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Washington Senators Reincarnated?


Fusebazell

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From ESPN.com

WASHINGTON -- Washington is calling baseball's bluff over the relocation of the Montreal Expos.

City officials have prepared a new plan they say offers Major League Baseball exactly what it has requested -- 100 percent public financing for a new ballpark if the Expos are moved to the nation's capital.

"It is by far the best proposal that the city could have come up with," Fred Malek, head of a potential ownership group who has worked closely with the city, said Friday. "It's aggressive. It meets the needs and requests of Major League Baseball. It's got the support of the mayor as well as key members of the city council."

Baseball has been trying to resolve the future of the Expos since the struggling franchise was purchased by the other 29 teams before the 2002 season. League officials failed to meet deadlines in 2002 and 2003 to find a new home for the team and have set this year's All-Star break as their latest target.

Las Vegas; Monterrey, Mexico; Norfolk, Va.; Portland, Ore.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Northern Virginia have also expressed interest in the Expos, but league officials have insisted that any relocation plan include full public funding for a stadium without relying on contributions from an ownership group.

Washington's new proposal, first reported by The Washington Times, envisions a $340 million stadium built on a parking lot near RFK Stadium, where the Senators played before relocating to Texas after the 1971 season. RFK would also serve as the relocated Expos' temporary home for two or three seasons while the new stadium is built. The money would be raised through a new tax on large Washington businesses and taxes on tickets, concessions, merchandise, parking and other stadium-related sales.

Malek said he and city officials still feel the best location for a stadium is downtown as part of an economic revitalization along New York Avenue, but the cost of the land would require a contribution from Malek's group. Malek said both sites will be presented to the league.

Local officials have often felt that baseball has avoided serious consideration of Washington or Northern Virginia out of deference to Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who claims the D.C. area is part of his market. This latest plan could be seen as a test of Angelos' influence.

"I take the league at their word," Malek said. "They said they want a fully financed stadium, that Baltimore is a consideration, not a roadblock. I believe this area is two separate markets, and it's big enough to support two teams well."

Major League Baseball spokesman Rich Levin was not available for comment.

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Bob Johnson hasn't officially gone on record as saying that he would buy the Expos if they moved to Norfolk, VA. He has gone on record as saying that he would be interested in helping the Norfolk bid in whatever way he could... including, potentially purchasing a part-ownership stake in the club. He's primarily interested in adding a Norfolk-based MLB team's television rights to his new regional sports broadcasting system. He's also exploring building a luxury hotel in the Norfolk area... possibly in concert with development around a new ballpark for the relocated Expos.

Nevertheless... a VERY interesting development.

Brian in Boston

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:cursing: You all scorned my prior Las Vegas article I tried to post, so let me take this Easter/Passover opporunity to invite you ALL to

GO SCREW YOURSELVES!! :evil:

Why I waste MY time on these pathetic no life geekboy boards, it ALWAYS comes to this... :evil:

... bunch of know it all know NOTHINGS who can't even spell much less write.. :evil:

It feels GOOD to flame you SMALL "people"...

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:cursing: You all scorned my prior Las Vegas article I tried to post, so let me take this Easter/Passover opporunity to invite you ALL to

GO SCREW YOURSELVES!! :evil:

Why I waste MY time on these pathetic no life geekboy boards, it ALWAYS comes to this... :evil:

... bunch of know it all know NOTHINGS who can't even spell much less write.. :evil:

It feels GOOD to flame you SMALL "people"...

Wow. You need a ritalin.

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I guess I'm missing something here. What's all the furor about? Frankly, I wasn't aware that the Expos were considering relocation. Is there a problem in Montreal?

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Easy, Fabs...

(Putting a reassuring arm around mrfab and leading him towards the CCSLB's guest bedroom...)

What "Las Vegas article" you posted? I didn't even see it. The last time I remember you posting an "Expos to Sin City"-based article, you and I batted it around for days.

(Lowering his voice to a soothing, melodic half-whisper... opening the guest room door and ushering mrfab in...)

Come on! Ease up, buddy. I think you need to distance yourself from this subject for awhile.

(Sitting mrfab on the bed, slipping off his shoes and then helping him lay down...)

Just chill out and regain some perspective. So what if some folks think that the Expos are going to Washington, DC or Norfolk, VA?

(Retreating towards the guest room door... whispering reassuringly...)

You get some rest and we'll talk about this in a little while, okay?

(Closing the door behind him as he slips out of the guest room... placing a finger over his lips, then speaking to the rest of the CCSLB gang...)

Let's go into the other room... give him some quiet. He's usually never this excitable. This whole Expos relocation seems to have exhausted him. He'll feel better after a nap.

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Interesting approach there, BiB. I never would have considered putting someone down for a nap as a way to handle things. Well done!

Works for 2-year old toddlers... works for 85-year old former postal workers... why not disgruntled Logos message board posters?

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WiB and I are putting together a syndicate to buy the Expos and move them to our hometown of Raleigh, NC. We hope to have the team playing at nearby Five County Stadium, where we'll unseat the AA Carolina Mudcats, who'll relocate to, well, who cares?

So far we've raised $3 and the cap off an old Diet Coke bottle. Will that be enough?

:rolleyes:

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