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In Toronto, Blue Jays season-ticket sales are expected to be around 22,000, "about the same or up slightly from last year." The team sold 26,000 season tickets when it won back-to-back World Series in '92 and '93. The team also does not expect to sell out its home opener (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 3/19)....In Cleveland, the Browns announced that more than 7,000 premium seats have been sold at the new stadium (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 3/19)....In Montreal, Canadiens officials "admitted yesterday that within the next year or two," the team could get an alternate third jersey (Montreal GAZETTE, 3/19)....Brewers Manager Phil Garner, on the White Sox: "We're not an event to them. See, that's the other reason I don't like them. [White Sox Owner Jerry] Reinsdorf sits in his ivory tower down there and he thinks his crap rolls into Milwaukee. They look down on us. That's the bottom line. I don't like that" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/19).
The Ravens and Western Maryland College reached a five- year deal to hold the Ravens' summer training camp at the campus through 2001, according to Sheridan Lyons of the Baltimore SUN. The deal includes improvements to fields and facilities at the campus, with the Ravens paying "about two- thirds of the cost." Ravens Dir of Information Robert Eller said the improvements will cost the team about $250,000 (Baltimore SUN, 3/19).
The Angels are tagging the '97 season as their "Breakthrough Season," but according to Mark Tomaszewski of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, "longtime baseball fans might prefer another slogan: 'Going, going, gone.'" Tomaszewski notes that the Angel Wing cheerleaders, the "high-volume sound effects" and the brass bands on the dugouts will all be gone for the upcoming season. Last season, Anaheim Sports Inc. added several entertainment components "that were jarring to baseball traditionalists" following Walt Disney purchasing controlling interest of the team. Angels Dir of Comm. Bill Robertson notes after an offseason of study, the team "decided to tone down the non-baseball activities." Robertson: "From what our fans tell us, they prefer to watch the baseball game. ... We'll have better control of the entertainment to keep our loyal fans and season-ticket base happy" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/19).