Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Sports talk


Photo by dukiekirsten3 on Flickr.
Skins envy explained: Mayor Gray explained his rationale for trying to woo the Redskins back to DC: "I'm telling you, almost everywhere I go, people say, 'Bring them back, bring them back.' And I say, 'Well, we are working on it.'" (Redskins Nation via Post)

DC to get a velodrome: No need to treck to Trexlertown, PA, anymore. A cycling league is looking to build a velodrome near the ballpark in DC. The bicycle race track, which will include seats for 60 spectators, will be funded with private money. (DCist)

Streecar stop stops moving: The streetcar will stop on the H Street bridge at Union Station. Mayor Gray made the call after Capitol Hill residents opposed an possible alternative to stop on the east side of Union Station. (City Paper)

Memorials are stubborn things: Organizers for the memorial to Presidents John and John Quincy Adams have settled on 4 potential sites. They may have to compete, however, with the memorials to fair housing and the Ukrainian genocide. (City Paper)

ICC pays homage to history: Metro revived the historic neighborhood names for Tenleytown, Brookland, and Ballston. Now the just-opened ICC has revived the name for long-forgotten Norwood. (JUTP)

Company helps riders dodge fares : In Stockholm a monthly subway pass costs $115 and a fare evasion fine is $175. However, a non-profit is selling insurance for fare evaders for just $15/month. The organization thinks transit should be free. (Atlantic)

Ethics bill passes: The DC Council passed an ethics bill, even with the support of embattled Harry Thomas, Jr. Most councilmembers say Thomas should take a leave of absence until his federal investigation concludes. (Washington Times)

Housing costs change poverty stats: Now that the Census factors housing costs into the poverty rate, Mississippi's poverty rate is lower than California's and New York's. But shouldn't this new measure also include transportation costs? (MetroTrends)

And...: Fairfax County approved funding for phase 2 of the Silver Line. (Examiner) ... DC building codes don't apply to federal land, which includes the "occupied" parks. (City Paper) ... Cameras don't deter crime in Metro parking lots. (Examiner)

Have a tip or obscure sport park for the links? Submit it here.

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Eric Fidler has lived in DC and suburban Maryland his entire life. He likes long walks along the Potomac and considers the L'Enfant Plan an elegant work of art. He also blogs at Left for LeDroit, LeDroit Park's (only) blog of record. 

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"I'm telling you, almost everywhere I go, people say, 'Bring them back, bring them back.'

Odd. There seem to be many people asking him to stop being a corrupt idiot, and he does not listen to them.

by Jasper on Dec 7, 2011 8:46 am • linkreport

"It's nice that they're looking at options, but let me be clear, we are not running any streetcar down 3rd Street and down 2nd Street," he said. "Just so you know, I know these streets like the back of my hand...You will not be going through somebody's neighborhood to get to Union Station."

In reference to idiotic remarks of the mayor. We now have a mayor officially opposing transit access to the biggest transit hub in the city.

by Jasper on Dec 7, 2011 8:49 am • linkreport

"I'm telling you, almost everywhere I go, people say, 'Bring them back, bring them back.'"

This doesn't surprise me. There are many, many people in the DC area that could care less about the long-term fiscal health of the city. Obviously most of them live outside the city. Some do, but just like shiny baubles.

I'm trying to think of any major initiative that would give less return on investment than throwing cash at Dan Snyder in the hopes that in a decade or more, we'll get a stadum deal, but I'm coming up blank.

This is the municipal equivalent of signing a five year lease with Rent-a-Center for a 72" plasma TV.

"Wherever I go, people say to me, "Sign that lease! 72" plasma TV's are AWESOME!!"

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 9:17 am • linkreport

Ok, maybe I can see memorials to the Adamses, but to fair housing? Ukranian genocide. I mean these things are worth remembering, but memorials on the mall? I mean, we don't even have a Civil War Memorial on the mall and WWI only has the DC War Memorial, which is a nice understated one at that. Who makes these decisions? I mean how about memorials for William Durant, Henry Ford, and Lee Iacocca?

by dano on Dec 7, 2011 9:23 am • linkreport

I'm trying to think of any major initiative that would give less return on investment than throwing cash at Dan Snyder in the hopes that in a decade or more, we'll get a stadum deal, but I'm coming up blank.

Re-electing Marion Barry, but it happens every election cycle.

by Dave J on Dec 7, 2011 9:27 am • linkreport

"I mean how about memorials for...Lee Iacocca?"

Only if he shown challenging the CEO of Toyota to a knife fight.

by Ben on Dec 7, 2011 9:28 am • linkreport

I'll note that "everywhere" the Mayor is going includes Ashburn to check out the Skins and Tampa to see their facility. It has not included Hill East, or other neighbors of the RFK site.

So yeah, I bet "everywhere" he goes people are supportive of bringing them back.

by Tim Krepp on Dec 7, 2011 9:29 am • linkreport

"I'm telling you, almost everywhere I go, people say, 'Bring them back, bring them back.'

OK Mayor McCheese, I'm here, you know what Im saying? Bring back good schools, safe streets, and get the freaking suburbanites SUVs out of the way of buses so I can get to work on time.

Oh, hey, the Nats could use a switch-hitting center fielder who can lead off. Why dont you work on that too. Seems about as beneficial use of his time as trying to find practice facilities for a professional football team.

by DAJ on Dec 7, 2011 9:29 am • linkreport

I hope everyone commenting on here about the R******* coming back to DC is letting the mayor know what a bone-headed idea this is. There should be even more people opposing it publicly so that everywhere he goes people are expressing their opposition, not support. I emailed him as soon as I read this yesterday. Less than a month until the Recall Vince Gray party starts! Can't happen soon enough...

by Joe on Dec 7, 2011 9:35 am • linkreport

Well, I'll email Mayor Gray in a bit, letting him know how I feel about the return of the Redskins.

by Amber on Dec 7, 2011 9:40 am • linkreport

If Dan Snyder wants to buy a parcel of land and build a stadium for the 'Skins, I am ok with that. I might even be ok with the so called "infrastructure improvements" that might be necessary. Anything beyond that however, should be off the table.

by William on Dec 7, 2011 9:51 am • linkreport

What e-mail address should I use to let the Mayor know I have no interest in the R******* returning to DC?

by MLD on Dec 7, 2011 9:59 am • linkreport

I mean how about memorials for William Durant, Henry Ford, and Lee Iacocca?

Well, we do have a memorial to the inventor of the screw propeller on the Mall:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ericsson_National_Memorial

by Steven Yates on Dec 7, 2011 10:02 am • linkreport

"I'm telling you, almost everywhere I go, people say, 'Bring them back, bring them back.'"

Wherever I go, whether it's talking to voters in Ward 9, or some little old lady's house in DC--where all of her grown children are back in town from PG for the day to visit--I hear people cry, "Mayor Gray, bring the Redskins back to the city! (We don't want them anymore!)"

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 10:10 am • linkreport

"I'm telling you, almost everywhere I go, people say, 'Bring them back, bring them back.'

I remember when the idiotic masses in Springfield were clamoring for a monorail; everyone should have listened to sweet ol' Marge, but Noooo, "too late, mom, the mob has already spoken" and per usual, mob rule always wins out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF_yLodI1CQ&feature=related

Btw, you can reach the mayor here:

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 316
Washington, DC 20004
eom@dc.gov

This would be a devastatingly TERRIBLE decision. Can we put together a petition or something?

by Shipsa01 on Dec 7, 2011 10:13 am • linkreport

@Jasper Not really. You just have the mayor opposing sending the streetcar along a circuitous route through neighborhood streets as a temporary measure (a connection to the front of Union Station is not in the master plan, and the 3rd St route only put you within a few blocks of Union Station; hardly ideal). Even Tommy Wells was pretty strongly opposed to that plan.

Furthermore, to accommodate anticipated passenger growth, Union Station's master plan calls for the construction of a (large) new entrance and mezzanine just off of the Hopscotch Bridge sometime in the next 10-20 years; likely in coordination with the air-rights project proposed for the area.

by andrew on Dec 7, 2011 10:23 am • linkreport

I'll gladly sign a petition. I don't want a single red cent of my tax money going to Dan Snyder. I don't hear any of my neighbors calling for the Redskins to come back. I don't know what neighborhoods Gray is going to.

by dc denizen on Dec 7, 2011 10:25 am • linkreport

'Bring them back, bring them back.'
The mayor shouldn't be expending any effort on this. Poverty, job-creation, transportation, urbanism, education, DC autonomy -- do those, please!

by Gavin on Dec 7, 2011 10:29 am • linkreport

It would be nice to have the Redskins in the city if it meant the city didn't get screwed over financially, but it really does annoy me that DC United has wanted to build in the city and out of touch relic politicians who are biased against the soccer as a sport don't want to make a deal. Gray is in a bubble.

by Vik on Dec 7, 2011 10:29 am • linkreport

I truly have never seen such disdain for a city's sports team than I've found reading here. It's NIMBYISM at it's core. I wonder do any of you even watch football.

Ya'll aren't even interested in discussing how it "could" work. Instead, it's NO NO NO NO WAY. NOT IN MY BACKYARD. The Mayor's doing it. NO NO NO! It's Snyder NO NO NO!

This is a city with sports fans who love their city's team, despite their record or the owner. They love football. Some of you just can't seem to grasp that. As someone who was totally against the baseball stadium deal (for many of the same reasons mentioned against football) I now see how presumptuous my thoughts were. And here, we're talking about a daggone practice facility.

And what's the answer?

Well, we don't "need" this facility. There are other things this space could be used for. We don't "like" Snyder. Bah humbug, more nonDCresidents! (as if baseball fans are coming from most parts of DC)

A practice facility?

Not In My Back Yard.

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 10:31 am • linkreport

But make sure we used our valued space for that velodrome. It might be privately funded and cost 300k and I'm sure we couldn't have found better things to build which would have a greater impact on the city and our poor economy and schools and council and....

Yes! This is exactly what we need. A place for cycle racing.

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 10:39 am • linkreport

I truly have never seen such disdain for a city's sports team than I've found reading here. It's NIMBYISM at it's core. I wonder do any of you even watch football.

Ok. Let's hear the upside then. What does the city get exactly?

Or is "Why do you hate football?" just a variation of "Why do you hate 72" flat-screen TVs?"

No one else has been able to think of a single benefit that having a practice facility (much less a stadium) would confer on the city that we wouldn't get from keeping it a couple of Metro stops to the east. Can you?

From what I can see, this is pretty much a pure expression of the city's Id.

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 10:39 am • linkreport

But make sure we used our valued space for that velodrome. It might be privately funded and cost 300k and I'm sure we couldn't have found better things to build which would have a greater impact on the city and our poor economy and schools and council and....

Private structure. Zero public investment. With seating for 60 people. And providing a facility that doesn't exist anywhere in a 200 mile radius. But...schools, and council, and...um...

C'mon Hogwash. This utterly incoherent. You're usually better than this. Just a tip: Whenever I can't come up with an apropos counter-argument, I'll sometimes reconsider my position.

:)

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 10:43 am • linkreport

@HogWash

Yawn, you're not going to pull out the non-native card? I'll just say what we all know, being an east of the river native, Gray panders to the Black community. Blacks in the DC area by and large love the football and the Redskins and don't care about soccer. That's why everywhere he goes, people hound him about the Redskins and DC United is an afterthought and something he just spits out platitudes about.

I'm not against a practice facility or stadium as long as the terms are fair for the city. I love a lot of sports, understand how much the Redskins mean to a lot of people and value civic pride, something which DC is lacking in a way. But, as you acknowledge, certain biases people have end up leading to hypocritical positions. The Redskins mean more to the city, but will be far more expensive to lure than say, keeping DC United here. And there's no danger of the Redskins leaving the metro area. And you can't insinuate that Dan Snyder being the type of owner he is, will not have any effect on the degree to which people care about the team.

by Vik on Dec 7, 2011 10:50 am • linkreport

Though in hindsight, and after thinking about this a little bit more, it's a win-win for Gray to say stuff like this. It appeals to his base, pisses off the "myopic little twits" who didn't support him and won't support him anyway, and deep down he knows this isn't going to happen. Yes, I'm knocking on wood when I said that last part, but I think it's a way for Gray to play to his base and know that nothing is really going to come of it during his tenure. But when election time rolls around he'll be able to say: "But I tried!"

by Shipsa01 on Dec 7, 2011 10:51 am • linkreport

I don't care either way about the R*******, a velodrome, or 72" flatscreen TVs. I just don't want the city's money going toward any of it. The velodrome is acceptable to me because (as I understand it) the money for it is not being provided by the city.

by Amber on Dec 7, 2011 10:54 am • linkreport

@HogWash, I'm a big football fan, and if Snyder built a stadium in DC out of his own pocket, I'd go to the games -- and I live near a site often mentioned as a proposed stadium site, so it might be a nice, short, trip. But it's a long way from being able to appreciate a football game in DC to supporting using my tax dollars to underwrite the process.

The record of stadia generally, and football stadiums in particular, is not good for the communities they're in. They take up a lot of land but don't get used much (not even taking into account concerts and suchlike), and don't do much to help surrounding businesses. It's one thing for Snyder to propose building something that might be fun to have but is economically a bad deal for for the city -- it's quite another for the city to have to pay him to do it. There's a world of difference between "Not In My Back Yard" and "I'm Not Paying You To Put That In My Back Yard".

by cminus on Dec 7, 2011 10:56 am • linkreport

@ andrew: You just have the mayor opposing sending the streetcar along a circuitous route through neighborhood streets as a temporary measure (a connection to the front of Union Station is not in the master plan, and the 3rd St route only put you within a few blocks of Union Station; hardly ideal).

Nothing is ideal. But that's not the part that's upsetting. The part that's upsetting that the mayor apparently weighs the NIMBYism of people living next to the biggest transit hub in the region, heavier than the interests of all the (future) users of the streetcar line. He is picking out the NIMBY argument, not any of the others.

Even Tommy Wells was pretty strongly opposed to that plan.

Oh, well then, I rest my case. Whatever Tommy says.

Furthermore, to accommodate anticipated passenger growth, Union Station's master plan calls for the construction of a (large) new entrance and mezzanine just off of the Hopscotch Bridge sometime in the next 10-20 years; likely in coordination with the air-rights project proposed for the area.

Yeah, so we're gonna let passengers on the streetcar line for 10-20 years. Great solution. Meanwhile, the anti-streetcar crowd has 10-20 years to scream murder about this poorly planned line.

Again, I realize there are no good solutions here. But picking out the NIMBY argument is just bad policy.

by Jasper on Dec 7, 2011 11:00 am • linkreport

Here is an idea for a football stadium: using air rights, build over the RR tracks in Brentwood. Good local transportation (NY Ave, Florida, RI Ave), industrial zoning, underserved urban area. Just so long as DC ptaxpayer don't foot the bill.

by goldfish on Dec 7, 2011 11:04 am • linkreport

@Oboe, people come here to read about and consider things in ways they don't on other sites. From what I've seen, there has been NO discussion about it beyond NO and why it wouldn't work. IMO, that's no less NIMBY than what many of you charge when it's something you are for and others aren't against. I would like to hear why it would or wouldn't work but unfortunately, that likely won't happen on this site.

@Or is "Why do you hate football?" just a variation of "Why do you hate 72" flat-screen TVs?"

Uhm, don't follow that one.

Also, if you notice in my post, I gave several reasons why people are generally against things but also why those FOR the velodrome would have a point. One of those I would argue in response is that...I'm sure there could be a better use of that space that would provide more of an economic benefit to the city. This follows the NIMBYology that often asks, "with all the stuff the city can build..why this" which to means "I don't like it..they should build something else."

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 11:11 am • linkreport

What good does it do to be opposed to the NFL team returning to DC out of principle instead of facts? Also, perhaps not in their neighborhood, but why is it crazy for sports fans to want a team that once was in DC and a sense of pride to many to return to DC?

There haven't been any plans presented for a practice facility or a new stadium. A practice facility would likely be one or two outdoor fields, an indoor field and offices. I doubt that's the huge footprint or urban disaster some are making it out to be since a practice facility would actually be used most of the year and not just 8 times a year or during the NFL season. It might even lead to players living closer to DC or even in DC.

Also, in the past all rumors surrounding a stadium being built on the RFK site assumed Snyder would sell FedEx Field and the land (which PG already has plans for) to developers for more than $1 billion and use that money to build a stadium and development around a stadium on the RFK site after DC completed a land transfer. Yes, development around the stadium... Snyder would want to develop around the stadium not unlike what is happening around Gillette or even the New Meadowlands. Some might even call it an urban stadium when all is said and done. Of course this is all just speculation at this point...

by selxic on Dec 7, 2011 11:12 am • linkreport

I love the memorial to John Ericcson. I often point out that it is probably the most prominent memorial to an engineer in DC. There are maybe a couple in the Capitol building, but otherwise...it's just sad.

