SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies

MLB EXPANSION'S FATE TO BE DECIDED SOON

     The fate of Major League Baseball expansion is expected to
be decided next week as owners are scheduled to meet in Palm
Beach, FL, beginning Tuesday.  During the three-day meetings, the
expansion committee "plans to recommend" that two clubs be added
for the '98 season and two more teams, "perhaps in 2000."
Baseball sources say the owners' decision to award Phoenix and
Tampa-St. Petersburg "is all but final."  The Northern VA group
hoping for a team has asked that if the area isn't part of the
first round of expansion, they be considered for the second round
(Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 3/1).  Despite reports in the Tampa
Bay area earlier this week that expansion may be delayed, hopeful
Tampa-St. Pete owner Vince Naimoli and St. Pete City
Administrator Rick Dodge said they "still expect owners to
approve expansion and award teams to Tampa Bay and Phoenix next
week" (Marc Topkin, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/1).   ENTERTAINING TO
IMPRESS:  MLB officials will be visiting Orlando and Northern VA
this week to assess the possibilities for getting a team.  The
group arrived in Orlando last night and will be entertained by
Norton Herrick, the FL-based developer who is heading Orlando's
bid.  They then fly to Northern VA today where they will meet
with Bill Collins, the the telecommunications exec who heads
Virginia Baseball Inc., the more favored of the two Northern VA
groups (Dan Tracy, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/28).
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