Budget-busting seems to be the rule, not the exception, on new stadiums. The Gateway project in Cleveland, of which Jacobs Field is a part, ran up $28 million in cost overruns. The new ballpark in Phoenix blew $65 million past its budget to a total of $343 million, and Arizona Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo must pay for the difference.
Lehr noted that the letter of intent is but a preliminary document, and that the terms of the agreement are subject to change. It seems unlikely, however, that McLane would be willing to back away from publicly announced terms at this point.
No wonder McLane was willing to miss those absolute deadlines he'd said were so important and commit the Astros to remain in Houston for another 30 years. Figuring at least some mild boost in attendance from a new park, he'll be able to compete with the major-market teams and spend freely on high-priced talent to keep the team competitive well into the next century. No sweat.