Update on baseball in Washington
Apparently prompted by the awful news that MLB officials have all but ruled out any transfer of the Expos to Washington next spring, the Washington Post has run several articles and commentaries about prospects for baseball in Washington during the past week. On Thursday there was an interview with Fred Malek, who says his group of nine investors has done all it can to buy the Expos franchise, which is currently in the hands of the 29 other Major League Baseball franchises. On Friday there was an article about the five alternative stadium sites being discussed, featuring detailed maps. Cost estimates have risen to $342-$542 million, depending on which site is chosen; real estate costs for the five sites vary widely. (The South Capitol Street site, which I favor, is only a block from a townhouse where I once lived.) D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams has pledged up to $200 toward the cost of a new stadium, but that would depend on passing a new tax on businesses located near the new stadium. MLB officials will meet on Wednesday to decide where the Expos will play next year, and it is a travesty that their players will have to play for another full year "in limbo." Sadly, until Washington comes up with rock-solid financing for a new stadium, hopes for baseball in Washington will be held hostage to Peter Angelos. This situation validates the argument of the Field of Schemes Web site, which opposes any public financing for professional sports facilities. The Post may finally be coming around to the realization that they are part of the problem, since their Sports section has long been treating the Baltimore Orioles as if they were Washington's "home team," playing into Peter Angelos's hands.