New Stadium Analysis Close to Glendening's: Redskins `Pleased' by Report's Estimates
Mercurio, John, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
ANNAPOLIS - The proposed Washington Redskins stadium would raise $12.1 million in taxes and create 819 jobs statewide, according to an analysis the legislature's fiscal director released yesterday.
William Ratchford's new projections, which the legislature will release today, are slightly lower than estimates Gov. Parris Glendening has touted for the 78,600-seat stadium he wants to build in Landover and slightly higher than the Redskins' analysis.
Mr. Glendening has said the stadium would create 899 jobs and $12.9 million in state and local tax revenue. The Redskins have promised 819 new jobs and $11.9 million in new taxes.
Nonetheless, the numbers are far better news for the Democratic governor than a similar report Mr. Ratchford released last month on the proposed Baltimore stadium. In that report, Mr. Ratchford said the complex would generate as few as half of the jobs, one-third of the new business and about two-thirds of the tax revenue the governor has said.
Mr. Ratchford also said the Baltimore stadium would cost $293 million to build - $93 million more than Mr. Glendening had predicted - because of debt-service costs.
While opponents said the Baltimore report proved that spending public funds on stadiums is a bad investment, Redskins officials yesterday cheered Mr. Ratchford's latest analysis.
"We're pleased but not surprised," said Redskins lobbyist Gerard Evans. "Our projections were based on real, factual numbers."
State Sen. Decatur "Bucky" Trotter, a Democrat whose district includes the stadium site, said he believes the economic opportunities will far exceed Mr. Ratchford's projections.
"No other county in the country has had this kind of opportunity," Mr. Trotter said. "It's clearly a winner for the county and the state, without a doubt."
Legislators who oppose the Landover plan, including many county lawmakers, said Mr. Ratchford's estimates reflect the administration's tendency to overpromise.
"It's a big difference, and it's typical of the administration's tactics on the stadium issue," said Delegate Nathaniel Exum, chairman of the Prince George's County House delegation, who opposes the stadium proposal. …