- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 13, 2003

The Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority and the commonwealth's political leadership are tentatively planning to meet with Major League Baseball's relocation committee on March20 or 21 in Phoenix.
This meeting, the second with MLB's relocation panel handling the fate of the Montreal Expos, will be far more detailed and formal than an initial session in January and will focus on specific facets of stadium financing and location.
The closed-door session also should be illuminating to the committee because to date Virginia baseball advocates have not settled on or publicly identified any preferred stadium sites. The commonwealth is also working to find a minimum of $100million to support the authority's existing bonding power to help finance a stadium.
The relocation committee also is expected to meet with baseball bid groups from the District and Portland, Ore., around the same time. Formal invitations and requirements for the presentation have not yet been sent out by the committee.
"We've got a lot to do to prepare for this [meeting], but we will be ready," said Michael Frey, stadium authority chairman.
The Expos are owned and operated by MLB owners and will be moved in time for the 2004 or 2005 season.
Meanwhile, the stadium authority approved a $30,000 study on the economic feasibility of combining an Arlington County-based ballpark with a conference center. In that scenario, the adjacent conference center would provide the stadium authority and team owner an additional revenue stream to offset building costs.
"We're looking at the economics of this. It could be a real possibility," Frey said. "Arlington County has been looking for additional conference space. It seems like an obvious benefit. The question is whether the numbers will work."

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