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A group representing Mariners ownership met with WA state political leaders yesterday in Gov. Mike Lowry's office to emphasize that they will put the team up for sale if there is no new stadium plan in place by the end of the month. Michael Paulson reports in this morning's SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER the team also stressed its willingness to contribute $45M toward the cost of a new ballpark and that they plan to sign a 20-year lease and share any profits with the community. Lowry still hopes to call a special session of the legislature to deal with the stadium issue next week, but has made no progress toward a possible bill (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 10/3). A key lawmaker told the TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE that a loss by the team yesterday "could have taken some of the momentum away" from the stadium effort. The Mariners won their first division title over the Angels (Turner & Callaghan, TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE, 10/3).
If the DC area is going to have baseball next season, it won't be in the form of the Montreal Expos, the team's owner said yesterday. Claude Brochu said he has no intention of selling the club and plans to keep them in Montreal for at least two more years. Thom Loverro reports in this morning's WASHINGTON TIMES that Brochu added if there is no improvement in attendance or a new league revenue plan after the two-year period, he would have to consider putting the club up for sale. William Collins, head of Virginia Baseball, still hopes to buy an existing team and move it to Washington for the '96 season. Baseball officials are still reviewing the bid for the Pirates by CA newspaper heir Kevin McClatchy, who would keep the club in Pittsburgh for the time being. Collins' group is also waiting on the situation in Seattle, where the Mariners have given the state an October 30 deadline to finance a new stadium (WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/3). A Baltimore SUN editorial approves baseball in Northern VA, opposing the view of Orioles Owner Peter Angelos (Baltimore SUN, 10/2).
The Oilers expect to sign a non-binding letter of intent Thursday with the Nashville Metro Council that would signal the beginning of the team's move to TN. John Williams reports in this morning's HOUSTON CHRONICLE that the city would have a series of milestones to reach to attain the team by March. If those are met on time, the Oilers will seek NFL permission to move. As part of the agreement, as long as Nashville continues to meet deadlines, the Oilers will not negotiate with any other city. Oilers VP Mike McClure told the CHRONICLE that "in reality, negotiations are almost over." McClure: "If we get this done Thursday, there won't be any talking with Houston or any other city." Williams reports the tentative schedule Nashville officials must meet includes: Metro Council approval of a financing plan by December 1 that would raise $105M-$140M; state Legislature approval of $67M-$80M from potential Oilers sales tax revenues by February; private PSL funding raised by March. McClure said a study by PSL consultant Max Muhleman showed that sales of PSLs in the area "would do quite well" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/3). TIME TO REGROUP, RESET? Houston Mayor Bob Lanier said Monday the "best the region could probably offer" is a privately- financed $125M open air stadium or refurbished Astrodome -- both of which have been dismissed by Adams. Lanier said he is putting a committee together to discuss the city's need for new facilities and what it would take to attract the NFL back if the Oilers leave. Williams notes that it will take a $275M-$300M package similar to Nashville's to get the NFL back (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/3).