McClennan, who was so bad as his job he got fired has a memorial, but Whitney, Edison, Bell, Fulton, McCormick, the Wtight Brothers....Jack Squat Didly. Do you know how many people have avoided starvation thanks to Cyrus McCormick? It's way more than can name one thing about Robert Taft.

But John Adams is truly deserving of a memorial. It's been far too long. There might not even be a United States without him

Madison too. I can't believe the Father of the Constitution doesn't have a memorial.

But can we get some love for STEM heroes?

by David C on Dec 7, 2011 11:13 am • linkreport

HogWash,

I love football. I don't love being raped by football though.

Vik kind of nailed it on the head above. If Dan Snyder wants to do this all on his own, then more power to him. He can put it wherever he can buy the land - just like Walmart.

But he will want a sweeter deal then that. Even then, if the cost of whatever he wants is less than the benefits (and pride is not a benefit), that might work too. [Of course, as Richard Layman often points out, we should really have some standard as to when we will jump in with support. Projects above a certain size, with benefits of a certain amount or better yet, just a straight up ratio etc...] But I'm not interested in handouts to millionaires.

by David C on Dec 7, 2011 11:17 am • linkreport

Would it be possible to make a practice stadium multi-use so it can be used all year long for other events/sports?

Also, I can't say I know much about how football teams practice, but what's the rationale behind not using their own stadium to conduct the practice?

by cmc on Dec 7, 2011 11:17 am • linkreport

@Hogwash, there's probably been no discussion other than opposition to the stadium because there are no good arguments in its favor. There is no economic argument possible in favor of the stadium, and it's pretty damn weak for a practice facility. If you would like to see why it wouldn't work, read the last post about this on the site; there were PLENTY of reasons presented, and more in the comments. If you find a pro argument, please share it with us. I'm not holding my breath though.

And in terms of NIMBY, not only do I not want it in my backyard, I'm happy to support anyone else who doesn't want it in theirs. This is not an issue of "a stadium would be a great benefit, but not near me." The stadium benefits no one; it's not like a wastewater treatement facility or something that is essential to modern life, but no one wants near them. It's entirely superfluous and should be regarded as such.

by Joe on Dec 7, 2011 11:20 am • linkreport

@Vik, I'm actually confused by much of what you wrote. What "non-native card" did I pull. That some of you don't understand that DC has football fans that love football...even the Redskins? And that's pulling a non-native card? That's a statement of fact whether you are or aren't a native.

I really am trying to understand your statement about Gray pandering to blacks. Are you suggesting that he "shouldn't" or that he does it to the disadvantage of whites, asians, hispanics etc? Both are flawed. Either way, I don't know how or why you turned this into a race thing when i don't think "race" has anything to do with a practice facility. I've been to many games and the majority of people there don't look like me.

@Cminus, this isn't a football stadium. It's a practice facility. But sure as shooting, it will continue to be covered in that way. I don't really get the NIMBY distinctions. But I do consider the fact that there's opposition to a plan that hasn't even been announcened as a sure sign of NIMBYISM. I would imagine that most would disagree and counter w/their own view of what it means.

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 11:25 am • linkreport

Hogwash, it's not NIMBY. I'm fine with it in my back yard. It's NWMW - Now with my money. That's different.

Having said that, some public support may be warranted. We're fine with a public facility for the arts, and most of us support public money for recreation areas. I could make a case for why a velodrome would warrant govt. support (encourages health, the city supports other recreation like swimming and soccer, etc...) and so the question then becomes, what about entertainment that isn't recreation and isn't art - but is for profit - does that warrant public support? The profit part is probably the answer. If the R***** are going to make money, then they don't need ours on top of it. I'd be willing to give low-cost loans, or guarantee their loans. Perhaps transit improvements that helped the community at large. But it's a business, and we shouldn't help them past the point of our own economic interests.

by David C on Dec 7, 2011 11:31 am • linkreport

I should note, Hogwash, that while I don't want the stadium in my backyard, that's because I don't think football stadiums are good uses of urban land. I base that on the fact that RFK is a barren wasteland of parking that separates me from the Anacositia River

If someone came up with a plan for a football stadium that enjoyed local support and didn't involve the city providing the land and financing, I'd be interested in it. But right now we have just the foot in the door practice facility that the Mayor has yet to really engage my community on. So, for right now, this is very much a Not in ANYBODY's Backyard issue for me.

by Tim Krepp on Dec 7, 2011 11:31 am • linkreport

There's also the economic aspect of things. If you want an urban stadium (regardless of sport), there are tradeoffs. You should have far less parking the closer you get to the core. Verizon has very little. Nats Park has some. FedEx has way too much. But it's lucrative asset when you can charge $40 a car.

Bottom line - if Dan Snyder wants to go to DC, he'll have to give that stuff up. Will he?

by Alex B. on Dec 7, 2011 11:34 am • linkreport

@HogWash

People ask "what neighborhood is Gray going to"; he's going to the neighborhoods where the majority of his supporters live. I didn't say anything about whether it's right or wrong that he panders to Blacks or whether it's to the disadvantage of others. Don't put words in my mouth. I'm just stating the facts, not reading into what his intentions are. Gray has been around this city a long time and it's no secret how 70 year old politicians representing areas east of the river think.

And the non-native card is "This is a city with sports fans who love their city's team, despite their record or the owner. They love football. Some of you just can't seem to grasp that." You're saying that people are out of touch and don't understand that there are a lot of fans of the Redskins in this city and its environs. No native of the DC area would think otherwise.

And you're being disingenuous when you characterize this issue as one being only about the practice facility. You think people are nagging Gray about having the team practice in DC? Come on! This is one step to getting the Redskins back in a decade or so. And there is no reason to believe that city money wouldn't be used to develop a football stadium in the city. Why is Gray bothering to get the practice facility in the city then? Why can't the Redskins just decide for themselves to move to the city?

by Vik on Dec 7, 2011 11:42 am • linkreport

Ok David, stop making funnies with your disctinction between public and privately financed NIMBYISM. I don't expect those of you who often accuse others of being NIMBYS to ever think you (yourselves) are NIMBYS. It's my tired but true idea that "nothing's offensive until you're offended." But really though, now NIMBYISM is defined as whether public money is being used on a project?...Come on! :)

Also, following your reasoning, it will pretty much never be a case where a city can show the economic benefits of a "recreational activity." Pertaining to the city, I don't see much health benefit to a velodrome. The Verizon Center is for-profit (I think) and I'm sure Lerner and those received quite a bit of money from the city.

@Tim, But right now we have just the foot in the door practice facility that the Mayor has yet to really engage my community on.

I get that. From what I've seen, the mayor hasn't engaged anyone seriously on this issue. The "interest" seems sparked only by the media which was started by Alan and and WCPaper when they were "investigating" why and by what means did Gray go to Tampa. Other sources picked it up and we're still here.

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 11:48 am • linkreport

@Alex B. - Snyder would have no problem giving those things up if allowed to develop around the stadium which has always been the rumor much like DC United's initial plans for Poplar Point.

@cmc, teams rarely use the actual competition arena or stadium for practice (college or professional). There are several reasons not to. It's inefficient since the facilities are made for the crowd more than the athlete. Extra usage would degrade the turf. The facilities may be used for other things as well which would limit the usage. Also, coaches prefer having more things going on at once.

by selxic on Dec 7, 2011 11:52 am • linkreport

@HogWash
From what I've seen, there has been NO discussion about it beyond NO and why it wouldn't work. I would like to hear why it would or wouldn't work but unfortunately, that likely won't happen on this site.

As it does on many subjects, your memory fails you. David wrote about this issue one month ago, and Erik wrote about it a year ago:

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/12669/dc-is-better-off-without-redskins-stadium-or-practice-fields/
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/8569/urban-football-stadiums-in-the-us-the-good/
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/8596/urban-football-stadiums-in-the-us-the-bad/
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/tag/stadiums/

by MLD on Dec 7, 2011 12:03 pm • linkreport

@Vik, sorry dude, your clarification only makes the original Donald Trump-like assertion much worse. Have you ever been to a Redskins game? As I mentioned, the majority of fans are nonblack. But you are under the impression that it's really the "black" Redskins fans that Gray is talking and to and only those who would have an interesting in the team having a DC training facility. IMO, that's a very twisted and cynical way of looking at things. Are you aware that there are blacks (lots) who live WOTR? I don't have to put words in your mouth. You're doing a fine and dandy job yourself bud.

You're saying that people are out of touch and don't understand that there are a lot of fans of the Redskins in this city and its environs.

