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GOLDMAN: Mayor Jones giving $200 million freebie to Shockoe proposal developers

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

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

RICHMOND, Va. – How many sports stadiums have been built in America in recent years where YOU, THE PUBLIC, was forced to guarantee 100 percent of all the stadium costs and the other improvements required by the developers?

That’s right, the Mayor’s proposed Shockoe stadium is a totally public-funded construction deal. There is no contribution from the developers directly covering any construction costs.

When you add the proposed construction costs, the debt service on the 30 year bonds to be issued to finance the construction, and the normal cost overruns, you get roughly $200 million in total principal and interest.

So again, how many other Mayors are doing it this way?

NONE.

The Jones sweetheart deal for developers is like no other deal in recent times and like no other in Richmond history. It likewise defies the historic norm in stadium funding around the country.

The developers are putting up ZIP, NADA, NOTHING, ZILCH, ZERO, did I say NOT ONE PENNY? They get the stadium and all the improvements in Mayor’s proposal WITHOUT HAVING PUT UP A PENNY for any of it.

What gives?

I have to ask, why is the Mayor giving the developers a $200 million freebie?

For example, Fredericksburg has approved a minor league baseball stadium, but private enterprise is putting up most of the money to build it.

Not in Richmond. YOU are paying 100 percent in the form of one stream of tax money or another, plus millions of dollars more to pay for other flood-plain associated improvements, NOT TO MENTION additional public funds to deal with traffic and related issues along with cost overruns certain to be required only yet to be revealed.

Yesterday, I showed how we could modernize all the Richmond schools – the oldest in the state by far – if we had a Mayor and City Council interested in a different priority.

So I ask again, why the $200 million freebie for the Shockoe developers?

Why is the Mayor, contrary to best practices around the country, giving the developers a free pass? The Mayor himself has said, or so I remember, that nothing in this life is free except what you were born with.

No one can claim being born with box seats to a Squirrels’ game at a Shockoe Stadium.

Thus, by the Mayor’s own account, what have the developers offered to get their $200 million freebie? This is why we need a referendum to have a fair and open process, and let the people decide.

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.

16 comments

  • Wayne

    Honestly, I don’t know of any stadiums built that the people are not terribly cheated, especially in tax revenue …..

    Wayne
    Luvsiesous.com

    • Marcus

      The building of stadiums has become the substitute for anything resembling an urban policy in this country. The stadiums are presented as a microwave-instant solution to the problems of crumbling schools, urban decay and suburban flight.
      Stadiums are sporting shrines to the dogma of trickle-down economics. In the past 10 years, more than $16 billion of the public’s money has been spent for stadium construction and upkeep from coast to coast. Though some cities are beginning to resist paying the full tab, any kind of subsidy is a fool’s investment, ending up being little more than monuments to corporate greed: $500 million welfare hotels for America’s billionaires built with funds that could have been spent more wisely on just about anything else. http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Are-stadiums-worth-the-high-price-PROBLEMS-2553522.php

  • Matt Richardson

    Unfortunately our mayor and council is selling out the future of the city. With city graduation rates hovering around 50%, plenty of boarded up buildings, and new development moved to surrounding counties we’re working on becoming the next Detroit. Without VCU and state government Richmond would be totally gone. Families without the means to send their kids to private schools are gone.

  • David Reeser

    Wtvr must be crooks to if they want no part in telling the improper about 200 million the mayor is having the tax payers pay for and you the richmond people have not booted that mayor out ding ding you the people of richmond.

    • Manalishi.

      Good call David Reeser. It’s beyond time to go after the media enablers and the dumpsters that support and vote for mass corruption.

      This is a democrat issue.

  • Former City of Richmond Resident

    Thank you for proving that my move away from this god awful city was the best decision I made in 1996! I knew the Mayor Jones personally and to be honest I’m shocked he was even elected as the mayor. Running a church and running city government are in no way remotely the same! You would’ve had a better chance with Chuck Richardson from back in the day, LOL, at least he did stuff! Well Richmond you made that bed, so please enjoy sleeping in it!!! Btw, RIP #SenatorLambert!!

  • me

    In the entire City of Governance, from the Richmond Inspector General, Richmond’s Top Prosecutor, elected stewarts of Taxes, Richmond
    City Council, Auditor, Participating Governor, State Agencies, the
    Infamous AG, self-anointment as Law ‘Enforcer”, FBI, Fed
    Investigators and ALL Media Outlets Consortium “Advertising Partners”,
    are completely Deaf, Dumb and Blind to DEMOCRATIC
    GIFTGATE(S), set up, orchestrated, manipulated, contorted, and
    ALL RUN BY PARTY; of , by and for PARTY.

    • me

      It has been Proven beyond a shadow of a doublt that Dwight “Clinton”
      Jones cannot manage Richmond departments or agencies.
      He only manages to bring continuous, unremedied failures, debacles, dysfunctions, and Scandals Galore.
      That is why the Entire Democratic Party at all echelons, had to
      step in an take over by outside Committees, Councils, Commissions,
      and Infamous Party Tax Exempt/Non Profit Consortiums/Lobbyists.
      ….It is the same ol, same ol Democratic Donors, Contributors,
      Financiers, Positively Richmond’s Who’s Who and their Big Businesses,
      and Big Corporates. The bankers, lawyers, real estate business,
      developers, construction outfits, property owners, ….all deliberately,
      orchestrated to Extort Taxes, without Public Say, to Their Will; Their Way! All conducted in secreted, hidden, back room, closed doors
      of THE DEMOCRATIC WAY.

  • me

    Goldman still REFUSES to TELL where to report Democratic Corruption
    when it is solely Democratic Governance.

  • Glen Allen

    This is a great article full of valuable information; however, you have a City Council unwilling to stand up for the tax payers, or the children. I think most folks believe the Mayor sold his soul to the rich developers long ago, and I think it is safe to say, that if City residents do not demand a referendum, you will get stuck with a stadium in the Bottom, and a bill for $200,000,000.00

    Richmond City government is exploiting the City residents for the benefit of those that live in the counties. Does anyone really have any evidence that building a new stadium will attract more residents or businesses to the City? Did it do so where it currently sits, about 2-1/2 miles up the road?

  • me

    Did you notice the Governor’s email to his PAC Donors what shut down and up faster than a speeding ……….
    Only adds to substantiate the blatant Governance Style.

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