For city, lingering doubt and then delight

Relocation timeline

Baseball Returns To Washington

September 30, 2004|By Ed Waldman

Relocation timeline

Key events in the quest to return Major League Baseball to Washington:

Sept. 30, 1971: The Senators play their last game in Washington before the team moves to Texas to become the Rangers.

December 1973: Giant Food president Joseph Danzanksy announces a deal to buy the San Diego Padres and move them to Washington for the 1974 season. The deal falls through when McDonald's founder Ray Kroc outbids Danzansky and keeps the team in San Diego.

July 1991: Baseball expands, but passes over D.C. in favor of Miami and Denver.

March 1995: Baseball expands, but teams go to Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., and Phoenix.

October 1995: Virginia telecommunications executive William Collins agrees to buy the Houston Astros for about $150 million and move them to Washington, but when news leaks out during the World Series, baseball squashes the deal.

September 1998: Political leaders in Quebec tell MLB commissioner Bud Selig there will be no public financing of a replacement for Olympic Stadium, home of the Montreal Expos.

November 2001: MLB owners vote to contract two franchises for the 2002 season. Speculation centers on the Expos and Minnesota Twins.

February 2002: MLB abandons the contraction plan.

February 2002: MLB pays Jeffery Loria $120 million for the Expos. Loria then pays $158 million to buy the Marlins from John Henry, who then pays $660 million for the Boston Red Sox. Baseball says it would like to have a new home for the Expos by the 2003 season.

November 2002: MLB announces the Expos will play 22 home games during 2003 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

December 2003: MLB announces the Expos will again play 22 home games in San Juan for the 2004 season.

April 2004: Washington Mayor Anthony A. Williams agrees to a plan that would fully pay for a stadium for the Expos.

September 2004: Major League Baseball selects Washington, pending owners' approval, over competitors Northern Virginia; Norfolk, Va.; Las Vegas; Portland, Ore.; Monterrey, Mexico; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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