Washington, D.C. – D.C. government should not build a publicly funded stadium on South Capitol Street at the Anacostia River, voters say. Opposition is even more vehement to letting the new owners keep all stadium-related revenues and pay only $5.5 million a year to lease the stadium. These are the findings of a new poll of D.C. voters conducted for the No D.C. Taxes for Baseball coalition by Ipsos Public Affairs.
According to Ed Lazere, a member of the No D.C. Taxes for Baseball coalition, "D.C. voters don’t want to see the District on the hook for building a new stadium, and they strongly reject the idea of building the stadium and then handing over all the revenues to the team owners."
Broad Opposition To Public Funding
By a 2-to-1 margin, D.C. voters oppose public funding for the new stadium. The recent excitement about the Expos moving to D.C. did not increase support for a publicly funded new stadium from where support stood in June in a poll by another organization.
Awareness High, Interest Intense
Almost every voter (97%) heard about a Major League Baseball team coming to D.C., and of that number aware, 84% have heard a great deal or quite a bit about it. About half (53%) of D.C. voters are baseball fans, including 18% who identify themselves as big fans, while 47% are not fans at all. Similarly, while 46% say the news that the Montreal Expos would move to D.C. is good news, 42% say it is mixed news and 11% consider it bad news.
Support And Opposition To Bonds Matches Support And Opposition To Public Funding; Support For User Taxes, Strong Opposition To Stadium Give-Away
D.C. voters overwhelmingly reject the offer made by Mayor Williams, in which the new owners of the team claim all stadium-related revenues from a stadium built with public funds, and pay only a lease payment to the city for use of the stadium. Even among strong baseball fans and among those who support public funding in general, opinion is split to strongly negative on the give-away aspect of the contract.
Voters Want Council To Modify Contract
Only 16% of voters want the D.C. council to accept the contract with no changes, 57% want to see the contract modified, and 42% would be less likely to support reelection of a council member who voted “Yes” without modifications.
Between October 18-20, 2004, Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 400 registered voters citywide, along with an oversample of 175 Ward 1 registered voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.9 for all registered voters. Margins of error for subgroups may be higher.
For more information on this press release, please contact:
No D.C. Taxes for Baseball
President, Ipsos Public Affairs
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