SBD/Issue 56/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Expos Sign New Lease, But Say It Indicates Nothing About '02

The Expos Friday signed a new lease to play in Olympic Stadium for the '02 season, according to Sean Gordon of the NATIONAL POST. But Expos Exec VP David Samson said that, despite the new lease, the team's future "remains uncertain." Samson: "This is not meant to be an indication that the Expos will be back next season or that we won't. We just want to make sure that if there's a season next year for the Expos, we have a place to play it. The situation right now is that we still can't make any announcements regarding our schedule or ticket sales for 2002." Gordon notes the lease "has an escape clause so that both parties can back out with minimal penalties" (NATIONAL POST, 12/1). Samson: "It's the same termination clause, or similar to every one that has existed before" (AP, 11/30). More Samson: "I have no reason to believe we will not be here in 2002, just like I have no reason to believe we will be here" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/1). In Montreal, Jack Todd reported that "the latest scenario" on the Expos' ownership situation has MLB asking Montreal business exec Stephen Bronfman "to step in and run the Expos" after current Managing General Partner Jeffrey Loria is bought out by the league. But there is "no reason to believe [Bronfman] is ready or willing to try to sort out this mess" (Montreal GAZETTE, 12/1). ESPN's Michael Wilbon, on whether the Expos will need the lease for next year: "Not if we're lucky. Get them out of here" ("PTI," ESPN, 11/30).

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