Washington deosn't have a major league baseball team yet, but today season tickets to see one play go on sale, and if enough are sold to show that this city is serious about the game, perhaps a team will follow. If it doesn't, buyers will get their money back.
The D.C. Commission on Baseball announced details of the plan last week. Customers can purchase season tickets -- $567 for all 81 home games, $189 for a 27-game plan and $70 for a 10-game plan -- by making deposits in special accounts at any of the 16 Washington-area banks participating in the program. If Washington gets a major league team, the money will be turned over to its owners to go toward purchase of the tickets. If the city doesn't get a team within two years, the money will be returned with whater interest it has earned. Deposits over $1,000 will be in money-market accounts, and smaller ones in savings accounts.
The risk, as Mayor Barry pointed out last week, is minimal, and the payoff could be baseball within a few summers. Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth has said that potential fan support will weigh very heavily in decisions on what cities get baseball teams. More recently he sounded a discouraging note, saying he knew of no city that appeared qualified for an expansion franchise. One way to help prove him wrong would be to visit one of the following banks and open a season-ticket account:
In the District: American Security, D.C. National Bank, First American, National Bank of Washington, National Savings and Trust, Riggs National Bank. In Maryland: Columbia First, First American Bank of Maryland, First National Bank, Heritage Bank, Maryland National Bank, Suburban Bank, Union Trust. In Virginia: Bank of Virginia, First Virginia Bank, Sovran Bank.