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Nats' New Fan?

Nikita Stewart filed this in today's D.C. Political Notebook in the Extra section...

Could the biggest critic of public financing of the Washington Nationals' baseball stadium be having a change of heart?

No, we're not talking about Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), who was probably the second-leading critic when he was on the D.C. Council but who muzzled his opposition after taking higher office.

We're talking about council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), who was as ferocious an opponent of the city's stadium financing package as they come.

During a council meeting this week, Catania was ticking through a list of things that are creating a "great buzz" in the city. Cherry blossoms, for example, he said. Then, to the shock of his colleagues, he mentioned Nationals Park, which opened Sunday in Southeast.

Immediately, member Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large), chairman of the council's Economic Development Committee, jumped in to preserve the moment for posterity.

"Stadium?" Brown said. "He said 'stadium.' He said the word!"

Catania quickly put a damper on Brown's enthusiasm, saying the stadium still is not worth the more than $611 million of public money.

"I will never think differently," Catania insisted. "I'm over it."

He's not over it enough to attend a game, though. Catania has never been to a game in the three-plus years of the Nationals' existence, an aide said.

By David A Nakamura  |  April 3, 2008; 1:13 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council , David Nakamura , Nationals , Nikita Stewart  
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