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.
David A Nakamura
May 29, 2008; 9:42 AM ET
Categories: City Finances , David Nakamura
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