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Volume 24 No. 112

Franchises

     "Running out of options and time," Blue Jays President Paul
Beeston confirmed that the team will make Dunedin, FL its
regular-season home for potential replacement-player games,
pending approval by the American League, according to this
morning's TORONTO SUN.  A.L. VP/Admin. & Media Affairs Phyllis
Merhige:  "We have to look at it from a scheduling standpoint,
from umpiring, from broadcast territories, safety issues, to see
if any special construction needs to be done to the stadium"
(Steve Simmons, TORONTO SUN, 2/10).

     The Bullets raised ticket prices for the second time in less
than a year.  The team announced an increase of "approximately
12%" for '95-96.  Most tickets will be increased by $3, but some
sections will see up to a $15 increase.  The overall average will
go from $25.13 to "around $28," according to Bullets President
Susan O'Malley.  Team officials said they announced the increase
now "to take advantage of the team's new popularity so they can
begin taking reservations for next season."  The Bullets have
sold out 15 of 21 home games and are on pace to top their record
of 20 sellouts (Richard Justice, WASHINGTON POST, 2/10).

     Jeff Moffie, a Cleveland investment manager, announced he
has made a cash bid of $85-100M for the Pirates.  The team has
been negotiating with Adelphia Communications Chair John Rigas,
but talks have slowed over Rigas' ability and willingness to
absorb the team's potential debts.  Rigas has offered $85.15M.
Moffie made his bid to the team's investment banker, Wertheim
Schroeder.  Moffie is CEO of Cambridge Investment Group
(PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 2/10).

     The future of the Hartford Hellcats is still undecided as a
vote by CBA owners to terminate the team did not pass yesterday.
A league source told Roy Hasty of the HARTFORD COURANT that
league owners couldn't "reach a decision in a 3 1/2 hour
conference call and that more discussions would be held today."
Brian Foley, a CT  businessman, has put up $750,000 to operate
the franchise, but some owners are "concerned about the value of
their franchise if Foley's bid is approved and want a written
determination of the Hellcats' price" (HARTFORD COURANT, 2/9).

     The city of San Antonio and the Sacramento Gold Miners are
close to an agreement that would bring the CFL team to the
Alamodome, according to this morning's SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS.
Items that need to be settled include a possible "escape clause
for the Miners if the team fails to hit projected attendance
figures after two years and an escape clause if an NFL team
should move to San Antonio." The proposed deal would give the
team 50% of concession revenue and 100% of parking revenue for
the first year (Tim Griffin, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS, 2/10).

     Vince Naimoli, the leader of the Tampa Bay MLB expansion
effort, kicked off a "Name the Team" promotion.  He did say that
his group will not pay for a team name, as one group hoped after
gaining trademark registration for Tampa Bay Thunder, Tampa Bay
Thunder Bolts and Tampa Bay Tarpons with the state (Bill
Chastain, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/10).  Naimoli did confirm that the
first name of the potential team would be "Tampa Bay."  The
Phoenix group will launch their name the team contest Sunday.
Suns Owner Jerry Colangelo will offer some names and let fans
make additional suggestions.  It is at the March 7-9 owners
meeting that Colangelo and Naimoli expect to be awarded the next
two MLB franchises (Marc Topkin, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 2/10).