Sen. Vincent J. Fumo

District Office

1208 Tasker Street
Phila, PA 19148

Harrisburg Office

545 Main Capitol
Hbg, PA 17120



________________NEWS RELEASE
State Senator

1st Senatorial District
Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairman
Room 545 Main Capitol, Harrisburg PA 17120
Internet Website:

PHONE: 717-787-5662


HARRISBURG, June 7, 2000 B A new major league baseball stadium at 12th and Vine Streets downtown would cost approximately $685 million, according to a study conducted for state Senator Vincent J. Fumo (D-Philadelphia.)

  That amount is nearly $370 million more than the estimate for a South Philadelphia ballpark, which was projected last November to be about $315 million by the Phillies, the Rendell Administration and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC.).

The actual building construction cost at 12th and Vine Streets in the city's Chinatown section would be $312 million. Land acquisition and demolition would cost $85 million, while parking-related costs would add another $110 million.

Among the other major expenses at 12th and Vine are those related to utilities ($45 million), inflation factors for the extra time needed to build downtown ($43 million), and environmental remediation ($17 million). Things such as street and transit system changes, pedestrian walkways, and other site improvements would require additional money.

           The study was done by the staff of the state Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee, of which Fumo is the chair, with  private real estate and transportation consultants. Some estimates were obtained from the Phillies, the City, PECO, and PIDC in the past 12 months.

"These numbers make one thing obvious: there must be a serious discussion about financing before the city makes a final commitment to a site," Fumo said. "Whatever the benefits of a downtown location, and there may be some, the taxpayers of Philadelphia deserve to know how much of an investment they will be asked to make to acquire those benefits."

The 12th and Vine site, the South Philadelphia stadium complex, and all other locations that have been given serious consideration for a Phillies' stadium are within Fumo's senatorial district. He requested this independent study in part to determine the impact on the community near the proposed stadium, and how much those related changes would cost.

The state Legislature has appropriated $85 million for the Phillies stadium (along with a like amount for professional football's Eagles.) That sum was originally envisioned as one-third of the cost, with the city and the team each anticipated to pay one-third. The state furnished similar support to the professional teams in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers are building a 68,000-seat football stadium for $289 million and the Pirates are building a 38,000-seat baseball stadium for $262 million.            The Chinatown baseball site would cost considerably more than both Pittsburgh stadiums combined.

Fumo said it was extremely unlikely that the state would offer more funding for Philadelphia stadiums, meaning the rest of the money will have to be raised locally, including a share from the teams.

"There are limits to the city's financial resources, and I believe there are limits to the amount the Phillies can wisely spend if they want to have enough money left over to be competitive in this free-agent era in major league baseball," Fumo said. "That leaves open the question of how to make this stadium affordable.'

Fumo's staff is noted in Harrisburg for its accuracy and expertise in financial analysis.

He said the study of the 12th and Vine Streets was a conservative estimate. For example:

  • The $85 million for site acquisition and demolition could grow if legal challenges, environmental problems or structural impediments arise.

  • Parking estimates assume new garages with 4,500 spaces. Some traffic consultants suggest more parking will be necessary.

  • If PECO's Callowhill Substation can feasiblely remain at its current location, the work necessary at the site would be $25 million, and would require two years before stadium construction could begin. This study assumes a $25 million price tag. If the substation has be to entirely relocated, however, it would cost more than $100 million.

  • This analysis assumes only one pedestrian walkway across Vine Street. Two, or perhaps one across Broad Street, might be needed.

  • Widening exit ramps from the Vine Street Expressway might be necessary, but was not included among costs in this analysis.

  • The inflation factor assumes only a two-year delay for a downtown location. Site acquisition or other problems could delay construction further, as could legal challenges from the Chinese-American community.

Following is a list of the categories of expenses for a stadium at 12th and Vine in the Year 2000: Actual construction, $312 million; Site Acquisition and Demolition, $85 million; Environmental Remediation, $17 million; Parking, $110 million; Site Improvements, $15 million; Utilities, $45 million; Street Improvements, $15 million; Pedestrian Walkway, $7.5 million; Transit Improvements, $8.5 million; Vine Street Lane Addition, $1.5 million; Comcast/Spectacor Parking, $5 million; Contingencies, $19.9 million.  The Inflation Factor for a two-year construction delay adds $43.5 million. The total cost is $684,955,150.


Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee Staff Report

Stadium Costs
12th and Vine Streets

Cost Estimate Details

          The attached cost estimates were developed to determine the approximate cost of building a new ballpark for the Phillies at the proposed 12th & Vine location.  While the estimates are obviously preliminary, they were obtained in consultation with officials from PECO, the Phillies, the City and PIDC, as well as private real estate and transportation consultants.

           The additional site, land acquisition, environmental, utility, parking and related costs for construction of a downtown stadium at the proposed 12th and Vine site would push total stadium costs to nearly $685 million.  These costs would add nearly $370 million to the cost of a new Phillies ballpark, compared to the proposed plan released last November to construct a $315 million park in South Philadelphia.

