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WASHINGTON, DC-The 11-member DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, an independent agency of the District of Columbia government, Friday was rushing paperwork to Major League Baseball officials who contend the city has defaulted on a construction administration contract for the planned $611-million Washington Nationals stadium. The stadium is tentatively scheduled to open in April 2008. The team currently plays its games at the 45-year-old RFK Stadium.

Tony Robinson, director of public affairs for the commission, tells GlobeSt.com Major League Baseball’s citation is a technical but not a legal issue. “To the best of my knowledge, all of the documents they asked for have been completed and will be delivered today,” Robinson says. The DC attorney general’s office is preparing the requested paperwork.

Sources in Mayor Anthony A. Williams’ office tell GlobeSt.com Major League Baseball cannot legally move the team out of Washington. The city has 30 days to answer the default notice before baseball executives can file a lawsuit, according to the mayor’s office. Tom Ostertag, a lawyer representing Major League Baseball, couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline. Sources in a position to know tell GlobeSt.com Ostertag, in a letter to the city this week, alleged the city had defaulted on its development contract for the new stadium.

In that letter, Major League Baseball officials allege the city has been slow in delivering documents on the stadium site lease, confirmation on its land ownership, soil density studies and monthly project schedules, persons familiar with the controversy tell GlobeSt.com.

The latest impasse on the stadium project surfaced as Bethesda, MD, developer Theodore N. Lerner awaits the closing of his $450-million contract to buy the Nationals from Major League Baseball. The 20-acre stadium is being built along the Anacostia River near South Capitol Street and the Navy Yard in Southeast Washington.

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