SBD/10/Franchises

MAYBE VOTERS NEED ANOTHER TWO MARTINEZ LUNCH TO SUPPORT M'S

     A poll of 400 WA state voters released by the SEATTLE TIMES
indicates that most oppose using state funds to help build a new
ballpark for the Mariners.  The poll, conducted last Thursday and
Friday and released Sunday, finds 53% opposed to using state
money, 36% in support and 11% undecided (AP/TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE,
10/9).  Meanwhile, WA Gov. Mike Lowry continued to work on a plan
to build a new stadium in Seattle, with details emerging in
advance of Thursday's expected special session of the legislature
This morning's SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER reports Lowry's new
plan would support a $320M stadium (up from $250M six months
ago).  King County's share would come from tax increases on the
county's bars and restaurants, rental cars and admissions at the
Kingdome.  The plan would allot money for last year's Kingdome
roof repairs and future renovations (Michael Paulson, SEATTLE
POST-INTELLIGENCER, 10/10).
     CLOSE TO HOME:  Despite signs of voter opposition, many
believe the Mariners' postseason success will keep them in the
Pacific Northwest.  John McGrath writes the team's on-the-field
success has "not only likely saved baseball in Seattle," but also
given the sport "an adrenaline shot for a new generation" (TACOMA
NEWS TRIBUNE, 10/10).  ESPN's Peter Gammons:  "The last two
months I think have pretty much assured the Pacific Northwest
that baseball is going to stay here because this is a great
baseball area" ("SportsCenter," 10/9).  In his BOSTON GLOBE
column, Gammons reports "a chance" that John McCaw, Mariners
minority owner and Grizzlies/Canucks majority owner, will put
together a group to make the Mariners a "regional franchise,"
splitting games between Seattle and Vancouver (BOSTON GLOBE,
10/8).
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