Well yes, I am saying that people are out of touch and don't realize DC area residents are football fans who love the Redskins. Still don't get how a "non-native card" is being played.

I don't think I'm being disingenous about anything at all. Until you said it, I never even considered that people would be against this (in advance of any sort of announcement) in order to throw a monkey wrench in any "future" plans to bring the skins back to DC. That's a bit of soothsaying of a special kind.

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 12:04 pm • linkreport

I must have missed the posts on the economic impacts of museums, parks and memorials being greater for the District on the RFK site.

by selxic on Dec 7, 2011 12:04 pm • linkreport

@MLD, thanks but do you think those articles represent an academic debate about whether a practice facility would be good for RFK? I glanced at the most recent post and read all the others. Most of the commentary (including GGW's contribution) was about why an "urban" stadium wouldn't be good for DC/RFK.

Here, we're talking about a practice facility and no, I dont' think there has been much conversation about the pros/cons. Since this story broke, much of the conversation (at least here) has centered on a resounding NO NO NO. Don't think that's really a debatable point.

I happen to think my memory is rather remarkable. :)

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 12:19 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash

It's not a cynical and twisted way of looking at things. It's called reality whether you want to pretend otherwise or not. Gray's base is predominantly Black and make up the majority of the people who he has represented in the city for decades. Of course there are Blacks who live west of the river, and he now represents people from all over the city, but his base hasn't changed.

And it's funny how you keep insinuating it's just about the practice facility. People are not nagging Gray about having just the practice facility in the city. They want the Redskins playing on Sundays in DC.

"Well yes, I am saying that people are out of touch and don't realize DC area residents are football fans who love the Redskins. Still don't get how a "non-native card" is being played."

Which people are out of touch? DC area natives don't realize that DC area residents are football fans who love the Redskins? People from this area understand how much the Redskins mean to the city, but that's a separate issue from possibly having exposure to a large financing a deal to build something that would cost a billion dollars. You keep harping about NIMBY's, but people know the deal when it comes to these sports facilities.

by Vik on Dec 7, 2011 12:22 pm • linkreport

@HogWash

Why don't you help facilitate an academic discussion if the sources cited don't provide the kinds of pros and cons you're looking for. In order to truly benefit the people of the city there would need to be a public component to the practice facility, if it were just that. DC and the Redskins would need to work a deal out. Otherwise, what other possible revenue streams do you see besides players possibly moving to the city and associated revenues from having people spend a day watching the team practice? What revelations do you have that people reading/writing on this blog have people missed w/ respect to the practice facility?

by Vik on Dec 7, 2011 12:32 pm • linkreport

@HogWash

Did you even READ article 1 I posted? Perhaps reading comprehension is your problem:

In fact, having any Redskins facilities or stadium anywhere inside the District would be harmful to its future.

A practice facility occupies an enormous amount of land but employs or houses very few people. DC needs more taxpaying residents and more jobs, not big practice fields, weight rooms, and gyms for a small number of athletes. Maybe a couple rich ones will live in DC and bring their taxes, but how many really might? If they want to live in an urban area, they already can live here; if they don't, they won't anyway.

I'm not sure how "here are several points on why this is a bad idea" doesn't count as an "academic debate" on the subject.

by MLD on Dec 7, 2011 12:38 pm • linkreport

@selxic

"I must have missed the posts on the economic impacts of museums, parks and memorials being greater for the District on the RFK site."

Did you miss the posts on the economic impacts of mixed-use development at the RFK site?

by Vik on Dec 7, 2011 12:38 pm • linkreport

stop making funnies with your disctinction between public and privately financed NIMBYISM.

Like I said, this isn't NIMBYism. This is about money. If Snyder wants to pay for it, he can build wherever he wants to - as long he complies with the law, of course. But I don't want to pay any money for his stadium. How is that a NIMBY statement?

But really though, now NIMBYISM is defined as whether public money is being used on a project?...Come on! :)

No. NO NO NO NO. Read what I wrote. How hard is that to do? That is not at all what I said. Don't put words in my mouth. DON'T PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH (yes, I am shouting that at you. If you were here, I'd be in your face, poking my finger into your chest and spraying you with me spit - that's what I'm going for here). Read what I wrote. That is not at all what I said.

No where do I say where they should of should not build. How can that be a NIMBY position? What part of this do you not understand?

it will pretty much never be a case where a city can show the economic benefits of a "recreational activity."

True. But recreation is different. That's my point. Most people agree that the city should provide opportunities for recreation when the market won't. The positive externalities should exceed the cost.

Pertaining to the city, I don't see much health benefit to a velodrome.

You don't think biking around in circles is good for your health?

The Verizon Center is for-profit (I think) and I'm sure Lerner and those received quite a bit of money from the city.

Yes. And they shouldn't have. Nor should baseball. Or football. Or any other business if it can't show some positive economic benefit and positive externality that exceeds the cost.

by David C on Dec 7, 2011 12:43 pm • linkreport

@selxic,

I must have missed the posts on the economic impacts of museums, parks and memorials being greater for the District on the RFK site.

I think you're creating an argument where one doesn't exist. The obvious best economic use for the current RFK land is to zone it for mixed residential/commercial use. That way we can increase the number of residents paying property taxes, income taxes, and retail taxes. Setting aside some for parkland makes sense, but the goal of the city right now should be getting new residents to pay into the city coffers--and getting old residents new or better jobs.

On the other hand...REDSKINS1!!!!!

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 12:45 pm • linkreport

The part that's upsetting that the mayor apparently weighs the NIMBYism of people living next to the biggest transit hub in the region, heavier than the interests of all the (future) users of the streetcar line. He is picking out the NIMBY argument, not any of the others.
There's one aspect of this that makes me defend those folks. My understanding is the area between F and G near Union Station is filled with houses built on basically leftover silt from Union Station. When tour buses used to rumble through, the foundations started cracking so buses are banned in that area. So why should streetcars be allowed?

I attended the meeting to see what way the city was leaning. I didn't realize Gray made a spot decision -- I thought they had weighed all the options and were making the announcement. How disappointing. The Atlas was packed. And actually not that many people left after he made announcement so Lydia exaggerated from where I was sitting.

by lou on Dec 7, 2011 12:45 pm • linkreport

HogWash: "Give me $10 for some fish tacos."

David C: "Um. No."

HogWash: "Why do you not want me to eat fish tacos? They're tasty!"

[All characters are entirely fictious, and any names used are purely coincidental.]

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 12:47 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash,
... it will pretty much never be a case where a city can show the economic benefits of a "recreational activity."

Well you're wrong. It is in fact the case that cities save and make money when the health of the population is improved. Money is saved in medicaid costs and money is made in reduced loss of work days.

From creating or improving access to trails/places to walk, which the CDC reports increases by 35% the proportion of people in the community who achieve the lowest level of recommended physical activity/week necessary to maintain health and prevent chronic disease, to access to indoor recreation like swimming or bike riding, cities benefit greatly from reduced incident of chronic disease. So strong is the evidence for this that the CDC routinely distributes grants of $1-$5 million to communities to help them create these facilities.

Pertaining to the city, I don't see much health benefit to a velodrome.

the velodrome will be a place where people can go to bike indoors providing a benefit like indoor swimming pools and indoor basketball courts.

by Tina on Dec 7, 2011 12:48 pm • linkreport

the velodrome will be a place where people can go to bike indoors providing a benefit like indoor swimming pools and indoor basketball courts.

Well, that and from what I could tell the velodrome makers are constructing it out-of-pocket on a single, small lot.

From the article:

According to David Butterworth, president of Pennsylvania-based Major League Cycling, his group is about two weeks away from finalizing the lease for a 1.5-acre parcel of land where the velodrome would go. The velodrome's estimated cost would be $300,000 for the first year, dropping to roughly half of that in the years thereafter. Butterworth said that a number of people have stepped up to cover expenses, but he expects to start a fundraising campaign and set up a membership program.

Hey HogWash, there's a rumor that you have a table and some chairs in your back yard. We're going to need to see a cost-benefit analysis justifying your lawn furniture's economic impact on the city.

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 12:53 pm • linkreport

Velodrome is on a 1.5 acre parcel. According to Wolfram Alpha, that's 65000 sq ft, or about 650 x 100 ft.

Of course, the pride and sense of ownership that DC residents can claim at having the east coast's only velodrome outside of Trexlertown is beyond measure.

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 12:57 pm • linkreport

@Vik, actually I didn't. I have seen several assumptions in threads when the football team is a portion of the topic though. The major assumption is there will simply be a stadium and parking lots. The other main assumption is that Snyder will not be paying for or owning the stadium. Likewise, a practice facility and a stadium are very different debates despite the insistence that one will lead to the other.

