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MARINERS NEED GRIFFEY AS THEY FACE 0-2 HOLE AS SEASON OPENS

     The "long-term future of baseball in Seattle" is being
debated in Olympia this week, according to Angelo Bruscas in this
morning's SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER.  The "score on financing a
new stadium is deadlocked with the Mariners at bat and two
strikes already against them."  If the team fails in the
Legislature, they face few options when the  Kingdome lease
expires after '96.  The two proposals before the Legislature
consist of funding a new $250M stadium with King County-wide 0.1%
sales tax (that would need voter approval), or finance the
project "through a rebate" of 0.1% to the county from sales taxes
already collected, not subject to a referendum.  If the
Legislature fails to reach an agreement during their special
session, the Mariners have said "they will start looking
elsewhere for a new home."  The team is concerned that a local-
option tax increase would not pass a public vote (SEATTLE POST-
INTELLIGENCER, 4/25). The chances of the Mariners moving,
possibly to Orlando, is examined by Tom Farrey of the SEATTLE
TIMES.  Farrey writes that FL developer Norton Herrick's interest
in buying the team might previously have been "cause for civic
panic," but it's a "buyer's market now."  Farrey also notes
"competition from other leagues" as factor working against a
Mariner's move.  The NHL is planning to expand, and Arena
Football, Major League Soccer and the UBL all are "moving into
growth markets and absorbing civic funds" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/24).
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Facilities, NHL, Seattle Mariners

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