WASHINGTON -- Washington decided on where to build a
ballpark for the Montreal Expos if Major League Baseball moves the
team to the nation's capital.
The D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission outlined its plans
Tuesday night in a meeting with city government officials. An
official involved in the process, speaking on condition of
anonymity, told The Associated Press that the commission settled on
a location along the Anacostia River waterfront near M and South
Washington and Northern Virginia have been the leading locations
since May to land the Expos, who were bought by the other 29 teams
before the 2002 season.
Washington appears to be the favorite after an 11½-hour meeting
last week with members of baseball's relocation committee. The
meeting focused on details of an agreement that would conditionally
award the Expos to the nation's capital, bringing baseball back to the city for the first time since 1971.
Baseball's eight-man executive council meets Thursday in Milwaukee, and commissioner Bud Selig could announce a decision by the end of next week.
The M Street location was chosen over three other primary
candidates, including a plan that would have built the ballpark
next to RFK Stadium, where the Expos would play from 2005 until the
new ballpark opens, perhaps in 2008.
Even if baseball announces a decision, it would be contingent on
the City Council approving a funding package that would include new
taxes. In addition, the lawyer for the Expos' former limited
partners say they will ask a Miami judge to block a relocation
pending the outcome of their lawsuit against former controlling
owner Jeffrey Loria and baseball officials.
Also, Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos could attempt to
block the move. Angeles says a team in Washington would cut into
his franchise's fan base and revenue.