Balls, Sticks, & Stuff
Baseball in the Nation's Capital?
There is news that Major League Baseball is heavily leaning towards moving the Montreal Expos to the Washington, D.C. downtown area or Northern Virginia suburbs (The Baseball Crank's sidekick, Mad Hibernian, has a good suggestion for renaming the team should the move come to fruition, the Washington Nationals). This effort has been underway for a long time and the area deserves a Major League baseball team. The discussion inevitably leads to Peter Angelos, the Orioles owner, and others believing that moving a team to D.C./Northern Virginia would damage the Orioles attendance figures. The counter-argument is that the suffocating traffic conditions of the Northern Virginia/Washington/Baltimore area have severely decreased the numbers of Virginia residents frequenting Camden Yards and I tend to agree with the counter-arguement (as a Richmond-area resident, it is a three and a half hour endeavor for me to reach Camden Yards, but one can be in the outer suburbs of Washington, D.C. in a little over half that time). However, what is often left out of the discussion is media revenues. All of Virginia is dominated by Orioles television and radio broadcasts. If a team were to materialize in the Washington, D.C. area it would certainly cut into those revenues drastically. Peter Angelos is quite unpopular and is often vilified, but I tend to agree with his viewpoint and I think whatever arrangement is made to move the Expos to the area, the Orioles' loss of media revenues will have to be addressed.

Disclaimer: The baseball experience in Richmond is less than ideal (however, efforts to improve the situation are underway) and I would greatly look forward to a Major League team coming to Northern Virginia/D.C.

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