Washington wants baseball back, and Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn., and Orlando, Fla., also want the major leagues to come to their cities.
Those four groups made pitches Wednesday for the two National League expansion clubs, which cost $95 million and will begin play in 1993.Two groups want teams for Washington. One, headed by real estate developer John E. Akridge, would put a team downtown in RFK Stadium. The other, led by minor league owner Mark W. Tracz, would play at RFK for one season and then move to a proposed ballpark in northern Virginia.
"A new stadium in the suburbs with luxury suites, we think that's going to be a lot more economically sound," said Tracz, who owns Prince William of the Class A Carolina League.
Tracz's group, which includes former NBC Sports president Arthur Watson, wants to play in Virginia partly to get away from the Baltimore Orioles' sphere of influence.
Washington's chances are hurt by the departure of the original Senators to Minnesota after the 1960 season and by the expansion Senators' move to Texas in 1971.
Richard DeVos, head of the Orlando group, which would call the team the Orlando Sunrays, already has a manager in Kansas City catcher Bob Boone and a baseball operations team in Brian and Denny Doyle.
Three groups from St. Petersburg, Fla., and two from Phoenix will appear before the committee a week from Friday. The league will announce a "short list" of finalists by Dec. 31 and will select the new teams by Sept. 30, 1991.
National League president Bill White, who missed Tuesday's sessions, was on hand Wednesday.
Ten cities in all are bidding for the two teams. The others, who appeared Monday, are Buffalo, N.Y.; Denver, Miami and Sacramento, Calif.