Northern Virginia Group Seeks 45,000 Baseball Fans
Loverro, Thom, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
In response to stepped-up efforts by District officials to obtain a major league baseball franchise for the city, Virginia business and community leaders have formed an organization to rally support for a team and a stadium in Northern Virginia.
Calling themselves "Virginians for Baseball, Inc.," officials announced their goal yesterday to sign up 45,000 people, paying $10 each, or $15 per family, to support efforts to bring major league baseball to Northern Virginia, according to Barbara Harris, president of the organization.
"What has been needed in the efforts to bring baseball here, and what should have been the first thing we did was to show fan support here," said Harris, who is president of CPC, a public relations and communications firm in Great Falls. "We need to show major league baseball that the people of Virginia really believe that Northern Virginia is the best place for major league baseball and a stadium."
The formation of the group comes after District officials have increased their efforts to secure a franchise for Washington, most recently by asking the two groups seeking to bring baseball to the area, Virginia Baseball, Inc., and the Le'Enfant Group, to fund a study exploring the possibilities of a new baseball stadium in the District.
"The District interests are certainly a part of it," Harris said when asked about the timing of the formation of the group. "We want baseball here and we need it here. Another part of it is that there is real excitement generated by the possibility of the [Houston] Astros moving there. There's no secret about that. Maybe they really will move here and we can get this going."
Virginia Baseball, led by telecommunications executive William Collins, came close to purchasing the Houston Astros in the fall and moving them to the Washington area, with plans to play at RFK Stadium until a new ballpark was built in Northern Virginia.
Baseball officials, however, did not embrace the proposed move, and a deal fell through. …