Eminent Domain and Baseball

For those who are slightly following the SCOTUS arguments of Kelo vs City of New London, the Post has an article in it’s business section about how the outcome could impact the Nationals Stadium and the Skyland shopping center over in Anacostia. Yet I am trying to figure out how the stadium fits into all this, as I thought (correct me if I am wrong) the stadium would remain the property of the city. My idea of public use does include stadiums, provided they are publicly owned so if the city needed to, it could have other city functions during the off season or decide to blow it up when the Nats leave DC for a prettier much younger city.
The area in SE where the city is thinking about plopping the stadium is not the greatest part of town, but that’s just my outdated opinion. I haven’t been out there since Tracks closed down. Wait? Am I thinking of the right neighborhood? And really I’m a bit less sympathetic to commercial property being seized for a commercial but publicly owned project. I do feel a bit bad for the sculptor working over there, as good studio spaces are hard to find and art a pain to move.
I am very thankful that areas around and near southern Shaw were nixed as places for a stadium. Shaw is coming out of it’s blighted stage. We haven’t reached the non-blighted, non-transitional stage yet, but at least we are in little danger of the the city grabbing large parcels of land.

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6 thoughts on “Eminent Domain and Baseball”

  1. My understanding is whoever ends up buying the franchise gets the stadium. DC gets use of it occasionally, but that is all.

  2. I know that some of the land is currently privately owned (there was a big stink a while ago about a few gay friendly clubs having to shut down / move to make way for the stadium). However, I’m not sure if the District is purchasing that land via deals with the owners or through eminent domain. I am hoping the former because I have a real distaste for ED abuse.

  3. The reason the Kelo case could affect the stadium is because the city will be leasing the stadium to MLB, and those leases are usually sweetheart deals for the teams; a narrowly constructed ruling that ED to transfer land to a private entity is disallowed wouldn’t affect that, but a broad ruling that ED for the economic gain of a private entity is disallowed owed could make those sweetheart deals verboten.

  4. there are two rather important arts institutions in the baseball footprint. the washington sculpture center and the washington glass school.
    tracks.. or least where it was.. is not in the footprint.
    think south of m street.

    sad to me that the district chooses baseball over a grand plan of an arts district in this location.
    not that the arts district eve got decent press.

    also, i’ve posted anon here before. sorry. wont do it again.

  5. The language in the consititution suggests that government can only take the land for ‘public use’ and so the debate is over what is public use. The City will argue that the public will get to ‘use’ the stadium, while opponents will say it will really be private property, and the public will have to pay to use it. There are many different factors that go into it all. For instance, in D.C. the law says it must be for ‘municipal use’ which can have a different legal meaning than ‘public use.’

    Also – I do think there is one house there that will get taken.

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