SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies

REPORTED PRICE TAG FOR MLB EXPANSION TEAMS: $140M

     Although the two-hour conference call by MLB's expansion
committee "produced nothing," it appears" that it has determined
a price.  According to the TAMPA TRIBUNE, the committee is
"zeroing in" on a price of $140M per franchise (Bill Chastain,
TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/3).  Phoenix and Tampa Bay are the frontrunners
to be granted the next two expansion teams.  Red Sox CEO John
Harrington, Chair of the expansion committee, said he
"anticipated there may be a full ownership meeting later this
month" at which time a vote on the "overall recommendation" to
expand could be made.  However, Harrington warned that if the
labor dispute is not resolved, "he may not be able to get the
owners to vote" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 2/3).
     INTERLEAGUE PLAY?  According to Tom Keegan in today's N.Y.
POST, since the owners, because of expansion, are "leaning
toward" inter-league play. "The schedule will call for each team
to play anywhere from 16-30 interleague games" (N.Y. POST, 2/3).
In Boston, Red Sox GM Dan Duquette thinks that interleague play
"is the next step toward international major league baseball"
(Mike Shalin, BOSTON HERALD, 2/3).  ESPN's Keith Olbermann:
"Interleague play, they can't even introduce inter-team play!"
("SportsCenter," 2/2).
     ORLANDO VS TAMPA-BAY: In Orlando, Dan Tracy & Lawrence
Lebowitz note why Orlando is a better choice for expansion.
"Orlando's projected growth into the year 2000 far surpasses
Tampa-St. Petersburg" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/2).
     GET THIS!  The "latest rumor" making the rounds is that
George Steinbrenner wants to move the Yankee's to Tampa.  The
"rumor gained some legs yesterday when it was revealed that
Steinbrenner gave the Tampa-based Florida Orchestra" $1M to get
out of debt, a "gesture" to show just how "fond Steinbrenner is
of his Florida base."  When the team's lease runs out in 2002,
"southern Florida's population will be bigger, richer, and older"
(Neal Travis, N.Y. POST, 2/3).
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