Some years ago, one of America's poorer cities committed nearly $800 million for a sports stadium built solely to entertain middle- and upper-class patrons. One might question the wisdom and even the morality of such a thing, but this has become business as usual all over America and (I assume) the world.
So should we be even the least bit surprised to read something like this?
The Washington Nationals want to put a roof over Nationals Park, and they want D.C. taxpayers to pick up the tab.
Multiple sources told News4 that executives with the team approached several District officials, including Mayor Vincent Gray’s office, to propose the addition to the ballpark.
While the discussions are in the preliminary stages, diagrams of what the proposed roof would look like as well as estimates of the cost have been presented to the mayor’s office.
The estimated cost would be $300 million.
Context: Nationals Park was entirely funded by the District of Columbia, to the tune of nearly $800 million (including infrastructure improvements). You might think it's just a bit too soon for the baseball team to come to the District again for a healthy dose of corporate welfare. But the District just committed $50 million to "improvements" to the local arena -- including a new Jumbotron, because the old one doesn't keep the right score or something -- and there's a great deal of talk about hundreds of million for a new soccer stadium.
The politicians gave the Nationals all the cookies in the jar. But that was seven or eight years ago. Now they're making more cookies. You can't blame the Nats for wanting more cookies. Cookies taste so, so good.