Baseball at Pearl Harbor!
Serendipity, random happenstance, or "Intelligent Design"? You be the judge! Just in time to commemorate the 64th anniversary of the infamous sneak attack by Japan, I have just completed the diagrams for Aloha Stadium, which is located right next to Pearl Harbor. It is the first all-new stadium page since September (that being Estadio Monterrey). Most Americans know Aloha Stadium as the site of the Pro Bowl, but it also served as a "neutral" venue of a series between the Padres and the Cardinals in April 1997. Of all the football-baseball "hybrid" stadiums, it had perhaps the most radical reconfiguration scheme. Whether there was much point to building such a big stadium for baseball in Hawaii is another question.
Reminder on diagram usage: ©!
$700 million! (Do I hear $800 million?)
Tuesday's Washington Post reported that the newest estimates put the new stadium's total cost as high as $714 million. That seems a little steep even to me, but it's not out of the question. Part of the problem is whether to include infrastructure and neighborhood improvements such as new sidewalks, lighting, and parking garages. This points out something I learned when taking graduate economics courses at American University: When doing a cost-benefit analysis for some proposed development project, there is simply no foolproof way to objectively identify which entities should be included or excluded from the analysis. Estimating the spinoff effects of a stadium, or a fishmeal processing plant near Lima Peru, is inherently a risky judgment call, which is why it's usually better to let self-interested, risk-assuming entrepreneurs run commercial development projects than politicians who couldn't care less about the bottom line. Speaking of which, in my opinion, the disingenuous bargaining tactics employed by the D.C. Council have created a cynical atmosphere around this projects, making it more likely that all sort of corrupt kickback schemes are going to emerge. The folks at fieldofschemes.com are having a "field day" with this latest flap. It's a good thing that there are plenty of accounting scrutinizers to prevent all the greedy hogs from devouring all the public money they can.
I've had a very sober view of this stadium-funding process (and the related franchise-relocation process) all along, and I do not discount the possibility that further legal tangles may put the construction on hold, perhaps for many months. (No problema: We've got RFK!) That's what happened in San Diego, you may remember. PETCO Park was delayed by two years because of bond issue referendum controversies and whatnot. That is another city that has long been plagued by corruption in government, by the way.