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Volume 24 No. 160

Franchises

     Angels Owner Jackie Autry said this weekend that she and her
husband, Gene, don't "have the stomach to deal" with the
"pressures" of baseball and will sell a minority interest in the
team to former MLB commissioner Peter Ueberroth.  The labor
dispute, "media criticism," and the "rising cost" were among
Autry's reasons.  Jackie Autry:  "If I could just be an owner and
deal with what happens between the white lines, it would be a
perfect world."  Ueberroth is in the process of buying 25% of the
team with an option to buy the remaining 75% upon the death of
Gene Autry, 87.  Ueberroth will also take over as managing
general partner and handle the day-to-day operations of the club.
Autry attended her first exhibition game on Friday and said she
"wasn't particularly thrilled about seeing replacement players"
(Mike DiGiovanna, L.A. TIMES, 3/26).

     In Quebec, the Partis Quebecois caucus has given the
provincial government the go ahead on a "reasonable" plan to help
the Nordiques, who are struggling financially and want a new
arena.  Assistance may come in the form similar to the low-
interest loan the previous Liberal government gave to the
business consortium that bought the Expos four years ago
(WASHINGTON POST/LE SOLEIL, 3/25).

     The sale of the Northwest Entertainment Group by Arthur
Griffiths to Seattle billionaire John McCaw is questioned by
Peter Ladner, publisher of BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER.  Although
Griffiths claims he is still in control of the Group, "why,
unless McCaw put one over him, would Griffiths surrender control
of this once proud civic aspect."  Ladner writes that Griffiths
could have remained majority partner if he found more financial
partners, but it seems McCaw "knew how to force Griffiths to give
it to him."  Ladner writes that McCaw would "be a fool to do
anything except give the fans all they want and more" (BUSINESS
IN VANCOUVER, 3/20 issue).

     Devil Rays Owner Vince Naimoli sat for a Q&A with the TAMPA
TRIBUNE about his plans for the MLB expansion team.  Naimoli on
being fan friendly:  "It's got to be an overall fun experience
for the fans.  You're never going to win every game, but there
are other aspects about coming to the park.  Like when you go to
Busch Gardens or Disney World.  You leave there and you feel
good.  That's the atmosphere we want to create."  Naimoli said he
would have rather acquired the Giants because they "would have
gotten an established organization.  On the other hand, any
organization has its own culture.  And this one we can build in
accordance with our culture" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/26).