Va. team would hurt O's, Moag tells Selig Stadium authority head sends commissioner letter

November 05, 1998|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF

Maryland Stadium Authority chairman John Moag has weighed in on the side of the Orioles on the issue of whether Major League Baseball should place an expansion team or move an existing team to Northern Virginia.

Moag sent a letter to baseball commissioner Bud Selig on Tuesday, expressing concern about reports that the Montreal Expos or another team might be relocated to the Washington area.

A team in the Washington area, Moag's letter said, "could result in two marginally successful franchises instead of one strong team."

Though Moag and the stadium authority have been at odds with Orioles owner Peter Angelos over the loss of parking spaces to the construction of Ravens stadium, the letter closely mirrors comments made by Angelos about the issue. Angelos was not available to comment on the action of the MSA.

The letter was sent on the day that voters in San Diego and Cincinnati approved baseball stadium funding proposals, reducing the likelihood of a team relocating to Northern Virginia.

The only relevant stadium issue still undecided is in Montreal, where the Expos figure to move if their desire for a publicly financed ballpark is not met. A decision is not expected until next year.

There is little doubt that the arrival of a new franchise in the area would affect the Orioles, who have estimated that up to 25 percent of their fans come from Washington and its suburbs.

Pub Date: 11/05/98

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