SBD/30/Franchises

EXPOS' "SUBSTANTIAL" LOSSES FORCE THEM TO TIGHTEN BELT AGAIN

          With a third "substantial loss in four years, members
     of the Expos' ownership consortium might soon have to dig
     into their pockets," according to Ian MacDonald of the
     Montreal GAZETTE.  Expos President Claude Brochu said the
     club will finish with a C$13M shortfall this year after
     losing between C$6-7M in '96.  Brochu said that the club
     received between C$9-10M in revenue sharing last year, "and
     it expects a little more this year."  The Expos are also
     receiving an annual sum of C$4-5M from the expansion teams.
     Brochu: "[Revenue sharing] simply is not sufficient to cover
     expenses. ...[W]e'll know where we stand in all of this next
     spring.  If there is enough interest in license sales and
     corporate boxes for us to go ahead with the [new] stadium
     planning, that's the way we'll go.  If there is not, we will
     sell" (Montreal GAZETTE, 9/30).  Brochu added that ticket
     prices will increase to '96 levels, after this year's
     experiment with cut-rate prices, which was, in Brochu's
     words, "a miserable failure" (GAZETTE, 9/29).  
          BALLPARK UPDATE: Brochu said that all 1,300 of the most
     expensive C$10,000 seat licenses for a new ballpark have
     either sold or "will be sold" (Montreal GAZETTE, 9/29).

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