HJR 632

Joint Subcommittee Studying Financing Options for the Purpose of Constructing a Baseball Stadium in Virginia

May 15, 1997, Annandale

The joint subcommittee met at the Northern Virginia Planning District Commission in Annandale for a presentation by the director of the Virginia State Lottery regarding the nature and scope of additional lottery games to assist in financing a baseball stadium. The subcommittee also heard from the chairman of the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority concerning the authority's current activities.

Lottery Options

A December 2, 1996, report presented various lottery options for helping to finance a baseball stadium. Since that report, the lottery department has ruled out a daily millions game, and 1997 legislation prohibits the implementation of a video or keno game.

According to the director, the lottery department remains optimistic that it will be able to create games to raise $14 million (on an annualized basis) for a baseball stadium, while protecting the $348 million anticipated for the general fund.

The director recommended, and the committee agreed, that a separate fund will be maintained by the lottery for baseball specific games, but there will be no designation on the games themselves to indicate which games produce funds for the general fund and which produce funds for baseball.

Baseball Stadium Authority

The chairman presented the authority's annual report and indicated that while the site selection process was continuing, the primary focus was recruiting a team. It was noted that one possible means of recruiting a team would be as a result of an existing baseball team requesting and being permitted to switch leagues, thereby permitting a move to a new site such as Virginia. The other possibilities are a simple move by an existing team, if permitted, or one of two new franchises to be granted by the end of the year 1999.

Next Meeting

The joint subcommittee anticipates meeting again in the fall to review specific lottery games to be implemented for baseball. A specific place and time for that meeting have not been set.

The Honorable Vincent F. Callahan, Jr., Co-Chairman
The Honorable Richard L. Saslaw, Co-Chairman
Legislative Services contact: Stephanie Hamlett