It's worth mentioning the earliest a practice facility could even be up would likely be about 4 years. A stadium would likely be nearly a decade away.

I definitely did miss where returning the team to DC was a primary goal of the administration, oboe. I suppose the city can't plan or investigate and evaluate ideas for the future of the city. That's better left to bloggers and comments on the Internet. The goal of the city you outline in your comment should be the only thing they devote time to right now.

by selxic on Dec 7, 2011 1:01 pm • linkreport

Just gotta love how everything in DC seems to revolve around race. Even the relocation of a football team.

by Jasper on Dec 7, 2011 1:03 pm • linkreport

@Donald TrumpVik, Gray has lived EOTR for decades in the same way that Jack Evans or Mary Cheh have lived in their respective wards WOTR. Like you mention with Gray, it's a fact that their "base" is largely white. Using your exact logic, these "facts" would lead a reasonable person to conclude that anything they say represents their white base right? That's the obvious conclusion? But that still says nothing to address how or why you turned the idea of a practice facility into a racial thing. Oh I get it! This is similar to the "white people like dog parks and bike lanes" thing right. Black people like football and the white fans (majority of fans) are there because...Well white people just are there. They could care less about a practice facility.

WHEW! That's a lot of twisted logic there dude.

I don't see how it's funny that I'm "insinuating" that it's just about the practice facility when the only thing I have read about is...guess what...a practice facility. If you believe we should all use our soothsaying abilities and predict 10-yrs from now, then uhm...er...ok.

In keeping with how we normally research facts here, I did a bit of my own. The Detroit Lions practice facility/headquarters was built for about 35.5 million http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/12993/breakfast-links-sports-talk/#comments. As of 2008, The Seattle Seahawks VMAC training facility was the 2nd largest in the country (19acres) and cost 60million. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Mason_Athletic_Center.
Now using the proposed location as the example, how are you able to justify a billion-dollar price tag?

In order to truly benefit the people of the city there would need to be a public component to the practice facility, if it were just that.

Great point. But how do you know that wouldn't be in a future proposal? As I said, people are saying NO to something that at this point hasn't gone through much of any process..public input or otherwise.

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 1:15 pm • linkreport

Re: Velodrome

This is a privately financed project that is in compliance with all applicable laws. Of course, if Snyder wants to meet those two criteria, he is welcome to re-locate his facilities wherever he would like. It's a free country.

Re: Skins Re-location

What's wrong with the current location in Maryland? It's located on an otherwise underutilized piece of land, is close to the beltway, and a 20 minute walk from metro (close enough but not so close as to be a bad use of metro proximate land). I go to almost every Redskins game coming from Falls Church and have not found the location to be inconvenient.

by Falls Church on Dec 7, 2011 1:26 pm • linkreport

"Black people like football and the white fans (majority of fans) are there because...Well white people just are there. They could care less about a practice facility. "

Can I hazard a guess - Im assuming the folks who think that DC residents who are skins fans are mainly white, probably think that most white fans of the Skins are residents of Fairfax, Loudoun, MoCo, et al. And while I suppose not all white DC residents spend all their time sipping lattes or attending drum circles, I suspect those folks are mostly right.

Not that bringing race into this is particularly illuminating though.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Dec 7, 2011 1:29 pm • linkreport

Given that the many diehard football fans from somewhere else (i.e., most of the fans in DC) don't think much of the Deadksins, I wonder with whom the mayor has conversations these days(most likely himself). It's telling when bar promotions on football weekends are for the visiting teams--something I've noticed more than once.

by Rich on Dec 7, 2011 1:31 pm • linkreport

@MLD, No! I don't think talking about how DC needs more taxpayers than a practice facility or that it takes up too much space represents much of an academic debate.

@DAvid, we will continue to agree to disagree about what constitutes NIMBYISM. Likely, you would never consider anything you say or do a form of NIMBYISM. But you will continue to throw the charge around when people don't agree with something you support. No big deal.

But I don't want to pay any money for his stadium. How is that [NIMBYISM] Again, you will never think anything you do or say is a sign of NIMBYISM. I get that.

It's not hard to read what you wrote. You said that the reason (or at least A reason) why you don't believe you were being a NIMBY is because your point is that taxpayer money shouldn't be used to build the facility. IMO, that seems similar to me saying that I dont' want my money to be used to build a bike lane. 10x's outta 10, people here would call me a NIMBY. Oh wait, that's happened already when discussing Anacostia streetcars. But I get the "obvious" distinction. You can make a better argument for streetcars than you can for a practice facility. Hence, you non-NIMBYISM.

You don't think biking around in circles is good for your health?Sure, it will be a health benefit for the select few (likely less than a 1000) who chose to bike around in a circle but notice I said, "pertaining to DC" and not a microcosm of DC. You don't think that DC would better benefit by developing an establishment that has more of an "economic" (think these austere times) than a bike track? Of course you do, even if you won't admit it.

BTW, I suggest you take a valium because yelling online at an anonymous person makes you as sane as the person who yells at the invisible man standing next to them. I mean "poking in the cyberchest?" Really David C. How old are you man? 12? :)

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 1:31 pm • linkreport

that was meant to read "mostly black"

by awalkerinthecity on Dec 7, 2011 1:31 pm • linkreport

@Jasper, Just gotta love how everything in DC seems to revolve around race. Even the relocation of a football team.

Well I think we gotta thank ol Vik for introducing that line of ridiculousness into the discussion.

@FallsChurch, I haven't heard any propose that the stadium be moved from PG to DC. But I am glad you know that blacks aren't the Redskins only fans.

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 1:37 pm • linkreport

@DAvid, we will continue to agree to disagree about what constitutes NIMBYISM. Likely, you would never consider anything you say or do a form of NIMBYISM. But you will continue to throw the charge around when people don't agree with something you support. No big deal.

But I don't want to pay any money for his stadium. How is that [NIMBYISM] Again, you will never think anything you do or say is a sign of NIMBYISM. I get that.

@David C: You should know better by now. Seriously, why waste your time?

by dcd on Dec 7, 2011 1:48 pm • linkreport

I thought that one of the things that was special about the Verizon Center was that when it was originally built, it was built with private not public money, and that was pretty unique. However, I can't find anything that supports that online, other than a few statements by nonauthoritative sources. Anyone have anything better?

@Hogwash -- You seem to be missing a key point about NIMBYism. It's not about saying "no, this is a bad use of public money." It's about saying "of course we need X, but it really needs to be somewhere else because I don't want it anywhere around me."

The academic debate on subdisizing professional sports has been had in the academic economic and public affairs journals. Sports teams lost. The public benefit is virtually nonexistant. However, that does not seem to convince lots of people who keep insisting that academics just can't possibly be right.

by Kate W on Dec 7, 2011 1:55 pm • linkreport

Just gotta love how everything in DC seems to revolve around race. Even the relocation of a football team.

Actually, there's a long-time connection between race and football, especially in this town. Further, while most Redskins fans live in the suburbs, the team has a long history of a non-local fanbase.

For anyone unfamiliar with the story, the Redskins were the de facto "official" team of southern racism, pretty much until the 70s. there were no other pro football teams south in the southeast, the Redskins were it. Their explicitly racist team policies made them especially attractive to racists. Under Halas, they were the last team to integrate.

This is the reason that there is a weirdly high proportion of black Cowboys fans in the region. The Cowboys were the Redskins' main conference rival, so were supported by anti-racists as a way of thumbing their noses at their "home" team.

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 2:05 pm • linkreport

I definitely did miss where returning the team to DC was a primary goal of the administration, oboe.

The primary goal of the administration is to strengthen DC's fiscal position. Not weaken it. If "returning the team to DC" was a net neutral, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It's not. Not only is it an expensive boondoggle, but there are massive opportunity costs involved in choosing this path.

As others have pointed out, we had a long-ranging debate about this just a few weeks ago. You guys haven't addressed any of those arguments, preferring to blow smoke about side issues.

"Why should that guy get to build a tennis court in his back yard if he's arguing we shouldn't give Dan Snyder millions to build a practice facility for his highly lucrative sports franchise??"

It's self-refuting nonsense. Let's have an actual argument, please.

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 2:15 pm • linkreport

The academic debate on subdisizing professional sports has been had in the academic economic and public affairs journals. Sports teams lost. The public benefit is virtually nonexistant. However, that does not seem to convince lots of people who keep insisting that academics just can't possibly be right.

