SBD/6/Leagues Governing Bodies

MLB EXPANSION ANNOUNCEMENT THIS WEEK IN PALM BEACH?

     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).
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