Monday, May 09, 2005

Lien On Me

Since I know this site is mostly read by card-carrying Commies and anti-trade anarchists, I'm sure you don't persuse the Moonie Times too frequently. It's a shame because the always-reliable Eric Fisher had an article Sunday about DC grabbing MLB by the balls.

They have a lien on the team, which will protect their interests should the team try to bolt for Tupelo, MS, or be contracted.
"We wanted to make absolutely sure we had adequate remedies to prevent a wrongful relocation should the unthinkable ever happen," said Bill Hall, sports commission board member and one of the lead negotiators of the pact. "We have now a secured interest that protects the District very strongly."

The District has signed a long-term deal with MLB, owners of the Nationals, to have the Nationals play in Washington, ... That deal with MLB, signed last fall, contemplated several anti-relocation provisions, including legal authority for the District to seek restitution on any outstanding debt on the Nationals' planned ballpark in Southeast, as well as punitive damages.

The legal language to that point, however, was vague until the arrival of this new RFK license agreement, which places the District's secured interest behind only those obligations strictly needed to own and operate the team.

The District's lien is not ostensibly designed to leave the city as the owner of the Nationals should they attempt to move. Rather, the aim is to help ensure that the city's debt on a new stadium is recovered should the team be liquidated through a league contraction. The District also holds a greater ability to force a liquidation of the team to recover its debt should the Nationals somehow leave.

So any panicked message board ramblings or incoherent TV personality rantings are for naught. The team's here to stay; it would be too expensive for them to do otherwise.

As someone wise once said somewhere, "Ballgame."

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