SBD/1/Franchises

WILL THE ROYALS BE FLUSH WITH NEW PREMIUM SEATS IN K.C.?

          Royals officials "will add some pricier new seats
     behind home plate," according to Charles Crumpley of the
     K.C. STAR.  The seats "are just the first phase of more
     dramatic upgrades" Royals officials are contemplating that
     could cost $70-80M.  Those improvements could include
     enclosing the middle level of seats to create some luxury
     suites.  Jackson County Sports Complex Authority Chair John
     Bondon said that discussions "so far" have centered on
     asking voters to approve a bond issue or asking for more
     money from the city, the county and the state.  Installing
     the premium seats behind home plate would cost $10-13M.  The
     new section would be constructed after the season.  It is
     undecided how many seats would be in it or whether any
     existing seats would be torn out (K.C. STAR, 5/1).  
          BRETT, HUNT OR BOTH? Noting the group led by George and
     Bobby Brett and the joint effort by Lamar Hunt and Western
     Resources that are bidding for the Royals, columnist Jerry
     Heaster writes, "The Brett group is a worthy candidate to
     buy the Royals, but ... the team of Hunt and Western
     Resources is preferable for a compelling reason.  It has a
     more clear-cut and seemingly ironclad commitment to local
     economic and civic interests" (K.C. STAR, 5/1).  But
     columnist Jeffrey Flanagan, under the header "Don't Count
     Out Brett-Hunt Partnership," reports that two sources "close
     to the situation" said that the two groups "agreed to
     continue discussions about a possible joint involvement
     after the Royals' board of directors has selected a winning
     bid" (Jeffrey Flanagan, K.C. STAR, 5/1). 

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