SBD/9/Franchises

SPORTS COMMISSION ASKS TWINS TO HALT SALE ATTEMPTS

          The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC)
     "stepped up its legal attempts to keep the Twins in
     Minnesota" asking the team to "'stand still' and halt all
     actions that could result in the franchise's sale and
     relocation," according to Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR
     TRIBUNE.  In a letter to Twins President Jerry Bell, the
     MSFC said it "will vigorously challenge the team's attempt
     to exercise the 'escape clause' in its lease."  Bell said
     that the team "will not withdraw its notice" to the
     commission that it plans to leave after the '98 season. 
     (STAR TRIBUNE, 1/9).  In the letter, MSFC Chair Henry
     Savelkoul "questioned the two factors -- sagging attendance
     and three years of financial operating losses -- that team
     officials say allow the team to vacate the Metrodome." 
     Savelkoul says that the MSFC "could argue in court" that the
     attendance and losses "are the residue" of the strike, and
     that the Twins and other MLB teams "contributed to the
     strike through unfair labor practices" (PIONEER PRESS, 1/9). 
      
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Franchises, Minnesota Twins, MLB

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