SBD/18/Franchises

VIRGINIA GOVERNOR ESTABLISHES BASEBALL STADIUM AUTHORITY

     VA Gov. George Allen yesterday named eight persons to the
Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority, which will have power to
"pick a site, arrange construction financing and negotiate lease
terms for a major league ballpark," according to the WASHINGTON
TIMES.  Virginia Baseball Exec VP Michael Scanlon: "It makes it
much easier for us to go out and get a team when we know where
the stadium's going to be."  A ninth Authority member will be
named once a stadium site is determined (Andrew Cain, WASHINGTON
TIMES, 7/18).  Another local report notes that baseball economics
pose a great "financial risk" to those trying to bring a team to
the area.  But Virginia Baseball head William Collins remains
upbeat.  Collins: "This market is recognized by baseball people
as the next great market.  Northern Virginia is the last great
untapped market for baseball" (John Lombardo, WASHINGTON BUSINESS
JOURNAL, 7/14-20 issue).
     WHAT TEAM?  With Expos Owner Claude Brochu's statement that
he has no intention of selling his team, Mark Maske writes that
the "would-be" MLB ownership group in Northern VA "would have to
turn their attentions" to the Pirates or Mariners (WASHINGTON
POST, 7/16).  But in Baltimore, Ken Rosenthal adds the Padres,
presently run by former Orioles exec Larry Lucchino, who has
roots in the DC area.  Rosenthal, who notes that league rules
prevent another AL team moving within 75 miles of the Orioles,
also mentions the possibility of Lucchino joining Collins'
ownership group, possibly running the team as president.
Rosenthal:  "So it could be the Padres, it could be the Expos, it
could be the Pirates.  The question is not if Northern Virginia
will get a team, but when" (Baltimore SUN, 7/16).
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