The heart wants what the heart wants. People go bankrupt every day after overextending themselves on baubles and trinkets they think will "complete" them.

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 2:17 pm • linkreport

The academic debate on subdisizing professional sports has been had in the academic economic and public affairs journals. Sports teams lost. The public benefit is virtually nonexistant

The public benefit is intangible, not nonexistant. Having a local sports team provides terrific entertainment for free to the TV viewing public (the vast majority of game watching happens on TV, not in stadiums). It also builds a sense of regional identity and loyalty. Those benefits are hard to quantify but certainly exist.

by Falls Church on Dec 7, 2011 2:20 pm • linkreport

The heart wants what the heart wants. People go bankrupt every day after overextending themselves on baubles and trinkets they think will "complete" them.

The same could be said about any form of consumption that's not necessary for survival.

There are two very different points here: 1) should a metro area pay up to have a sports team and 2) should your jurisdiction make that payment.

The answer to 1) is yes for a lo of people because they would rather have love (of a football team) than other material goods. The answer to 2) is almost certainly no. Let some other close by jurisdiction pay for it and deal with everything that comes with it. I certainly don't want an NFL team in my backyard (actually, I feel sorry for the people who live along Morgan Blvd and literally have a stadium in their backyard. Eight days a year, traffic is such a mess than they can't leave their house, people trample over their front yard, and they have no peace or quiet. Most of the houses look deserted on game days...I sure hope they're all at the game).

by Falls Church on Dec 7, 2011 2:29 pm • linkreport

@Fall Church-we can in fact quantify the costs of TV watching...(its not good)

http://www.sph.uq.edu.au/too-much-tv-can-shorten-your-life

by Tina on Dec 7, 2011 2:30 pm • linkreport

The academic debate on subdisizing professional sports has been had in the academic economic and public affairs journals. Sports teams lost. The public benefit is virtually nonexistant.

Right, those are the same people who probably say that the USA win over Russia in hockey in the 1980 Olympics ("miracle on ice") provided "no public benefit."

by Falls Church on Dec 7, 2011 2:36 pm • linkreport

@Kate, I wouldn't say that I'm missing anything about NIMBYS. I should also make clear, I don't really care about the term at all. The only reason I bring it up here is that the same arguments I have heard from many of you as to what constitututes NIMBYISM are very similar to the arguments against a nonproposed training facility. As I said, I don't expect people to agree and will "clarify" my statements based on their own definition of NIMBY. I don't say that people will never consider themselves as a NIMBY out of turn. It's consistent with the idea that people, in general, won't refer to themselves in the negative. Really, it's nooooo big deal because I understand there is no such thing as absolute consistency. In this case, DavidC and those who agree with him are likely hypocrites..and that's ok.

@Oboe, The primary goal of the administration is to strengthen DC's fiscal position. Not weaken it. If "returning the team to DC" was a net neutral, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It's not. Not only is it an expensive boondoggle, but there are massive opportunity costs involved in choosing this path.

So although the item in question is about a not-so-proposed training facility, you're questioning the logic behind building a "stadium." How is it possible for you to ask about having an actual argument when you are arguing something that isn't even talked about as being on the table? You're making up a nonargument to argue against a training facility.

And of course, that could Neeeever be described as NIMBYISM.

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 2:39 pm • linkreport

US Olympians are amature, not professional athletes. That was especially true in 1980 when the definition of "amature" was much stricter for US Olympic team members than it is now. That 1980 USSR team was made up of professional hockey players in the sense we understand it today. The US team was made up of college students.

by Tina on Dec 7, 2011 2:41 pm • linkreport

@HogWash

Bringing race into an issue when there is some relevance isn't necessarily wrong. Someone asked "what neighborhood Gray was going to" where people were constantly asking him when the Redskins were coming back, and I answered. Gray has visited the neighborhoods that he's always represented. The fact that some DC residents are clueless about the fan support that exists inside the city proper illustrates my point.

And despite all of your "research", you didn't mention the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice facility that Gray and Co. went down to visit is located across the street from their stadium and is the largest in the country at 33 acres. The plan the Redskins have floated, according to writers who cover the 'Skins, would use roughly half of a 50 acre development in Hill East for a practice facility. Discussing this practice facility as if there is no stadium component is disingenuous on your part. Keep believing that people are constantly hounding Gray about having a practice facility in DC while keeping the stadium in Maryland, though.

by Vik on Dec 7, 2011 2:43 pm • linkreport

@Fall Church-we can in fact quantify the costs of TV watching...(its not good)

Yes, but what about the benefits/value? That's what I'm trying to quantify.

Surely, you must agree that there is substantial value in TV watching just like there is substantial value in beer drinking, chocolate eating, and shopping. Or should we just put a stop to all fun things in life that don't prolong our existence on Earth?

I'd also point out that having emotional attachments and increasing social interaction (both of which having a local sports team promotes) increase emotional and physical health and promote longevity.

by Falls Church on Dec 7, 2011 2:46 pm • linkreport

"You guys haven't addressed any of those arguments, preferring to blow smoke about side issues."

@oboe, who is you guys and what side issues? You prefer arguing over something that hasn't even been proposed.

by selxic on Dec 7, 2011 2:46 pm • linkreport

@HogWash

"So although the item in question is about a not-so-proposed training facility, you're questioning the logic behind building a "stadium." How is it possible for you to ask about having an actual argument when you are arguing something that isn't even talked about as being on the table? You're making up a nonargument to argue against a training facility."

What are the benefits of having the practice facility at this site over mixed-use development?

by Vik on Dec 7, 2011 2:49 pm • linkreport

US Olympians are amature, not professional athletes. That was especially true in 1980 when the definition of "amature" was much stricter for US Olympic team members than it is now. That 1980 USSR team was made up of professional hockey players in the sense we understand it today. The US team was made up of college students.

I'm not sure what the relevance of the above comment is to the discussion but I agree that's what made the miracle on ice so awesome. I'm very glad that the taxpayer sponsored US Olympic Committee made it possible. It was a great use of taxpayer money.

by Falls Church on Dec 7, 2011 2:49 pm • linkreport

Like it or not, a practice facility on Reservation 13 is very different than a stadium on federal land, Vik. That doesn't mean the team wouldn't want to relocate to the RFK site, but they are separate issues. Of course many fans would love the team back in DC and that doesn't mean they care about treatment rooms and video rooms.

by selxic on Dec 7, 2011 2:56 pm • linkreport

@Falls Church -its relevant b/c you dismissed Kate W.s comment about the results of the studies of professional publically funded sports stadiums as a bad economic deal for communities with a comparison to the intangible benefit from an amature sports event. Additionally the amature sports even you chose was an event that Sports Illustrated deemed "the most important sports event of the century" in 1999.

I just don't think the comparison, between "the miracle on ice" and any benefit to DC from publically funding snyders team in DC, for an facility (practice or competition) is valid. Not only was the 1980 game performed by US amatures, it was an extra special game in the recent history of sports trumping even other olympic outcomes in its specialness.

Although personally I think Jesse Owens performace in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin may be more important for its social meassage than the miracle on ice.

I can't think of any single game or event in pro sports that comes even close to the importance of Jesse Owens victories or even that of the US hockey team in 1980.

by Tina on Dec 7, 2011 3:06 pm • linkreport

@selxic

If the training facility and stadium are separate issues, than the facility should be funded privately unless there is some large public component to it.

If it were a stadium+mixed-use development, than perhaps terms can be figured out allowing the city to use its borrowing capacity to help finance it, given the substantially larger price-tag, revenue generating activity, and mixed-uses.

Maybe this is what the city has planned all along, but that's how I feel. I don't think the city needs to be getting involved in financing something that's $50 million if it's mainly benefiting a private entity, even though I want our teams in the city.

by Vik on Dec 7, 2011 3:07 pm • linkreport

@Falls Church -the USOC is a not-for-profit org. You can make a donation to the USOC and claim a deduction from your income tax for it. Can you say that about Synder of the NFL?

by Tina on Dec 7, 2011 3:11 pm • linkreport

^ ..."about making a donation to Snyder or to the NFL?"

by Tina on Dec 7, 2011 3:13 pm • linkreport

Likely, you would never consider anything you say or do a form of NIMBYISM.

Well, that sounds like a totally fair accusation.

But you will continue to throw the charge around when people don't agree with something you support. No big deal.

First of all it clearly is a big deal that's why you have your panties in a knot about the time someone reportedly called you a NIMBY over the streetcar and you've been itching for a chance to throw the accusation at someone else. Counting the moments until the day when you could strain the definition to the point of snapping so that you could "get even".

