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BASEBALL HELD HOSTAGE -- DAY 166: SEASON TICKETS ON PACE
Published January 24, 1995
To date, a total of 70.86% of major league season ticket holders have renewed their tickets for '95, according to a release by MLB's office of the Commissioner. The figures reflect renewals through January 13, 1995. It is the first time MLB has tracked season ticket renewals while sales were in progress. Of the 28 clubs, 10 have a renewal rate of 80% or higher; four teams had at least 90% (MLB). EXPANSION UPDATE: "Confident their recommendation to add teams is headed for prompt approval by the owners," members of MLB's expansion committee are now planning to discuss specifics such as price and league assignments for the new franchises, according to this morning's ST. PETERSBURG TIMES. The committee, which hired a consultant to help determine the fee, reportedly is considering a price range of $125-150M. Tampa Bay expansion head Vince Naimoli said if the price exceeded what he considered to be fair, he would ask community leaders for financial assistance. While some had speculated that a Tampa Bay franchise would most likely be placed in the AL so as not to give the NL a monopoly on FL, Phillies President Bill Giles said that "theory might not be well-founded." Some in the league see a Tampa Bay-Florida- Atlanta rivalry as appealing (Marc Topkin, ST. PETE TIMES, 1/24). In No. VA, Bart Fisher who heads what is perceived as the weaker of the two Northern Virginia, claimed that the fact his group has a majority of African-American investors affected the committee's attitude toward his presentation. Currently, none of the 28 clubs is minority-owned (Thom Loverro, WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/24). THE ANGELOS FIGHT: AL President Gene Budig and Orioles Owner Peter Angelos spoke by phone yesterday. Angelos said the conversation was "cordial," but he declined to "elaborate on very much" of it (WASHINGTON POST, 1/24). MELTDOWN: According to agents of two large player representation firms, the MLBPA will lift the player signing freeze by February 1 (Nick Cafardo, BOSTON GLOBE, 1/24). REPLACEMENTS: The Dodgers and Angels will permit their managers and coaches to work with replacements during spring training and, if necessary, the regular season (Bob Nightengale, L.A. TIMES, 1/24). GMs are reportedly floating a proposal to ask the MLBPA for an exemption to allow teams to use minor leaguers that are presently on 40-man rosters at the minor league level this season. Blue Jays GM Gord Ash, "doesn't believe it will fly" (TORONTO STAR, 1/24).