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Volume 24 No. 156

Franchises

     The Dodgers, suffering financial losses from the players
strike, have borrowed $20M from the club's line of credit with a
L.A. bank.  Dodgers Owner Peter O'Malley: "We have an ongoing
line of credit with a major bank and expect to draw on it next
month to meet the overhead and annual expenses we have."
O'Malley said it is "inaccurate to characterize the club as being
in financial trouble," but he told his staff that the loan is a
response to the strike's impact.  Dodgers VP/Finance Bob Graziano
said the loan was necessary to cover operating expenses and "to
fund the payroll for people still working here and to make sure
the grass gets watered."  Granziano: "I don't think anyone is
saying the club is on the ropes."  The Dodgers are estimated to
have lost $12M due to the strike (Newhan & Hudson, LA TIMES,
10/29).

     Las Vegas Posse coach Ron Meyer said that the team, which
will be relocated following the end of the '94 season, is
considering Birmingham, Orlando, Mobile, Syracuse, Honolulu,
Portland (OR), Omaha, St. Louis or Memphis (AP/TULSA WORLD,
10/29).

     Bart Fisher, who heads Capital Baseball, one of two
Northern VA groups trying to win an expansion franchise, may have
lost "one of his most prominent investors to a competing
community."  Sources say New York investment banker J. Morton
Davis, previously listed as one of the principals in Capital
Baseball, "may have pulled out of Fisher's group and is
considering joining investors seeking a franchise in Orlando."
Fisher would not "confirm nor deny Davis' current status,"  but
Stephen Kurtz, an investor in the Orlando bid said, "We have had
some discussions with Mr. Davis.  Nothing has been finalized."
Fisher's group makes their presentation to MLB owners tomorrow in
Chicago (Thom Loverro, WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/31).  John
Harrington, chair of the Expansion Committee, said if baseball
gets a new CBA by February, owners may vote on adding two
expansion teams for '97 or '98.  Harrington hopes for an
expansion decision by January and a vote by February. He stressed
if there is no labor deal, "it's unlikely we can make a positive
recommendation" on expansion (Mult., 10/30).

     If the Rams move to St. Louis, "FANS Inc. will initiate a
permanent-seat licensing campaign to fund the costs of the
transfer.  Estimates indicate that between $60 million and $90
million will be needed to satisfy the Rams' so-called wish list"
(Bernie Miklasz, ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 10/29).  In L.A., Mike
Ventre writes, "I'm starting to believe that John Shaw will wait
far too long to pull the trigger on a move to either St. Louis or
Baltimore and the Rams will than be stuck in Anaheim with the
same lousy stadium deal they have now" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 10/29).
But NBC's Will McDonough says, "Many owners are convinced the
Rams are about to move to St. Louis next season" ("NFL Live,"
10/30).

     In Tacoma, Art Popham complains about the AAA Tigers
considering renaming the team after the Rainier Brewery.  Popham:
"It seems to me the Tacoma Rainiers would become another Joe
Camel -- a promotional devise intended to build young people's
acceptance of a negative adult habit. ... Would [USC] change its
Trojan logo to resemble a pack of condoms if Trojan prophylactics
promised USC big bucks?" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 10/29).