The Washington Diplomats, the group seeking to buy the North American Soccer League team and the D.C. Armory Board have agreed to terms for a new lease at RFK Stadium.
However, as of the late yesterday, the Dips and Madison Square Garden Corp., a subsidiary of Gulf and Western, were still trying to complete paper work so that they could seek approval of the sale at the current NASL meetings in Chicago.
"The paper work is not completed," said Jack Krumpe, a Garden vice president, "It's no different than it was 10 days ago."
In Washington, Robert Sigholz-general manager of the armory board, which manages RFK Stadium, said that "an oral agreement" on a renegotiation of the stadium lease had been completed over the weekend.
Sigholtz would not divulge the terms, but it was learned that the current team owners, the potential buyers and the armory board had agreed on a series of options to extend the current lease for 15 years.
When the Garden group began negotiations with Dips, their intentions were reportedly to move the franchise to New York and compete against the NASL champion Cosmos with a team based at Shea Stadium. However, it now appears almost certain the team will remain in Washington.
The Diplomats have been plagued by poor attendance and a reported $2 million in losses. Phil Woosnam, NASL commissioner, says he considers Washington one of the three prime soccer markets in the U.S. and says its potential has not been tapped.