SBD/7/Franchises

ORLANDO BASEBALL BID PICKS POOR TIMING FOR STADIUM SNAG

     A disagreement with Orange County, FL, over stadium revenue
has put Norton Herrick's bid for an Orlando expansion baseball
franchise in jeopardy.  A dispute has arisen over excess resort
tax revenues and how they should be used.  The Orange County
Commission postponed a vote on funding a baseball stadium Tuesday
until next week, just one day before Orlando is to make its
"twice-postponed" presentation to the MLB expansion committee in
Chicago. Herrick, who was "obviously displeased" by the
Commission's decision said he "will weigh his options, which
include not attending the presentation next week."  Herrick:
"I'm not going to subject baseball to any problems the city and
county have."  Herrick wants the extra revenue from a penny tax
increase to the resort tax be put towards improvements for the
stadium once it is built and for retiring debt on an adjacent
garage.  The county "did not want to obligate itself to those
items."   Orange County Commission Chair Linda Chapin didn't
think the expansion bid was in trouble over the last hitch,
"calling it part of the negotiating process" (Bill Fay, TAMPA
TRIBUNE, 12/7).
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