Official: Waterfront location picked over others

Updated: September 22, 2004, 10:35 AM ET
Associated Press

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 Capitol streets.

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 11-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.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press