SBD/2/Franchises

DEVILS RAYS NEWS & NOTES: TEAM ADDS TWO INVESTORS

     The Devil Rays named two investors to their ownership group:
Gus Stavros, a "longtime Pinellas County businessman and
philanthropist," has joined as a limited partner; and Mel Danker,
a Fayetteville, NC, businessman, who is "reportedly related" to
Outback Steakhouse exec and fellow Rays' investor Bob Basham.
The team also "essentially" paid off their $130M MLB expansion
fee by wiring a $25M payment to MLB teams and posting a $73M
letter of credit for the balance (Marc Topkin, ST. PETERSBURG
TIMES, 7/2)....The Durham Bulls and the Devil Rays signed a
partnership "with the intent" of making the Bulls a Triple-A
affiliate of Tampa Bay.  Before the deal is finalized, the minor-
league expansion committee must decide if Durham is suited to be
a Triple-A city (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 6/29).
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