SBD/11/Franchises

VIRGINIA GROUP ANTICIPATES MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL BY '96

     William Collins, who leads a group of investors from
Northern VA looking to bring MLB to the area, says baseball
should arrive soon, according to USA TODAY.  Collins: "I've told
people in our organization to plan for us beginning play here in
1996."  Collins is targeting the Pirates, who last week gave
newspaper heir Kevin McClatchy 10 days to come up with an
ownership plan to keep the team in Pittsburgh.  Collins, on the
Pirates ownership group and his plans:  "They've exhausted their
alternatives.  We have people here who can write checks for $80
to $100 million tomorrow" (Ben Brown, USA TODAY, 9/11).  In
Boston, Peter Gammons notes that there are "interested parties"
in Orlando, but the NL doesn't want the Pirates to move there, as
it would over-saturate FL and hurt the Devil Rays before they
even start playing (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/10).
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