- The Washington Times - Monday, June 16, 2003

The District’s baseball lobby will receive some long-awaited feedback from Major League Baseball’s relocation committee Friday, baseball sources said.

Originally thought to be happening later this month, the meeting will center on the District’s still-developing stadium financing efforts. Mayor Anthony Williams’ $338.7million ballpark bill went through a marathon D.C. Council hearing last week and is set for significant revisions before any legislative vote is taken.

Representing MLB will be baseball’s chief administrative officer, John McHale; chief financial officer Jonathan Mariner; and chief legal officer Tom Ostertag. Representing the city will be a delegation of politicians and sports commission officials, including Eric Price, deputy mayor for planning and economic development.

“They have said they want to meet and it will be serious and substantive,” said Bobby Goldwater, executive director of the D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission. Goldwater declined to confirm the Friday session or elaborate on baseball’s intended agenda.

The MLB contingent will meet with Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority officials and commonwealth politicians Friday as well, completing a tour that began last week in Portland, Ore.

The meetings are the first with each jurisdiction since formal presentations were made to MLB three months ago in Phoenix. Despite baseball’s attempt to relocate the Montreal Expos in time for next season, a growing group of industry insiders believe baseball will keep the team in Puerto Rico for at least part of next season.

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