SBD/14/Sports Industrialists

MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL OWNERS, ATTORNEYS NOSH AND CHAT

     The DC Bar hosted a brown bag lunch yesterday entitled
"Behind Home Plate:  The Rise of Minor League Baseball in the
Washington Area."  Panelists included:  NAPBL VP and Brand,
Lowell & Ryan attorney STANLEY BRAND; MLB and Morgan, Lewis &
Bockius attorney FRANK CASEY; MD Baseball Limited Partnership
Chair PETER KIRK; and Prince William Cannons Owner & President
ART SILBER.  Washington Post Minor League Baseball Editor ROBERT
FACHET moderated the event.  Topics of discussion ranged from the
symbiotic relationship between minor league baseball franchises
and their MLB affiliates to why baseball has "insulated itself
from scandal" with regard to youngsters playing pro ball directly
out of high school.
     HIGHLIGHTS: Silber noted minor league baseball is on a
"tremendous growth trend" because of new state-of-the-art
facilities, a high quality of play and the realization that the
game needs to be marketed as a night of "total family
entertainment" -- a business with "70 shows a year."  Casey
reviewed principal points of negotiation for the current
Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA), which expires in '97.  He
also predicted that the "continued escalation in cost of
obtaining players" will be a major element in negotiations.
Insisting that MLB and minor league baseball do not compete for
the same fans, Kirk discussed the perceived threat to established
minor league franchises presented by newly awarded or relocated
MLB clubs.  Noting the effect a potential Northern VA MLB club
could have on minor league teams in MD and VA, Kirk said, "If I
owned a Major League team, I would want as many minor league
teams around me as possible."  Brand noted the limited amount of
franchise movement on the minor league level, stating baseball's
antitrust exemption should be kept as a "necessary" means of
"stabilizing" teams and "commitments" in communities (THE DAILY).
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