February 2, 2006 [LINK]

Private finance deal collapses

D.C. official Natwar Gandhi has called off the private finance deal for the new stadium, on the grounds that the District would not be getting any tangible benefit in exchange for the $5 million fee. It involves specific provisions required by Wall Street bond graders. This is a major embarrassment to Council chairwoman Linda Cropp, who had insisted upon private financing as a condition for her support of the stadium deal in December 2004. According to Councilman Vincent Orange, "The whole bank plan was to appease Linda." See Washington Post. So that high-anxiety tension we endured as the crucial vote approached fourteen months ago was all for nothing!? All the wasted months... This outcome validates the skepticism [expressed by] the Post's economics writer Stephen Pearlstein [about the alleged advantages of private financing over public financing]; see my Dec. 21, 2004 blog post.

Wrigley construction

Some detailed photographs of the progress on the expanded bleachers, along with a snow-covered field, can be seen at chicagotribune.com (hat tip to Mike Zurawski). The extent of overhang over the sidewalk by the two wings of the bleachers increases as they approach the foul poles, because the number of rows in each wing remains constant, rather than tapering down as before. There will be an open-air concourse platform above the sidewalk behind the center part of the bleachers, and an upscale restaurant behind dark glass (rather than dark green shrubbery) in the "batters eye" in center field.

Speaking of Wrigley (the other one), Steve Pixberg of New Orleans asks:

Wasn't an episode of the Twilight Zone also filmed at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles? The episode was about a man who made an android pitcher for the Hoboken Zephyrs. Think it was the early 1960's.

Does anyone recall that?

UPDATE: Sorry for the glitch in making this post earlier today.