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A statewide campaign to increase season ticket sales for the Brewers "appears beset by inertia brought about by the baseball strike," as well as poor spring weather. Tim Sheehy, President of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, said the "Baseball for Wisconsin" campaign has garnered 750 season- tickets, up from 350 on March 17. The plan, being offered by some Milwaukee-area employers, gives employees the "opportunity to purchase a season-ticket and a second season-ticket is matched by the employer." Sheehy said they will wait until mid-May to gauge the success of the program, which he calls the only one of its kind in the country. Among companies involved: Journal Communications, Northwestern Mutual Life, Ameritech and Harley Davidson (Wolfley & Williams, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/21).
The Braves may be moving from their spring-training home of West Palm Beach to Orlando. In early discussions that "both TBS and Disney are trying to keep hush-hush," Disney is said to be interested in building the Braves a new spring training home on the Disneyworld grounds. The Braves also have an offer from Palm Beach County to move to a planned stadium in Jupiter, FL. Braves GM John Schuerholz confirmed "contact" between the Braves and Disney, but Disney Dir of Sports Marketing Reggie Williams would only say that they "would be flattered to talk to the Braves about something like that." A new $15M stadium at Disney could be ready by 1998, with the team moving to Orlando in the meantime and training at Tinker Field, former home of the Twins (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/21).
Vancouver baseball fans would rather see the Mariners play eight games at B.C. Place than a potential UBL franchise play a full schedule, according to a survey commissioned by the B.C. Pavilion Corp. B.C. Pavilion, which manages B.C. Place, is using the survey to help "decide whether to embrace" the Mariners or the UBL. Of the 300 adults asked if they would "definitely" attend one or more games at B.C. Place, the Mariners received a "yes" from 22%, the UBL only 14%. Warren Buckley, President of B.C. Pavilion Corp said written comments "seem to agree that 77 home games for the UBL would be a tough haul. ... There appeared to be more enthusiasm for the eight-game Mariners package" (Neil Campbell, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 4/21). MARINERS OWNERS PLEAD: Three Mariners officials pleaded their case in front of WA legislators Wednesday, asking for "quick" action on a new stadium plan. M's Chair John Ellis, Nintendo President Howard Lincoln (representing majority owner Hiroshi Yamauchi), and Microsoft's Chris Larson told the lawmakers that they have invested $140M in the team and expect to drop another $75M in the next three years. Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Slade Gorton is asking WA legislators to consider financing a stadium through the legalization of video poker (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 4/21). OTHER M'S NOTES: Ticket sales for Thursday's home opener have been "picking up," but the team does not expect a sellout. Mariners VP/Sales & Marketing Bob Gobrecht: "We're looking for a crowd in the 40,000 range. ... There's no question the situation has improved the past few days." Gobrecht said the decision not to trade high-salaried players, such as Randy Johnson, has "boosted ticket sales" (Jim Street, SEATTLE POST-INTELLEGENCER, 4/21)....The Mariners will have a free workout at the Kingdome for fans the day before their season opener. The Mariner Moose mascot will roam the stands and team representatives will be on hand to answer questions (Mariners).