Sunday, September 26, 2004

MLB Still Aims for Deal With Angelos

Expos' Move to D.C. Tied to Agreement
By Thomas Heath
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 27, 2004; Page D01

Major League Baseball officials are expected to resume negotiations with Baltimore Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos this week in an attempt to reach an agreement that will open the door for baseball to move the Montreal Expos to Washington's RFK Stadium in time for Opening Day in April.

Baseball all but decided on Washington as the future home of the Expos at a meeting of the league's Executive Council in Milwaukee last week. Sources with intimate knowledge of the proceedings there said the District's bid to build the stadium overwhelmed the other competitors, which include Northern Virginia, Las Vegas, Norfolk, Portland, Ore., and Monterrey, Mexico.

If baseball is going to move the Expos to Washington next year, it must officially notify the D.C. City Council by Friday so lawmakers can pass before the end of the year the necessary financing legislation for a $400 million, publicly funded stadium. A new slate of lawmakers takes over in January, and some council members have expressed reservations about taxpayers footing the bill for a stadium for wealthy owners and players.

Baseball officials have said the deadline to announce a decision on the Expos is the end of the regular season, which is next Sunday. If a decision isn't made by then, it's likely baseball will wait until late October to announce the Expos' fate because it doesn't like to make announcements during the playoffs and World Series. But delaying a decision past this week would jeopardize the chances that stadium legislation would pass the D.C. City Council before the end of the year.

Before moving the team, Commissioner Bud Selig would need the approval of three-fourths of the league's 29 owners; the Expos presently are owned by MLB. Selig could hold a vote by conference call, which is usually preceded by 24 hours notice.

Read the entire article here on the Washington Post website.