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IF NOT THE PIRATES, WILL THE MARINERS SAIL THE POTOMAC?
Published September 14, 1995
The declaration by Mariners ownership that the team will be sold if local voters reject the September 19 referendum on a new stadium "is the worst case scenario," but cannot be seen "as idle threats," according to this morning's SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER. Angelo Bruscas and Rebecca Boren outline the possibilities the Mariners face if next week's vote to fund a retractable dome for the team fails, and point to a sale to the highest bidder as the most likely possibility. The team has said that if the vote fails "they will be more than willing to listen to offers from the Virginia group." Mariner shareholder Wayne Perry: "The day after the vote, the north Virginia group can call here." While it is possible that other ways of funding the stadium could arise, Bruscas & Boren note that is unlikely. It is also "highly unlikely" that other local owners could be found to keep the team at the Kingdome. The possibility of moving the club to Vancouver is also discussed, but, again, not likely due to BC Place's similarities to the Kingdome (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 9/14). POLL NUMBERS: Sources tell THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY that polling by a local TV station is showing the Yes vote on the stadium trailing by a 52-36% margin, with 12% undecided. Just before Labor Day, polls showed 55-33%, which was up from 66-33% on July 4th (THE DAILY). HISTORY: Also in this morning's POST-INTELLIGENCER, Bill Knight chronicles the history of baseball in Seattle. Knight notes that the Mariners have never had the support new teams such as Colorado and Florida have because of the strange circumstances surrounding the team's arrival and shaky ownership. The Mariners were created in exchange for the dismissal of a lawsuit against MLB by the city. Seattle had sued after the expansion Pilots left for Milwaukee in '70 -- after just one season (POST- INTELLIGENCER, 9/14).