Hit & Run

Expo Expose

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Reader Ari Spanier sends along this deceptively rendered AP account of Northern Virginia's latest bid to bring baseball rejects the Expos to Loudon County:

A proposal by state and local officials to move the Montreal Expos to the nation's fastest-growing county features a public-private partnership that requires no new taxes to pay for the $442 million ballpark, proponents said Monday.

No new taxes? Wow-wee. The catch is that no new taxes (read their lips) are required because the Virginia General Assembly passed a tax to pay for two-thirds of a new stadium back in 1997. What's changed is that some private developers are now willing to shoulder a bit more of the burden to bring the Montreal squad down South:

The developer proposing the plan -- a consortium of builders Beazer, Centex and Van Metre companies -- is willing to contribute $82 million in infrastructure costs, reducing the ballpark cost from $442 million to $360 million.

Loudon County will recoup some costs by getting $10 million a year in rent, "significantly more than what would have been charged under the old plan." Significantly more? That can only be because they weren't going to get anything (or next to nothing) under the old plan.

Whole thing here. And for a quick look at baseball team owners' phony money woes, go here.