Saturday, October 02, 2004

Foes of New Stadium Want Team to Stay at RFK

By Lori Montgomery and Yolanda Woodlee
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, October 2, 2004; Page B01

D.C. Council member Adrian M. Fenty, an outspoken critic of the mayor's proposal to raise taxes on business to pay for a new ballpark, said yesterday he will introduce an alternative plan that would force the former Montreal Expos to use Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium as their permanent home.

Stadium supporters, including council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), quickly accused Fenty of grandstanding. Evans said the proposal, if approved, would void the contract Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) and other city officials so painstakingly negotiated to bring baseball to Washington for the first time in 33 years.

"We do not play at RFK. It's not on the table. That's been negotiated away. It would break the contract. They would take the team and put it somewhere else," Evans said. He said the question for Fenty and other stadium opponents is, "Are you willing to kill baseball?"

Fenty (D-Ward 4) countered that the mayor has cut "a sweetheart deal" with baseball officials and shown too little backbone in the negotiations. The Expos "will agree" to play at RFK beyond the three years specified in the plan while another stadium is built, Fenty said. "Where else are they going to go? They've already left Montreal. And no one else has a stadium ready."

Read the entire article here on the Washington Post website.