Let's see if we have this straight: Without the emergency legislation proposed last night by Cropp to cap the city's costs at $300 million, the lease as submitted (actually it was submitted, then resubmitted and then re-resubmitted) probably would not have passed tonight's vote. But nobody seems certain if the new legislation, let's call it the "really guaranteed maximum price" (not to be confused with Mayor Williams' "guaranteed maximum price") , will be accepted by the other parties involved: MLB and the Clark/Hunt/Smoot construction companies.
So if the council votes yes on this stack of papers that resembles the original agreement tonight, we're not sure if that means anything to MLB.
And if the council does not approve the stack of papers tonight, MLB might choose to go to full arbitration, which could mean another six months of wrangling over this deal. Or, there's always that other option.
So regardless of what the council decides tonight, our pessimistic side is telling us that this thing is far from over.
"We're basically just doing a crapshoot and saying, 'Well, let's just blow up all the work we've put in here over the last four or five months, go back to arbitration and square one and run the risk of [the Nationals] leaving in June." (Mayor Williams, 2/07/2006 via Washington Times)
"There is a lot the mayor has not delivered...There's a lot of work left to be done." (Kwame Brown, 2/07/2006 via Washington Post)
"The key will be how they write the provision...If they write it in such a way that they attempt to undo what we already agreed to [with baseball officials], then we'll have problems. But if they come up with something that strengthens what we already agreed to, then there's no problem, and we can go forward." (Vince Morris spokesman for Mayor Williams, via Washington Post 2/07/2006)
"We're getting to a point where if we do not act, we're adding to the [stadium] cost overruns...We can't let anyone use the excuse that the council has not acted. This is a responsible approach." (Linda Cropp, via Washington Times 2/07/2006)