The D.C. Armory Board has indicated to Capital Baseball organizer Bart Fisher that it will not allow his group to use RFK Stadium as a temporary home if it is awarded a National League franchise. Capital Baseball intends ultimately to locate in Northern Virginia.
If awarded a team, Capital Baseball had been hoping to use RFK Stadium for up to three years while it builds a facility in Northern Virginia.
However, Fisher yesterday received a letter from Armory Board General Manager Jim Dalrymple that is signed by Armory Board General Counsel Artis Hampshire-Cowan and reads in part: "RFK is not available for short-term rental."
The letter, which says a copy has been sent to NL Vice President/Secretary Phyllis Collins, is accompanied by a copy of a resolution the Armory Board approved Oct. 10. The resolution states that the Armory Board will "restrict its consideration of potential professional baseball tenants to ownership groups which are willing to commit to a long-term lease arrangement."
Prior to the resolution's adoption, the Armory Board reached a letter of understanding with a group led by Washington developer John Akridge for a 45-year lease of RFK Stadium.
But in a letter dated Aug. 28, Dalrymple informed Fisher -- then a member of the now-disbanded Capital Region Baseball -- that if a group obligated to play all its home games at RFK Stadium is not awarded a franchise, "I would recommend that the Armory Board consider any bona fide proposal for use of RFK Stadium as a facility in which to play major league baseball."
Said Fisher: "Is their position now that if the D.C. group doesn't get a team, then no one here gets baseball? The implication of that is devastating. We want a free and open bidding process should we get the franchise."