WASHINGTON - The future of the Orioles' downtown Washington fan store is under review, the team says.
In the interest of being good neighbors to the newly arrived Washington Nationals, the Orioles say they may move the store to another site away from the downtown. If a move were made, it wouldn't be until after the season is over.
Orioles executives say they want Washington-area fans to know they aren't abandoning them.
"The decision will be based first and foremost on not slighting any Orioles fans in the area," said Spiro Alafassos, the team's executive director of communications.
The Farragut Square store opened in the mid-1980s and sells Orioles tickets, caps, T-shirts, sweat shirts, miniature bats and other baseball items.
Until this year, the store was Washington's link to Major League Baseball. But the arrival of the Nationals has caused the Orioles to rethink whether having such a presence in the district is still appropriate.
One option would be to move the store to a Washington suburb and allow the Nationals to take the Farragut Square site.
"Let's see what makes sense," Alafassos said. He said the store has been doing about the same business as last year.
The Nationals say they don't intend to open a fan store in downtown Baltimore.
The Orioles are also considering possible changes to their annual D.C. Summer FanFest, in which the team lures fans with free food, music and appearances by players. Last year's event drew about 4,000 fans to Farragut Square even as baseball owners were meeting in Philadelphia and discussing whether to move the Montreal Expos - now the Nationals - to Washington.
The Orioles say the event might again be held in the district, staged at a mall or broken into a series of multiple events in the Washington area.