working on them that very day.

Posted by: stancollins | April 5, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

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