Two legislators in the greater Washington area are proposing an anti-boondoggle pact to thwart sports teams ripping off taxpayers by playing one jurisdiction against another. They want the governments of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia to come together and agree not to use any public dollars to finance a new stadium for the Redskins.
The two simultaneously introduced bills to support an interstate compact under which the jurisdictions in the greater Washington
area would outlaw the use of public funds for football stadiums. The Washington Redskins football team presently based at the FedEx Field in Landover, Prince Georges County Maryland just inside the Washington Beltway I-495. They’ve been there since 1997 when they were lured away from RFK Stadium in DC with Maryland taxpayer $s.
Speaking to WAMU TV Montgomery Co Delegate David Moon said: “I’m here to head off a fleecing of the region’s taxpayers by Dan Snyder and the Washington (Redskins) football team as they’ve begun very public discussions about building a new stadium and we don’t quite yet know where. Too often these new sports stadiums create a zero-sum race to the bottom where states bid millions of dollars against each other to lure a team.”
Moon wants an interstate compact to “allow the region to stand united in demanding that regardless of where Redskins team’s owner Dan Snyder chooses to take the team, he ends up paying for the stadium himself.”
Snyder started discussion of a new stadium financed with public support, hiring the Danish designers Bjarke Angels Group (BIG) to do designs. They’ve presented a semi transparent paraboloid stadium surrounded by a moat.
Cost is probably a billion dollars.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has said she wants the Washington team back in DC but it isn’t clear the DC Council would authorize use of public funds to achieve this. DC Council member David Grosso worked with Moon and plans on pushing the anti-boondoggle legislation in DC.
Virginia Gov Terry McAuliffe a Redskins fan, his Commerce Secretary Maurice Jones and Fairfax County’s Senator Chap
Petersen want the state of Virginia to finance a new stadium. They have talked of it being located on the second stage of the Silver Line in Loudoun County between Dulles Airport. and Leesburg.
But there is resistance from legislators who think it a wrong use of public money. Jones got criticism for accepting free tickets to Redskins last year. A Redskins Training Center in Richmond financed by the state has been something of a fiasco attracting much less patronage than forecast, according to the Washington Post.
Diana Allen, a local opponent of the City boondoggle hotel commented on the FoFC Marriott Watch Facebook page: “Thank you Md. Delegate David Moon! You are a true Progressive, lodging your strong objection of allowing public tax dollars to prop up wealthy Dan Snyder’s Redskins. This is more highway robbery of the wealthy taking from the working poor & middle class to finance the private for-profit football & sports teams. BRAVO!”
Curbing corporate welfare like this should be a bipartisan affair with Democrats motivated by the perverse redistribution in favor of the rich and Republicans by the waste of resources and the ultimate tax burdens.