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MLB EXPANSION ANNOUNCEMENT THIS WEEK IN PALM BEACH?
Published March 6, 1995
MLB owners will be asked to pick two expansion cities for 1998 and to set a price for the team when they meet in Palm Beach this week. Representatives from each group vying for a franchise -- Orlando, Tampa/St. Pete, Phoenix, and two bids from Northern VA -- will give a half-hour presentation on Tuesday afternoon. The expansion committee "will meet jointly with the executive council to make its recommendation." A final decision could come Thursday after the owners debates the matter. Tampa/St. Petersburg and Phoenix are the favorites to be awarded expansion teams to begin play in '98, and the committee could also recommend "a second wave of expansion that would start no earlier than the year 2000" (Bill Chastain, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/4). But, the "call for new presentations would seem to indicate that no final decision has been made yet on where to expand and when" (Thom Loverro, WASHINGTON TIMES, 3/3). BOOST FOR ORLANDO? Prospective Orlando owner Norton Herrick received written assurances from two Florida officials, Attorney General Bob Butterworth and U.S. Senator Connie Mack, that they aren't pulling for St. Petersburg over Orlando in the two cities' bids for expansion. Herrick called the letters "significant" since it "debunked" the perception Tampa Bay is "owed a team and has the legal and lawmaking muscle of several high-powered politicians behind it" (Lebowitz & Tracy, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/4).