posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 01:18 PM
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Mark R. Warner endorsed a Loudoun County site near Dulles International Airport on Tuesday as the new capital-area home for
the Montreal Expos.
"I think the Virginia baseball group, which has worked on this project for almost a decade, has found a good site at Dulles,"
Warner said of a
proposed 450-acre site for a 42,500-seat stadium on the fringe of the Washington, D.C. suburbs.
"I like the fact that it doesn't require any additional taxpayer financing so that the existing financing that comes from the (Virginia Baseball)
Stadium Authority as well as the local proffers that would be made by the developers would pay for the stadium,"
Warner said on his monthly show
on Washington's WTOP radio.
The ballpark is envisioned as a town square type of development that would encompass retail, residential and commercial space. Warner said he favored
the site over a competing location within Washington, despite problems with worsening traffic congestion in the nation's fastest-growing county. He
said that the proposed extension of the Metrorail system to Dulles by 2012 could make the site more accessible.
"I think it's fair to say we've got transportation problems in the region, no matter where you're headed, that need to be solved not only to get to
a baseball stadium but to get to work or to get to any kind of a daily life,"
"My first choice would be a Virginia site, my second choice would be the district, but I do think the national capital area deserves a team,"
He also noted that Norfolk has made a bid to become the new home for the Expos, a team burdened with National League's worst record. "So Virginia
has two bites at the apple,"
He also said that placing the franchise in the Virginia suburbs, nearly 25 miles from Washington, there would be less of a threat to the fan base of
the Baltimore Orioles, an American League franchise that claims a wide regional following.