Question: As county taxpayers, my husband and I are concerned with the way the county uses our hard earned tax dollars. Would you please provide us your rationale for supporting taxpayers subsidizing the construction of a new stadium in Prince William County?
While the negotiations are far from over, I am currently supporting the proposed minor league baseball stadium for the following reasons:
No taxpayer dollars are being spent on the stadium. Despite what is being said in the Americans for Prosperity-financed misinformation campaign, the Potomac Nationals have agreed to pay for the operations, maintenance, lease, and finance payments for the proposed stadium. The team has also agreed to an escrow account equal to one year’s payment. Taxpayers are being requested to pay for off-site road improvements (estimated at $5M) and the site development work for the parking garage (estimated at $7M).
In exchange for this $12M investment, the County will:
- own the stadium;
- own the garage that provides 1,400 space parking garage (with free commuter use by slugs, carpools, and vanpools);
- generate $175M in economic activity (expanding the commercial tax base and reducing the tax burden on families);
- generate $240M in wages and salaries;
- generate 288 permanent jobs (more during construction); and
- receive $5M in direct county tax revenue.
The County will be able to program the stadium for 188 days annually (when the team is not playing). The programming – concerts, community events, other sports teams – will, over time, help generate revenues to offset the $12M in County road improvements and site development work.
The County will also receive an additional $32M in state-funded road improvements to Neabsco Mills Road, the most congested road in Woodbridge. This does not include several million more dollars to be funded by JBG for on-site road improvements, including a new road in Potomac Town Center. The total road investment residents will realize if this stadium gets built is estimated at $42M, not including the ongoing improvements on Route 1. These road improvements, in conjunction with the free parking at the garage, will work to reduce traffic congestion in the area.
To summarize, I support the proposed baseball stadium because it will provide an economic boost to the local economy, create 288 jobs, and provide residents with a new parking garage and road improvements. Investing in the stadium will also keep the team in Prince William.
Please consider reading the official county documents on the negotiations to gain a better understanding: http://newwoodbridge.org/issues/p-nats. Negotiations are ongoing and concerns are being addressed; there is still a long way to go, e.g., approval of the master development agreement, financing and bond validation, and adoption of a special use permit. I welcome your questions and input throughout the process. Thank you for writing!