Stadium Construction

          The stadium construction cost estimate of $312 million, provided by the Phillies, may be slightly high for a proposed 45,000 seat stadium, but PIDC's independent analysis didn't suggest these estimates were inflated by more than $20-25 million.

          By comparison, the new Pittsburgh stadiums will cost considerably less to construct.  The Steelers are building a new 68,000 seat football stadium for $237 million.  The new 38,000 seat Pirates stadium is costing $209 million.  In addition, each Pittsburgh stadium will incur costs of about $50 million for site acquisition and preparation.  A new baseball stadium at 12th & Vine would cost more than the combined cost of both Pittsburgh stadiums.

 Site Acquisition/Demolition

          The $85 million estimate is a very preliminary, but conservative estimate of the anticipated site acquisition and demolition costs.  The proposed stadium footprint at 12th & Vine includes 150 individual properties on approximately 15 acres with more than 100 different owners.  Countless unknowns related to the acquisition process (including legal challenges, environmental roadblocks, and structural impediments) could further delay a process already expected to take a minimum of two years, which could add significant additional costs.

          The total estimated cost would include demolition and environmental remediation costs of $15 million, business and residential relocation assistance, and other miscellaneous costs of an additional $7.5 million. 

Environmental Liability

          Environmental liabilities will remain unknown for some time.  The largest known costs at this time include an estimated $10 million cost related to the Reading RR viaduct.  A SEPTA viaduct must also be removed.   Optimistically assuming no other major problems arise, additional costs are minimally estimated at $7 million.

Parking Construction/Land Acquisiti on

          These costs are based upon an estimated need to acquire property and build structured parking to provide 4,500 parking spaces.  Some transportation analysts suggest that more parking will be necessary.

Site Improvements

          Assuming the PECO Substation discussed below can remain at the current site, dramatic fašade improvements would be necessary for public safety, as well as, esthetic value.  Any pedestrian access across Vine St. would also require unique and costly site improvements for entering a stadium that would almost directly abut Vine St.  


          The Callowhill Substation, PECO's major substation serving the downtown is currently located within the proposed downtown site.  PECO estimates the cost of relocating the substation to be in excess of $100 million.  If it is feasible to allow the substation to remain on site, substantial costs would still be necessary to temporarily relocate 35 13,000 volt feeder cables, and a 138,000 volt transmission line during construction and permanently reconstruct the lines around the perimeter of the stadium.

          PECO estimates a minimum cost of $25 million for this work, expected to take one to two years, before any stadium construction could begin.  Other utility relocations will minimally cost an additional $15 million, including the relocation of a SEPTA substation that would have to be moved from the site.  Back-up generators for 401 N. Broad St. will also have to be moved, costing an estimated $5 million.

 Street Improvements

          Major street improvements that would be required to make the Vine & 12th St. site viable would include closing Callowhill and 12th Sts., widening 13th St. and possibly 11th St. and improvements to Vine St. exit ramps.

Pedestrian Walkway

          Similar to the former Broad and Spring Garden site, the entire transportation and parking plan relies upon the ability to park several thousand cars south of the Vine Street expressway.  This necessitates construction of a pedestrian walkway to cross Vine Street to access the site.

          The Phillies have suggested that two pedestrian walkways may be necessary, while it has recently been suggested that an additional pedestrian crossing may be necessary to cross Broad Street, since significant parking space will be located west of Broad.  This analysis only includes the cost of constructing one walkway.  ADA requirements will add additional costs.   

Transportation Costs

          The listed transit costs include capital improvements at two stations.  Widening the exit ramps from the Vine Street Expressway may ultimately be necessary.  While that cost could be significant, it was not included in this analysis.

Comcast/Spectacor  Parking

           The current lease agreement with Comcast for the First Union Center guarantees them all future parking revenue, including parking for Eagles and Phillies games.  A provision of this lease agreement provides for compensation to Comcast if the City ever voluntarily allows the Phillies to relocate elsewhere.  The cost of this payment could range from $5 million to $10 million dependent upon how long stadium construction is delayed.

Inflation Factor

          This analysis assumes a minimal two year delay for the downtown site.  Either the site acquisition process or utility relocations could realistically delay construction by more than this anticipated two year period.  An annual 3.5 percent inflation factor is projected.


          The three percent contingency reserve may not adequately cover additional unanticipated costs.  The PECO substation may have to be moved entirely, due to environmental and public safety concerns.  Simply moving the trunk lines may prove to be much more costly due to concerns that PECO doesn't have enough right-away for relocation around the stadium perimeter.

         The City has already been asked to indemnify former owners for environmental remediation, while additional transportation costs will more than likely be necessary to insure minimal disruption of daily traffic in the vicinity of the proposed site.

     Any one of these potential liabilities could increase costs by more than the $19.9 million budgeted for contingencies.  


Copyright 2000 Sen. Vincent J. Fumo