WASHINGTON, DC—The Gray administration defended its proposedland swap that is critical to the construction of a new stadium forthe D.C. United soccer team before theD.C. Council on Wednesday.

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The D.C. Council reviewed an analysis of the project authored byCSL International, Integra RealtyResources and the Robert Bobb Group. Thereport raised several red flags, including that the city would beshorted more than $25.7 million in the land swaps and that costoverruns could occur that would raise the price tag for stadiumthat is currently estimated at $286.7 million, according to theWashington Post.

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City Administrator Allen Lew says the benefitsoutweigh the risks. “If we compare the risks in this transaction tothose present in the Nationals Ballpark or the Convention Centerdeals, both of which are viewed in hindsight as highly successfulendeavors, the risk in this transaction is far less than the riskin those situations,” Lew says.

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John P. Ross, the director of the city's officeof the chief financial officer, testified that the Grayadministration has not identified where it would get the money tofill financial gaps in the deal and that the CFO has determinedthat the estimated $50 million in tax breaks requested by the teamweren't needed to finance construction of the stadium. See story inthe Washington Post.

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John Jordan

John Jordan is a veteran journalist with 36 years of print and digital media experience.