And since you think I throw the charge around unfairly, would you care to back up your accusation with a fact or would you rescind it with an apology.

we will continue to agree to disagree about what constitutes NIMBYISM.

I think being a NIMBY is about opposing something solely because it is close to your home - i.e. in my back yard. A NIMBY would agree that a trash transfer station is needed, but not near their home. I would oppose paying for this practice field even if it were built in Tierra del Fuego. How would you define NIMBY?

But I don't want to pay any money for his stadium. How is that [NIMBYISM] Again, you will never think anything you do or say is a sign of NIMBYISM.

I notice you didn't answer the question - you just replied with an unfounded accustaion. How old are YOU?

IMO, that seems similar to me saying that I dont' want my money to be used to build a bike lane. 10x's outta 10, people here would call me a NIMBY. Oh wait, that's happened already when discussing Anacostia streetcars.

Well, I'm not going to get into the business of defending everyone else here, but would you care to give an example. If they did that, they're wrong. That's not NIMBYism. Wouldn't you agree? Or were they right to call you a NIMBY?

notice I said, "pertaining to DC" and not a microcosm of DC.

That is a distinction without relevance. If it improves the health of a microcosm of DC, it improves the average health of DC residents.

You don't think that DC would better benefit by developing an establishment that has more of an "economic" (think these austere times) than a bike track?

DC isn't putting any of its money into the velodrome. Perhaps something could be done on that lot that brings more economic benefit, perhaps not. Nothing has before now and if a more profitable use for the land is found I trust the market to figure that out.

Of course you do, even if you won't admit it.

Again, with the putting in my mouth of words.

by David C on Dec 7, 2011 3:14 pm • linkreport

@Donald Gingrich Vik, I just don't think you are helping yourself here. Sure, bringing race into a dicussion is sometimes helpful. But your assmption (in response to the question about where has he been) that Gray is getting this "Redskins love" only from his base is ridiculous for two reasons 1)it suggests that he only talks to his "base" 2)it suggests that white people aren't football fans. Both are rather ridiculous points. Why? Well instead of simply assuming that Gray must be talking to simply "football fans", you've made it racial by implying that he's really talking to his "black base" when it is a well-documented fact that the majority of game attendees are indeed WHITE. Your point would be more salient had you talked about the black family reunion or something else largely supported by blacks. You didn't.

It's become obviously clear that you are more interested in talking about the sinister 10-yr plan to relocate the Redskins than the reality as we currently know it. And the current reality is that there isn't any talk about that. So you're arguing a position that at this point is largely crafted in your mind. We've talked about this here several times and this (at least for me) is the first time I heard someone argue that this is only a precursor to a stadium deal.

What are the benefits of having the practice facility at this site over mixed-use development?

I'm not entirely sure. Is it possible to build a MUD which includes a practice facility?

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 3:22 pm • linkreport

its relevant b/c you dismissed Kate W.s comment about the results of the studies of professional publically funded sports stadiums as a bad economic deal for communities with a comparison to the intangible benefit from an amature sports event.

I'm dismissing Kate's comments and the studies they're likely based on because they're not factoring in the intangible benefits. Just like amateur sports, pro sports are capable of watershed moments that provide tremendous public value and in general, like amateur sports, provide a great source of entertainment and intangible value.

-the USOC is a not-for-profit org. You can make a donation to the USOC and claim a deduction from your income tax for it. Can you say that about Synder of the NFL?

That's irrelevant to my point that the benefits of having a pro sports team go well beyond the tangible economic ones.

I can't think of any single game or event in pro sports that comes even close to the importance of Jesse Owens victories or even that of the US hockey team in 1980.

I would say Jackie Robinson's Major League debut is up there in importance with Jesse Owens.

As for an event that's important to many many DC area residents and a source of continued pride and local loyalty -- the second quarter of the 1987 Redskins Superbowl victory.

by Falls Church on Dec 7, 2011 3:42 pm • linkreport

@DavidC, first of all, I'm not wearing panties today. I think you must have missed the point where I said that I don't really care about the term...and I don't. I consider the fact that I rarely use the term as indication of that. Yes, I was called a NIMBY because I didn't want my tax dollars to be used for streetcars in Anacostia. It was nothing to be offended by because I'm just not as sensitive and easily offended as many of you are.

I notice you didn't answer the question - you just replied with an unfounded accustaion. How old are YOU?

It's hard to say that I replied with an "unfounded" accusation when, in response to my assertion that you will never consider anything you do or say as NIMBYISM, you typed, "Well, that sounds like a totally fair accusation." So ok my bad, you agree that you'll never consider anything you do or say as NIMBYISM. You just happen to think my accusation (that you never will) is unfounded. Ok, I get it.

BTW, I'm still chuckling over the idea that you believe I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to "snap" when you gave us the William Blake-like imagery of a man yelling spit at another man while jabbing fingers at his cyberchest. I'm sure this is something else we'll disagree on and IMO, that's ok. But that surely sounds and reads as unhinged a person as unhinged can get!

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 3:44 pm • linkreport

@oboe, who is you guys and what side issues? You prefer arguing over something that hasn't even been proposed.

I may have missed this from someone else, but...

"I'm telling you, almost everywhere I go, people say, 'Bring them back, bring them back.' And I say, 'Well, we are working on it.'"

...sounds like the mayor wants to, you know, bring back the Redskins. To play football. To DC. The town of which he is mayor.

Oh, and lest I open myself to charges of NIMBYism: I just want to go on record as saying that if, say, the people of San Francisco decided to take prime, close-in, waterfront real estate and use it to build a massive suburban single-use stadium with tons of "ample parking" I would say that's a pretty stupid thing to do as well.

I suppose that would make me a NIYBY.

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 3:46 pm • linkreport

@Falls Church,

Leaving aside the question of the inherent value of sport, do you really think it makes an significant difference whether the arena is in Ward 8 or Ward 9? Because that's what it boils down to.

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 3:54 pm • linkreport

Mr Grey: everybody tells me we should eat fish tacos
GGW hive mind: We dont want to pay for fish tacos
Mr hog: Why do you hate fish tacos
GGW hive mind: We dont hate it, its too expensive
Mr Hog: where did we do a cost benefit analysis, with full incremental logic and ROI?
GGW: we discussed it a lot

Answer- Not many people will defend DC paying good pesos to get the Skins. Its unlikely Snyder would move them without that. BUT Mr Grey made NO reference to any specific proposal. Ergo, the case can be made that jumping on Greys back on this, is against all stadiums regardless of cost.

Look, the odds of Iran giving its nuclear program without being bombed may be higher than that Snyder will move the Skins without a bribe, but its not much higher. Does that mean that when Hillary Clinton says we need for Iran to give up its nuclear program, we should say she is advocating war?

Now can we can get back to the flying cars?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Dec 7, 2011 3:59 pm • linkreport

@HogWash

"1)it suggests that he only talks to his "base" 2)it suggests that white people aren't football fans. Both are rather ridiculous points."

I'm not talking about segmentation of attendees at FedEx Field. I'm talking about DC proper and its residents. Go ahead and pretend that his base doesn't have a disproportionate amount of his attention. Do a survey of where Redskins support is highest in the District. Your Donald Gingrich jab doesn't even make sense, btw.

"I'm not entirely sure. Is it possible to build a MUD which includes a practice facility?"

I think it's doubtful. The Tampa Bay facility that they visited isn't a mixed-use facility and it's tougher to design one where there is so much land being used as a recreational facility that is primarily for professional athletes and a major franchise.

And my concern is not primarily w/ whether or not the site is mixed-use, despite providing more value to the residents of the city, but whether public funding is being used. I wouldn't object to a practice facility that is not a mixed-use development as long as no public funds are used. If public funds are to be used, than the public should have some stake in it. Stadiums are different because their benefit is far more tangible than a practice facility and they generate more revenue.

by Vik on Dec 7, 2011 4:01 pm • linkreport

@FC I think the social messages and impact of Jackie Robinson's debut and Jesse Owens victories are nearly the same only with contextual differences.

I agree there's intangible benefit from witnessing human athletic achievement.

I disagree that those intangible benefits justify publically subsidizing a multi millionaire whose goal is to make more money not to give back to the community, who is in a multi-million dollar grossing industry.

The NFL and Synder are doing just fine financially cashing in on human desire to see athletic performance. They don't need any help from anyone to be able to present it.

by Tina on Dec 7, 2011 4:06 pm • linkreport

Nothing is ideal. But that's not the part that's upsetting. The part that's upsetting that the mayor apparently weighs the NIMBYism of people living next to the biggest transit hub in the region, heavier than the interests of all the (future) users of the streetcar line. He is picking out the NIMBY argument, not any of the others.

