Historically we have not implemented access logic that mixes ACL checks with a check that a user is the creator. This is because doing so would make it hard to transfer ownership of a group project if the original creator leaves the group. We do use "creator checks" for intermediate objects like file handles, but not for File entities (or folders or projects or tables). So my suggestion is to make the ability to see project stat's based only on whether the user (or a group the user is in) has that new "VIEW_STATISTICS" permission in the project ACL.
The collection ModelConstants.ENTITY_ADMIN_ACCESS_PERMISSIONS should be extended to give the initial creator this access type.