GOLDMAN: Shockoe Stadium resolution details reveal $100 million hidden cost!

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Paul Goldman is a local lawyer who helped run Doug Wilder's historic campaign for governor of Virginia.

RICHMOND, Va. – Get ready for another Shockoe Stadium sticker shock.

If you read the fine print in the Shockoe Stadium Resolution passed 6-3 by Richmond City Council, the Mayor’s Shockoe Stadium will ultimately cost HUGELY MORE than YOU are being told!

Did they actually read the resolution? Who do YOU think will pay?

One hundred million dollars EXTRA is a fair life-cycle projection based on how the mayor and the pro-Shockoe stadium posse propose to finance everything at top dollar.

But use $50 million if you want to assume the city pays up front.

Either way, it’s MILLIONS MORE taken away from schools, law enforcement, neighborhood improvements and other vital city services.

Why did the mayor know no one on council would catch it?

As Abraham Lincoln often did, let me use a story to illustrate the situation.

Years ago, a governor assigned me the job of reviewing a lease private developers wanted the state to sign in exchange for building the state a giant office building.

“Paul,” the governor said, “make sure I can’t be accused of helping my friends after my term is up.”

I decided to use the lease as an excuse to make a date with this very beautiful woman who kept refusing to go out with me. She ran a hot shot finance company and had a PHd. from Princeton.

I confess, I might have hinted that maybe she and her company might be able to get part of the action. Give me break okay? And no, it didn’t work. But she did agree to review the lease.

She made me look like a genius by pointing out several things.

For example, the developer and contractors had saved themselves millions over the lease’s lifetime by how they defined their obligation to clean blinds, windows, floors, etc. They cleverly defined net space and regular cleaning cycles in a way that I had missed.


Here is the fine print in the Resolution, which seems harmless enough:

“The design of the stadium would contemplate a useful life of not less than 35 years.”

Except. no stadium has a useful life of 35 years.

For example, The Diamond opened in 1985. By 2004, the same power brokers and developers pushing the Shockoe stadium today claimed The Diamond to already be obsolete!

Mayor Jones said the same “obsolete” thing today.

The Diamond is the oldest stadium in Class AA except for the one park designated an historic stadium and being preserved to 1950’s style.

After 20 years, technology advances, changing fan demands, local business needs, and more makes a Stadium obsolete. This is why we have seen all those new stadiums around the country in the last 20 years!

Within the 30-year lease signed by the Squirrels, the “new” stadium is going to be in need of hugely expensive renovations unless Mayor Jones’ secret plan is to build a new one back on the Boulevard!

Who pays for all these expensive guaranteed renovations?

All revenue, lease payments, and taxes allegedly being generated go to pay FOR THE BONDS ALREADY ISSUED TO BUILD THE ORIGINAL JONES SHOCKOE STADIUM. They won’t be paid off for 30 years.


So, who pays when YOU find out that the “35-year useful life” means something different than you think it means?

The Durham Stadium is going through expensive renovations right now long before the 35-year time period!

The cost?

Projecting 20 years out, and given the speed of change these days, $100 MILLION when all is considered – actual fix-up expenses, interest payments, et. al – is a fair projection given the expensive bond financing approach the Mayor wants to use [in order to bypass the public’s right to a referendum].

Who pays? YOU DO.

But YOU don’t have any directly say in the matter right now.

Paul Goldman is in no way affiliated with WTVR. His comments are his own, and do not reflect the views of WTVR or any related entity. Neither WTVR nor any of its employees or agents participated in any way with the preparation of Mr. Goldman’s comments.


  • PCstench

    So odd. The transparency of Democratic GIFTGATE goes right
    over the heads of “Investigators”, government officials in cahoots,
    and the Richmond Inspector General. Not odd, the new Governor
    would bless all Jones’ endeavors Carte Blanche.
    Corruption, Collusion, Extortion of Taxes, and Government manipulations to usurp, circumvent, and derail the due process,
    take away the voice of the People/Tax Payers. It is Perfectly PC
    to defraud the public for the Democratic Party’s RICH, CORPORATE,
    Donors, Financiers, Contributors and Propagandizing Machine..
    HYPOCRITES. Down & Dirty Government “DEAL” ARE
    CORRUPTION by organized Tax Exempt/Non Profit LOBBYISTS
    as Friends With Benefits who BUY IN for their PAY OFFS.
    …See your McDonnell Target and Raise you a Dwight “Clinton”
    Jones, a Terry McAuliffe, a Mark Herring and Democratic Party Who’s Who ELITE.
    Democratic “Ethics” is an OXYMORON.

  • PCstench

    The worse they are the better Democrats worship their governance.
    Jones’s entire administration and governance has been mired in
    scandals, failures, dysfunction, down and dirty “deals” and run, hide,
    family and friends positioning, refuse, escape, evade, ineptness, and refusals to be open, honest and above board.
    Warrants Rewards from Party with Advancements, Posh Positioning,
    and Upward Mobility within Party Hierachy.
    Amazing how that McAuliffe “Investigation” has disappeared of, by
    and through Democratic Government/MediaMatters, Inc.
    PU. Democrats can’t SMELL their own Piles of IT.

  • James R

    @ Paul Goldman a local lawyer who helped run Doug Wilder’s historic campaign for governor of Virginia. Are you really pro RVA or mad about some past rejection? All of your articles are geared towards stopping or changing what ever project is being presented or undertaken by RVA. Is it that you do not want this administration to get the credit for moving RVA forward or are you gearing up to run for office? Maybe you just want credit for your help in the historic campaign for governor. Your bashing comments probably help to sell papers but you seem to be sliding towards the rattle of an empty wagon.

    • me

      Not “LovingRVA’s” tactics, maneuvers, tricks, schemes, cons, lack of honesty, and endeavors to usurp and circumvent government’s legislated due processesr solely for SELF enrichments of the
      Richmond’s Who’s Who sect.
      Amazingly wrote to the “Richmond Inspector General” for an
      “Investigation”. Ceremoniously ignored and refused without even
      the courtesy of an acknowledgment of receipt.
      Set Up to Suit Government is NOT of, by and for The People/Tax
      Payers. It is SELF RULE through use abuse of power and office.

    • Glen Allen

      The reason(s) Paul reports what he reports do not concern me, what counts is that he presents facts backed-up with evidence we can all checkout for ourselves. The Mayor is not moving the City of Richmond forward, he is moving the City further into debt with expensive projects that will not in fact benefit the schools, police etc., as he has promised. Why is it the Mayor cannot, or will not, give numbers? How much per year will the schools get, and starting when? He seems to have no problem telling us how much the economic impact will be over any given number of years, yet he will not even commit to formula that will tell us how much money schools, police, roads, etc. will get. Everyone is supposed to just believe him. Why?

  • manalishi

    “Shockoe Stadium resolution details reveal $100 million hidden cost!” This would be another democrat thing. If they could do math (but they can’t) they would still have to lie to you about it or you would never buy it. They aren’t stupid,,,Its that lies and corruption are a core value,, or lack of values.

  • jrcat7

    JamesR – There is a definite “tone” to Goldman’s opinions here but I frankly don’t care what his motives are…I’m concerned about the content and the reason that he is apparently the only person who can see it.

    Paul – You’ve done a great job of explaining this but now please write a story that tells specifically who can take action, what they should do and when.

    For me, this is like watching a bad movie… I don’t like where it is taking me but I’m powerless to do anything about it.

  • jrcat7

    Apparently the City Council has the authority to decide issues of this magnitude without a vote by the citizens…yeah… I know we vote them in and they represent us but on issues like this I think WE should be directly involved.

    • Glen Allen

      , City Council CAN and SHOULD demand a referendum be held to allow the city residents the opportunity to decide if, and where, a new baseball stadium is to be built, and WHO will pay for it. The Mayor clearly will not provide you with this opportunity because he knows his plan will not pass. You should hold your City Councilman/woman responsible, and demand the right for a referendum. The email addresses to all Council Members can be found here –

  • me

    Answer Goldman.
    Who, What Office, IS Responsible for Investigating Government
    Corruption, Collusion, Extortion, and Unethical Government Practices???

  • James R

    jrcat7, I agree with you that the citizens by vote should decide issues of this magnitude. Your statement that he is the only one that can see the hidden issues is what concerns me.The city auditor has been very proficient in exposing misdeeds obvious or hidden. Goldman’s opinions seem to lean in the direction 0f a campaign to discredit an opponent.

  • Kathryn Leighton

    You kids are getting pretty emotional over the rewording done by a local news network. I think a lot of you are just looking for reasons to hate the idea. I for one can’t wait!!

    • athynz

      So Kathryn are you in favor of this going to a public vote? After all you’ve repeatedly said that the majority of the citizens want this ball park in the bottom – let’s put it to a vote and let the chips fall where they will.

      BTW there are already plenty of reasons to hate the idea – the backroom deals, the attempts to cut the public out of the process, the blatant bribery of Samuels (i.e. the waving of a judgeship in his face if he votes a certain way), the lack of using recent traffic data… should I go on?

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