Oh, I totally get that. However, I think there are numerous other legitimately good points to raise against putting the streetcar on 3rd, and NIMBYism is actually one of them (probably the only time you'll hear me say that).

This is 3rd Street. It's narrow, and not much of a local traffic artery. It's home to one school, and a corner store. Heavy buses and trucks are not permitted, presumably due to geological issues and low tree clearances.

To remedy all of these issues and allow streetcar service on the road would require extensive and lengthy reconstruction of the street, reconfiguration of the traffic pattern, larger intersections to accommodate the streetcar's turning radius, removal of most of the tree canopy, possible damage to houses along the road, and a loud and disruptive construction process for the neighbors and massive expenses for the city....all for a temporary streetcar loop.

I could see you making the case for the streetcar to temporarily run on 4th, 6th, 8th, and maybe 2nd. These streets are designed to handle higher traffic volumes and buses (and they do). You could throw some tracks down, install some temporary wires, and run the streetcar without any perceptible impact on the surrounding residents.

It's even arguable that the 3rd St loop would be less accessible to Union Station than the Hopscotch bridge (which is where the streetcar will eventually go anyway, since the plan is for it to run all the way across town, preferably by the most direct route possible). It'd also likely be a longer walk to the Metro platforms and Amtrak waiting area from 2nd St than it would be from the Hopscotch Bridge.

Putting temporary tracks on 3rd or 5th just doesn't really make all that much sense. I'm really hard pressed to find a good argument in favor it. I've already outlined what the costs would be, so what are the benefits over the bridge route? I'm not pleased that NIMBYism apparently swayed the mayor, but it simply just wasn't a good proposal on its own merits.

by andrew on Dec 7, 2011 4:14 pm • linkreport

As for an event that's important to many many DC area residents and a source of continued pride and local loyalty -- the second quarter of the 1987 Redskins Superbowl victory.

But if a rose by any other name still smelled as sweet, wouldn't a victory broadcast from a massive football complex in Falls Church (paid for by Virginia voters) not taste as sweet? (If not sweeter.)

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 4:17 pm • linkreport

Lol. I live in Fairfax County and it's nice to not even be involved in this debate. Hot potato!...who gets stuck with the Skins?

by HappyVACommuter on Dec 7, 2011 4:38 pm • linkreport

It's hard to say that I replied with an "unfounded" accusation when, in response to my assertion that you will never consider anything you do or say as NIMBYISM, you typed, "Well, that sounds like a totally fair accusation." So ok my bad, you agree that you'll never consider anything you do or say as NIMBYISM. You just happen to think my accusation (that you never will) is unfounded.

When I said that "that sounds like a totally fair accusation" I was being sarcastic. I don't think it's a fair accusation at all.

I'm still waiting for you to answer the question by the way. Usually when people dodge a question, it's because the answer makes them look bad. Would you not agree?

Let's recap:

You won't define NIMBY, but you're sure that we are all one and that I'm a hypocrite even though you can't back that up.
You're sure that you weren't a NIMBY when you criticized the streetcar, and claim you were called one, but can't back that up either.
You've accused me of throwing the term NIMBY around, but again no facts.
Also, you don't care much about the term NIMBY, even though you've spent all day crying about it.

You sound real believable (sarcasm again)

by David C on Dec 7, 2011 4:50 pm • linkreport

What is a NIMBY. Well since I first and have mainly heard it on this website, that's easy.

A NIMBY, as commonly debated on this board is:
1)Someone who is against any type of progressive development in their n'hood.
2)Someone who is against certain types of progressive development in their n'hood.
3)Someone who is against development (like transit) that happens to benefit areas outside of their n'hood.

Those are just three examples and based on my experience, I was accused of being in #2. In that case, I was against paying for streetcars in Anacostia. I never made a big stink about being called a NIMBY. Even then, I pointed out that the irony that I was called a NIMBY even though I supported other modes of transit options for the same area.

Not sure what about not answering that makes me willing to "dogde" an obvious question. Fortunately, I said several posts ago that we aren't going to agree on the term and how it's use. So if you happen to disagree with my definition of the term based on the multiple multiple posts from GGW commenters discussing it, then that's ok to. I wouldn't expect you to.

If you've never referred to anyone else as a NIMBY, then that's my bad. I don't think it changes my point but I am more than willing to throw you a cookie plus your very own gold Star. You've already showed us how unhinged you can get. So Fido..Fetch.

Please let's be clear, with the exception of one or two, YOU happen to be the person most interested in discussing NIMBY'ism and as evidenced by my postings, I have responded in kind to questions YOU raised. No! I haven't spent all day crying about it. You've simply spent most of it defending against why you shouldn't be called one. So on that note, here's a lil cheese to go with that whineeeeee.

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2011 5:18 pm • linkreport

Hogwash,

I asked you what YOU think a NIMBY is, not what others think it is. When you wrote "I truly have never seen such disdain for a city's sports team than I've found reading here. It's NIMBYISM at it's core." What did YOU mean?

Instead you gave me three contradictory definitions that you clearly don't believe are correct.

Rather than take your word for it, can you show me where you were called #2?

And normally when one apologizes for falsely accusing someone of being a hypocrite, they do it without insulting the person. So, that's not really an apology.

You're the kind of guy who would say insulting things that aren't true about someone else (aka a liar) and then, when called out for it, rather than apologize like a gentleman, you insult the guy you just lied about.

I don't know if we really need a guy like that around here.

by David C on Dec 7, 2011 9:14 pm • linkreport

Not only should DC bring the skins back, they should build it directly over DuPont Circle. Kill two birds with one stone.

by TGEOA on Dec 7, 2011 9:18 pm • linkreport

I don't understand pointlessly arguing over the semantics of NIMBYism all day when there were actual disagreements about the actual topics.

by selxic on Dec 7, 2011 9:55 pm • linkreport

@TGEOA:

Not only should DC bring the skins back, they should build it directly over DuPont Circle. Kill two birds with one stone.

Funny, it seems that even those least sympathetic to urbanist issues understand just how damaging this stupid plan would be to the city.

by oboe on Dec 7, 2011 11:19 pm • linkreport

@DavidC, dude grow a pair.

1)With the "my bad" statement, I already acknowledged that I was apparently wrong about saying that you've used the term NIMBY.

2)Like you said, don't put words or thoughts in my mouth. You don't have to tell me what I do or don't believe.

3) I "falsley" accused you of using the term NIMBY, not being a hypocrite.

4)I don't care if you don't take my word for it. No, I'm not going to prove to you that I was referred to as what I said I was. That's silly and I'm not here to convince you.

5)Me insulting? Get out! A blind man can see that in response to me "wrongly" assuming that you used the term and confusion about your taxpayer vs. private dollar, you (a)insinuated that I'm a panty-wearing man b)cybertold me that if we had been on the street, you would've been poking your finger in my chest while showering my face with spittle.

Now you have the audacity to play the victim card? Look dude, even though you suggested that I was a cross-dresser and would spit in my face, I'm soooo not offended by it and consider it online banter. But noooo, not you. Not YOU! You're actually offended that I have the nerve to respond in kind to your online quips and suggest that I shouldn't be welcomed here? WOWWWWWWWWW! And the sad part about this entire exchanged is that I'm sure there are people who agreed with your "attacks" and wouldn't dare speak out against it.

I see it all the time in the attacks against Lance when instead of the GGW peacemakers stepping up, they remain absolutely silent and in many cases, encourage it. Lance, and his opinions (that we are so supposed to value in such intelligent discourse) are routinely discarded like dirty toilet water. Yet, he still comments and seems to take very little offense at the barrage of consistent (lightly moderated) attacks agaisnt him. Maybe we shouldn't want to be like Mike, but Lance.

Did I mention, Grow a pair!

by HogWash on Dec 8, 2011 10:27 am • linkreport

Apology accepted.

by David C on Dec 8, 2011 10:36 am • linkreport

Just to be clear, the velodrome doesn't even present an opportunity cost: it's a temporary structure that will be moved when the landowner finds a permanent use. The parking on the site is parking that's already on the site, as far as I can tell.

And no, despite the protestations from hipsters everywhere, fixed-gear track bikes are no more appropriate for city streets than F1 racing cars are appropriate for fetching groceries.

by Payton on Dec 8, 2011 3:57 pm • linkreport

Velodrome = WTT stadium

by selxic on Dec 8, 2011 6:11 pm • linkreport

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