Major League Baseball is pushing back its decision on where to relocate the Montreal Expos until after the all-star break.

Baseball officials, who postponed deciding the team's future home in both 2002 and '03, had targeted the July 13 game in Houston as their goal.

"I'm confident a decision will not be made before or at the All-Star Game," Robert DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, said Friday after speaking on a panel at the annual convention of the Associated Press Sports Editors.

"It's our goal to have narrowed down our decision by the All-Star Game and be focused in."

The District and Northern Virginia appear to be the leading contenders to land the Expos, bought by the other 29 teams before the 2002 season.

Other areas trying to land the team include Las Vegas; Monterrey, Mexico; Norfolk; Portland, Ore.; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The next step in the process will take place when DuPuy meets Wednesday with Commissioner Bud Selig in Milwaukee and briefs him on the findings of the sport's relocation committee, a baseball official said on the condition of anonymity.

Selig will then decide how the decision to select a location will unfold.

After baseball decides on what area it wants to move the team to, it will attempt to negotiate a letter of intent with that community, the official said.