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January 20, 2003 [LINK]

Relocation, Venezuela

The Business section of today's Washington Post featured a detailed story on the likely economic impact of a new baseball stadium in downtown D.C. It included caveats from Andrew Zimbalist, a leading expert, who downplays the benefits that sports promoters often use to justify asking for public subsidies. This story was motivated by news that MLB officials have accelerated the process of ascertaining which city deserves to get the Montreal Expos franchise, which is expected to be relocated after next season. The Relocation Committee will begin preliminary interviews in the next few weeks as the first step toward reaching a final decision by the All-Star break. Washington is universally regarded as the top contender, but Portland, Charlotte, and San Juan, Puerto Rico are also theoretical possibilities. Because of the rainy weather in Portland, any new stadium would require a roof (like in Seattle), and that would add $100 million to the construction cost, beyond what the city or local investors could afford. The city of Charlotte just forked over a big chunk to get an expansion basketball franchise to make up for the loss of the Hornets to New Orleans, and is low on spare cash. San Juan is a steam bath in the summer. CAVEAT: MLB officials are reportedly insisting that any new stadium be 100% financed by public authorities, and have warned that the Expos may stay put for yet another year in limbo if none of the cities meet satisfactory financial conditions. Was that Peter Angelos's doing? Arghhh...

Because of the all turmoil and risk of violence associated with the general strike called by opponents to President Hugo Chavez, baseball officials in Venezuela decided to cancel the rest of the Venezuelan Winter League season. No games had been played since December 10 or so.

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 19 Oct 2011, 2: 36 PM

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Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

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