- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Mark Broxmeyer, a prominent Long Island real estate executive, has joined the increasingly crowded race to buy the Montreal Expos and move the club to the Washington area.
Broxmeyer, founder and president of Commack, N.Y.-based Fairfield Properties, becomes the fourth person to make public his intent to own and operate the Expos, currently under the control of Major League Baseball owners.
Broxmeyer holds no background in sports management but helped build Fairfield Properties literally from nothing into a expansive company that is now one of Long Island's largest. He met Friday with MLB executives in New York to discuss his bid, which right now does not have a preferred locale between the District and Northern Virginia. Baseball's recently formed relocation committee is evaluating prospective markets to serve as the Expos' new home.
"His interest is heavy," Broxmeyer associate Frank MacKay said. "He spends quite a bit of time in Washington, is active on the Hill and really wants to see this [baseball] thing happen."
Broxmeyer was traveling to India yesterday as part of the District-based Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and was unavailable for comment. He chairs the think tank, which focuses on security interests in both America and Israel. Broxmeyer is well-connected in New York political circles but to date has not identified additional investors in his group beyond his brother Gary and son Michael.
His baseball intentions, first reported by Newsday yesterday, are not without significant hurdles. Baseball generally favors its franchises to be run by local owners, and three existing groups led by District financier Fred Malek, Virginia telecommunications executive William Collins and Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson all have deep local ties and sports industry experience.
Additionally, the Malek and Collins group hold exclusivity pacts with the District of Columbia and Virginia, respectively. Those contracts, while not ironclad against the wishes of MLB, do provide some protection. Should MLB select another owner to own a District-based team, Malek's group would receive either the opportunity to buy at least 10 percent of the club or be reimbursed for lost opportunity costs and expenses up to $4million. Should MLB bypass Collins' group in Virginia, they also likely would be entitled to substantial compensation.
Still, additional baseball bidders with an eye on greater Washington have long been expected by industry insiders. Despite baseball's well-documented and still-ongoing financial problems, a Washington-area baseball franchise is seen by many as a bona-fide moneymaker and coveted asset. Another entity rumored to be considering a bid is the Ted Lerner family, operators of the Bethesda-based empire of shopping centers, real estate and hotels.
"I have always believed and continue to believe that there will be additional bidders before this is over," said Bobby Goldwater, executive director of the D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission. A member of Broxmeyer's bid group had made initial contact with the commission. "There are going to be more bidders because more people are recognizing Washington is the best place for baseball."
The relocation committee intends to select the Expos' new market and then the ownership group by midsummer, though further delays and playing through 2004 in Montreal remain possible.
Broxmeyer's Washington connections also include a stint as finance director during a successful congressional campaign by former Rep. Felix Grucci, New York Republican, in 2000. Broxmeyer is also active in GWEST, a newly formed District consulting group working to increase business activity in Africa.
MLB owners purchased the Expos last year for $120million and will play some home games this season in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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