Washington developer John Akridge, who is involved with a group seeking one of the two expansion franchises to be awarded by the National League next year, is discussing a lease for RFK Stadium with the D.C. Armory Board.
Akridge "is talking about terms and conditions" for a lease with Armory Board counsel Artis Hampshire-Cowan, according to Maj. Gen. Calvin G. Franklin, commanding officer of the D.C. National Guard and a member of the Armory Board.
"How much progress they've made I don't know," Franklin said yesterday. "But I know they are working on that."
Akridge confirmed that he had discussions with Hampshire-Cowan, but said, "I wouldn't classify them as anything but discussions."
The National League Expansion Committee is accepting requests from prospective ownership groups for a questionnaire that will be distributed in July and must be returned within 30 days of receipt. It is expected that groups will be asked to provide as much information as possible about their stadiums, including, if possible, lease terms.
Franklin said the Armory Board, which must approve all leases for RFK Stadium, has not received a proposal from Akridge, but he said any lease "would have to accommodate our current tenant, and that's the Redskins."
The Redskins' lease for RFK Stadium expires at the conclusion of the 1990 football season. Owner Jack Kent Cooke has discussed building a new stadium and is close to a final agreement with the city, sources said. But the club is expected to sign at least an extension at RFK Stadium, where the team will play until the new stadium is completed. Franklin said the Armory Board "has to be prepared to accept an extension" of its agreement with the Redskins.
The length of an extension with the Redskins is significant because the NL Expansion Committee, which will award teams for the 1993 season, has said prospective ownership groups planning to locate a team at a multi-use stadium must have a lease under which baseball is given priority over any other event. The committee has not been specific regarding temporary problems with this requirement, although it has said areas without appropriate stadiums could be awarded teams that would be permitted to begin playing in one facility, then move to another.
When asked if he would be interested in a team that would play at a site other than RFK Stadium, Akridge said: "My interest is in bringing baseball back to metropolitan Washington. Where that could best be accommodated or feasibly be accommodated is a matter open for speculation."
Capital Region Baseball Inc., a second prospective ownership group that is led by Class A Prince William Cannons co-owner Mark Tracz, is seeking a team that would begin playing at RFK Stadium, then move to a new facility in Northern Virginia.