Nationals’ presence causing Orioles’ demise is an Angelos family mythhttps://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/jun/20/nationals-presence-causing-orioles-demise-angelos-/
Like Genghis Khan invading Asia, the Nationals arrived in the Orioles’ backyard in 2005 and proceeded to ransack and pillage the land, decimating the devoted fan base for the once-proud franchise.
They used to fill Camden Yards every night. Then the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington and robbed the Orioles of those sold-out crowds.
Their ruler, Orioles owner Peter Angelos, did what he could to stop the invasion and protect Orioles fans. He shouted to Major League Baseball and anyone who would listen that his team would lose 25% of their fan base from the Washington area because of the presence of the Nationals.
When they knew they were going to lose, Angelos negotiated terms of surrender that would help care for those fans and insure the continued success of the organization. That deal would be known as the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network — MASN.
This story is a fairy tale, but it is one that some Orioles fans still cling to as a driving force for the demise of their baseball team over much of the tenure of Angelos’ ownership — 19 losing seasons since 1998.
Angelos claimed his business would be severely damaged by the presence of a baseball team in Washington. He claimed that 20- to 25% of the team’s fans were from the Washington suburbs, the District and Northern Virginia.
This was a lie.
“It was a made-up number, a total fabrication,” said one former club official.
Officials seeking the return of baseball to the District conducted an independent study of the Orioles’ fan base — specifically season ticket holders — in those areas, contracting with an outside firm.
Those results? Four percent. That’s right. Four percent.
Even if you allow for what the researchers called the “margin of error,” to be, let’s say 100% — that would mean 8%. That’s another world from 20- to 25%.
AND it contradicted another argument they made against bringing baseball back to DC, whcih was that "there are no baseball fans in Washington." (Then who wer ethat supposed 25%, Asbestos Man?)