Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) has endorsed a Loudoun County site near Dulles International Airport as the Washington 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 Tuesday of a proposed 450-acre site for a 42,500-seat stadium.
"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 WTOP radio.
The ballpark is envisioned as a town square-type development with retail, residential and commercial space.
Warner said he favors the site over a competing site in Washington, despite problems with worsening traffic congestion in the nation's fastest-growing county. He said 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," Warner said.
"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," Warner said. He also noted that Norfolk has made a bid to become the new home of the Expos, a team burdened with the worst record in all of Major League Baseball. "So Virginia has two bites at the apple," he said.
He also said that placing the franchise in the Virginia suburbs, nearly 25 miles from Washington, would be less of a threat to the fan base of the Baltimore Orioles.