SBD/24/Franchises

MARINERS TO STAY IN SEATTLE; BALLPARK GETS FINAL PASSAGE

     The Metro King County Council voted 10-3 yesterday to adopt
the state plan for financing a new baseball stadium, causing
Mariners President John Ellis to state that the team's conditions
for remaining in Seattle had been met, according to this
morning's SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER.  The ordinance states King
County will not issue bonds to cover its share of the stadium's
cost unless the county determines that neither the operating
budget nor its bond rating would be affected by such a sale.  The
measure also establishes an independent financial review
committee to evaluate the stadium's financial plan before the '97
session of the WA Legislature (Ed Penhale, SEATTLE POST-
INTELLIGENCER, 10/24).  In a release, Ellis hailed the "unique
partnership" among team, state and county.  Ellis:  "The action
today completes the incredible story of baseball here in 1995"
(Mariners).
     WHAT'S NEXT?  Immediately after passage, King County Exec
Gary Locke and council members discussed setting up a task force
to deal renovations to the Kingdome.  Over the weekend, NFL
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue sent a letter to the council stating
that failure to address the Kingdome in the stadium legislation
"creates an unlevel economic playing field for different major
league franchises in Seattle" and add to "uncertainties"
regarding the Seahawks' future (Ed Penhale, SEATTLE POST-
INTELLIGENCER, 10/24).  The Washington State Major League
Baseball Stadium Facilities District should be in place by
November 6.  The District, which will negotiate the Mariners'
long-term lease, will determine the site, architects, contractors
and construction timetable.  The state will begin the process of
raising funds through the sale of license plates and scratch-off
tickets.  One lottery official noted that their hope to have a
Mariners theme to the first ticket depends on cooperation from
MLB (Angelo Bruscas, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 10/24).
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