SBD/Issue 88/Leagues & Governing Bodies

MLB At A Crossroads, Day 79: DuPuy Dashes Hopes Of DC & VA

MLB Exec VP/Administration & CLO Robert DuPuy yesterday "made it clear that baseball would not accept either of two unsolicited bids to buy the Expos with the condition of moving the team to the Washington area," according to Eric Fisher of the WASHINGTON TIMES. DuPuy: "I do not believe there is a strong sense of allowing a bid to operate the Expos if there are conditions attached." A DC-based group led by financier Fred Malek last week "tendered a standing offer for the Expos, estimated" at $160M. That bid was "followed up by a similar one" by a group led by Northern VA telecommunications exec William Collins. In each offer, the Expos would operate in Montreal for the '02 season, play in RFK Stadium for at least the '03 and '04 seasons, then move into a new stadium in either DC or Northern VA, depending on which group wins the bid. DuPuy added, "We're still addressing these franchises one at a time, as we've indicated for weeks. We settled the Red Sox sale last week. We're working on Florida now. After that, we'll move on to the Expos" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/23).

A HEAD IN FRONT: In DC, Thomas Boswell writes that with reports that "financial support from the state of [VA] for a new stadium has all but disappeared," DC has "moved far ahead of Northern Virginia as the logical flag-bearer in this area's push for a team. The thorny Washington-or-Northern-Virginia, which confused some in baseball for years, may have gracefully resolved itself." Boswell further notes that Malek's group — The Washington Baseball Club — will "begin weekly meetings with [DC] officials today to discuss stadium-specific plans." Meanwhile, a source said that "something is changing" with Orioles Owner Peter Angelos." With MLB Commissioner Bud Selig last week calling DC the "prime candidate" for relocation, the source said, "This doesn't happen without Angelos agreeing. ... Of course, he'll want to get paid for it." Boswell: "It's even possible Angelos is in the early stages of considering selling the Orioles" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/23).

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