Angelos suggests Richmond for Expos Owner says Orioles hurt if another team too close

October 03, 1998|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

If the Montreal Expos are sold to a Virginia-based investor group, the National League team ought to play in Richmond rather than the Washington area, according to Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos.

"If the state of Virginia desires a baseball team and others desire it for them," Angelos said yesterday, "why not put it in Richmond? Has anybody studied that? Maybe somebody should look at that."

The owner of the Montreal Expos has moved toward a sale of the struggling team after Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard refused last month to spend government money on a replacement for aging Olympic Stadium. The Expos say they need a new stadium to improve attendance.

Two of three investor groups targeting the Expos are in the Washington area. They are expected to enter the bidding as soon as Expos president Claude Brochu puts the team on the block, an action that could come as early as next week.

One bidder would put the team in North Carolina. Another is pitching downtown Washington, and a third, Northern Virginia. And that's too close for Angelos.

"Surely, there's nothing here to justify putting two franchises 30 to 40 miles apart," he said, contending that the Orioles would be hurt.

Such a move would "duplicate an untenable situation in Oakland and San Francisco," where the franchises divide "a community from a standpoint of finance and fan interest," Angelos said.

Pub Date: 10/03/98

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