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Gandhi Fights Back

Yesterday, we told you that Council member David Catania was attacking CFO Natwar Gandhi's reliance on what seemed to be an overly optimistic consultant's report to support bond financing for the Washington Nationals baseball stadium. Well, Gandhi is fighting back with this letter to Catania's office.

Catania pointed out that the Nov. 2005 report by Economic Research Associates predicted an average first-season attendance of 39,130 at the new ballpark but the actual numbers so far are 29,141, a drop of 26 percent. Gandhi had used the ERA report in his filing to the bond market to finance the $611 million project.

In his response, however, Gandhi notes that the Nats' ticket prices are higher than what ERA had projected, so the city's revenue take from taxes has not been harmed as much as Catania might have expected. Furthermore, Gandhi said, the bonds were backed on the worst-case scenario that only 10,000 people per game showed up.

Catania had demanded in his letter that Gandhi seek to win back money paid to ERA, but Gandhi said he will not.

By David A Nakamura  |  May 29, 2008; 9:42 AM ET
Categories:  City Finances , David Nakamura  
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So Gandhi responds to a letter claiming that the consultants' numbers were off by saying it's ok because they were wrong on a different set of numbers too? Hey, it all works out in the end!

Posted by: Chris | May 29, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

They are forecasts. And forecasts for a market that has only had a team for three years. The actuals will either be above or below the predictions. Considering how bad the team is this year, I'm surprised average attendance is as high as it is.

This is a NON-ISSUE. Time for Catania to move on to something important, like why aren't life-saving drugs in the ambulances of this city like every other city in the United States! Now that is a real issue to get worked up over.

Posted by: Predictions | May 29, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Predictions: I can pose a wise crack answer to your question about ambulances... Why do they need to carry life-saving drugs if they don't get to a victim in a reasonable time. Given their track record, i'd like to see them learn where there going first... then they can have the drugs to save the life once they get there.

Posted by: mcrochip | May 29, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

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