Yesterday's announcement followed several days of negotiations between Major League Baseball and Baltimore Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos, for years Washington's chief nemesis in its quest to reclaim the national pastime. Angelos has long argued that a Washington team would steal fans and profits from the Orioles.
He seemed to soften his stand two days ago, saying that he could live with a team in Washington if baseball would provide financial guarantees to ensure that the Orioles can continue to be competitive. The Orioles play in the American League East Division, home of two of the wealthiest franchises in all of sports, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
Former D.C. baseball announcer Charlie Brotman, center, leads a chorus of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" with Mark Touhey, left, chairman of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Council, Mayor Anthony A. Williams and D.C. Council members Jack Evans and Linda Cropp.
(Dudley M. Brooks -- The Washington Post)
_____ Baseball Returns to D.C. _____ • Bud Selig announces that the troubled Montreal Expos will move to Washington, returning baseball to the nation's capital for the 2005 season.
• While the Expos aren't very good now, they have loads of potential.
• News Graphic: Time to settle down
• Q&A on the new team
• Graphic: Meet your Expos (PDF).
• Survey: What should we call D.C.'s new team? | Discuss.
• After having RFK to itself for eight years, D.C. United will share.
• Details sketchy on how regional sports network would operate.
• There was a time when the Expos were the envy of all of baseball.
• News Graphic: Coming full circle.
• D.C. region has suffered through an endless number of close calls.
• City officials, led by Mayor Anthony A. Williams, gleefully celebrate the end of a generation of frustration.
• District's offer described as very generous.
• News Graphic: Stadium strategy
• A majority of the D.C. Council supports the mayor's stadium plan.
• When the hoopla dies down, will D.C. still have baseball fever?
• In Virginia, some blame Gov. Warner for failure to lure Expos.
• More than 50 years ago, it was Baltimore that needed D.C.'s help.
• Orioles management had little to say Wednesday about the news.
• Expos final home game is marred by unruly fan behavior.
_____ Post Columnists _____ • Thomas Boswell: We are finally getting exactly what we wished for.
• Sally Jenkins: D.C. is getting a bad team and a potential financial mess.
• Michael Wilbon: There are only four choices for the name of the new club.
• Mike Wise: Talk to the old Nats, you realize baseball never left.
• George Solomon: Finally, Shirley Povich is looking down and smiling.
• Marc Fisher: Baseball's challenge is to connect with the black kids.
_____ Multimedia _____ • Video: D.C. residents have mixed feelings about the relocation.
• Video: D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams makes the announcement.
• Video: In 2003, a D.C. official details improvements to RFK.
• Video: The Post's Garcia-Ruiz on what still needs to be done at RFK.
• Audio: Ex-Senators announcer Ron Menchine on the proposed move.
• Audio: Ex-announcer Bob Wolf says D.C. team, Orioles can thrive.
_____ Live Online _____ • Post's Tom Heath was online Thursday. Read the transcript.
• The Post's J.J. McCoy took questions before Wednesday's announcement. Read the transcript.
_____ On Our Site _____ • The District has been without major league baseball for more than 30 years. Look back at a visual history of the Washington Senators.
• Eighty years ago, the Senators won their only world championship.
• What's your opinion?
Selig announced the move to Washington even as negotiations continued between his lieutenants and Angelos. Last night, Angelos released a statement saying, "We have made substantial progress, but have not yet reached an agreement."
Selig said moving the Expos to within 30 miles of Baltimore "was a very awkward position that we found ourselves in and I found myself in."
"I am very sympathetic and sensitive to his concerns, " Selig said. "We don't want to hurt the franchise. But on the other hand, we want to go to the best place we can go to. It's my responsibility to make the best arrangement I can make."
Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who led baseball's relocation committee, said the nation's capital offered a market that was simply too good to pass up.
"We need to be represented in the national capital," Reinsdorf said. "It's the largest market in the country that didn't have baseball."
Williams and other city officials now face the politically perilous task of convincing D.C. residents that building a ballpark will benefit the city. Their financing package relies on annual lease payments from the team owners of about $5.5 million; taxes from in-stadium goods and services, including tickets, concessions and parking; and a gross-receipts tax on the nearly 2,000 city businesses that take in more than $3 million a year.
Staff writers Bill Brubaker, Hamil Harris, Serge Kovaleski, Ovetta Wiggins, Debbi Wilgoren and Yolanda Woodlee and staff researchers Meg Smith and Julie Tate contributed to this report.