WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The District of Columbia Council Tuesday approved a stadium financing plan that cleared the way for the Washington Nationals to play ball in 2005.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said he was pleased with the council's decision.
The council voted 7-6 for a financing package that guarantees construction of a permanent home for the team. The vote ended a dispute that threatened to halt plans for the Nationals, formerly the Montreal Expos.
Mayor Anthony Williams and Council Chairwoman Linda Cropp had announced late Monday they reached agreement on a plan that would satisfy Major League Baseball.
The new financing arrangement greatly reduces the share of stadium costs to be paid by taxpayers, Cropp said.
Cropp was the author of a recent private financing amendment that nearly killed the stadium deal. A compromise came after Cropp and Williams negotiated throughout the day Monday with Bob DuPuy, baseball's president and chief operating officer.