This on-again-off-again dance with professional sports teams makes the District look the fool, from my perspective. It has been my long-standing opinion that having and keeping professional sports teams, regardless of how niche they may be, within the city boundaries is in the District's long-term interest. Having such entertainment unique to the city (and not running off to a suburb rival ... *cough Redskins cough*) is one of the many things that draws people to the city. Once here, especially if the surrounding area has been wisely developed, said people drawn to the city will stick around for a while before and after the game, spending money inside the city limits.
Wise people understand that money spent now is money made later.
And it looks like unwise people are finally understanding that too.
As with everything in the District, there are supporters and there are critics. Both voices should be heard but, in the end, the long-term interests of the city should be the deciding factor.
Is another stadium more important that improving our public schools? Absolutely not. However one should not be sacrificed at the expense of the other. Besides, it appears as though our publics schools are finally in the capable hands of a chancellor who is willing and able to make the tough decisions for the betterment of our failing education system. Instead of begging for more money to feed this bloated beast (as has been the modus operandi with past chancellors), Chancellor Rhee is performing the surgeries necessary to remove the tapeworms that have been eating the monstrous amounts of money already being given to the system.
Besides, the money being allocated to help finance the soccer stadium is coming from the money made at the baseball stadium ... money that would not even exist were it not for former Mayor Anthony Williams' and Councilmember Jack Evans' resolve.
Here's to hoping that this current City Council and this current Mayor have the same resolve to get this deal done, too.