Group, MLB Discuss Future VA Stadium

Wed November 26, 2003 - Southeast Edition

NORFOLK, VA (AP) A group trying to bring professional baseball to the Hampton Roads area met with Major League Baseball president Bob DuPuy in New York City about attracting the ailing Montreal Expos.

The group, led by Merrill Lynch financial planners William Somerindyke Jr. and Jason Osborne, and Miami consultant Rick Horrow, also toured potential stadium sites in Norfolk with architects and construction experts.

Although the group met with DuPuy on Nov. 13 to talk specifically about the Expos, they made it clear that they plan to continue to pursue other franchises if the Expos go to Washington, D.C., northern Virginia or Portland, OR, the other areas competing for the team.

The group declined to discuss how they would pay for a stadium, saying only that their plan is “innovative” and would not rely on copious ticket sales to pay off debt. They said they have had discussions with corporations and other groups about naming rights.Horrow said the next steps for the group are to analyze stadium sites and prepare a business plan for Major League Baseball.