The D.C. Council approved legislation late last night that dramatically restructures the city’s deal with Major League Baseball to build a stadium in Washington by requiring that at least 50 percent of the cost be financed with private money.
Chairman Linda W. Cropp (D) shocked her colleagues after 11 hours of debate on a stadium financing package by offering the private financing amendment about 10 p.m. after saying she was disappointed by recent talks with Major League Baseball.
The bill, which was approved on a 7 to 6 vote, gives Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) until June to find a private financing plan to cover at least half the cost of the stadium. If that plan is not certified by Natwar M. Gandhi, the city’s chief financial office, and approved by the council, the stadium bill would lapse.
“My basic belief is that there are too many public dollars going into this,” Cropp said. “This will make the mayor seek private dollars more than anything else. I don’t know how Major League Baseball will react.”