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D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson‘s version of the D.C. United soccer stadium deal easily passed its first vote of two votes this afternoon. Next up before the Council votes again on the legislation: making sure that there’s actually money for it.

Thanks to a dispute between Mendelson and Still Mayor Vince Gray over how to find $62 million to buy land from developer Akridge, the legality of Mendelson’s funding plan is still undecided. Presumably fretting over future challenges to her own mayoral authority using a similar method, Near Mayor Muriel Bowser sat out a separate vote on the funding mechanism.

During the discussion, Mendelson accused Gray of dragging his feet on paying for the stadium in favor of an alleged mayoral plan to skirt Council approval through hundreds of smaller funding changes (Bowser said Gray’s alleged plan, as laid out by Mendelson, seemed unlikely). Mendelson urged the public to tell Gray to “stop playing games” with the soccer stadium.

“I don’t want this funded next year,” Mendelson said. “I want this funded now.”

The next vote on the stadium is scheduled for Dec. 16.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery