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Volume 24 No. 114

Franchises

     A statewide campaign to increase season ticket sales for the
Brewers "appears beset by inertia brought about by the baseball
strike," as well as poor spring weather.  Tim Sheehy, President
of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, said the
"Baseball for Wisconsin" campaign has garnered 750 season-
tickets, up from 350 on March 17.  The plan, being offered by
some Milwaukee-area employers, gives employees the "opportunity
to purchase a season-ticket and a second season-ticket is matched
by the employer."  Sheehy said they will wait until mid-May to
gauge the success of the program, which he calls the only one of
its kind in the country.  Among companies involved:  Journal
Communications, Northwestern Mutual Life, Ameritech and Harley
Davidson (Wolfley & Williams, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/21).

     The Braves may be moving from their spring-training home of
West Palm Beach to Orlando.  In early discussions that "both TBS
and Disney are trying to keep hush-hush," Disney is said to be
interested in building the Braves a new spring training home on
the Disneyworld grounds.  The Braves also have an offer from Palm
Beach County to move to a planned stadium in Jupiter, FL.  Braves
GM John Schuerholz confirmed "contact" between the Braves and
Disney, but Disney Dir of Sports Marketing Reggie Williams would
only say that they "would be flattered to talk to the Braves
about something like that."  A new $15M stadium at Disney could
be ready by 1998, with the team moving to Orlando in the meantime
and training at Tinker Field, former home of the Twins (I.J.
Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/21).

     Vancouver baseball fans would rather see the Mariners play
eight games at B.C. Place than a potential UBL franchise play a
full schedule, according to a survey commissioned by the B.C.
Pavilion Corp.  B.C. Pavilion, which manages B.C. Place, is using
the survey to help "decide whether to embrace" the Mariners or
the UBL.  Of the 300 adults asked if they would "definitely"
attend one or more games at B.C. Place, the Mariners received a
"yes" from 22%, the UBL only 14%.  Warren Buckley, President of
B.C. Pavilion Corp said written comments "seem to agree that 77
home games for the UBL would be a tough haul. ... There appeared
to be more enthusiasm for the eight-game Mariners package" (Neil
Campbell, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 4/21).
     MARINERS OWNERS PLEAD:  Three Mariners officials pleaded
their case in front of WA legislators Wednesday, asking for
"quick" action on a new stadium plan.  M's Chair John Ellis,
Nintendo President Howard Lincoln (representing majority owner
Hiroshi Yamauchi), and Microsoft's Chris Larson told the
lawmakers that they have invested $140M in the team and expect to
drop another $75M in the next three years.  Meanwhile, U.S.
Senator Slade Gorton is asking WA legislators to consider
financing a stadium through the legalization of video poker
(Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 4/21).
     OTHER M'S NOTES:  Ticket sales for Thursday's home opener
have been "picking up," but the team does not expect a sellout.
Mariners VP/Sales & Marketing Bob Gobrecht: "We're looking for a
crowd in the 40,000 range. ... There's no question the situation
has improved the past few days."  Gobrecht said the decision not
to trade high-salaried players, such as Randy Johnson, has
"boosted ticket sales" (Jim Street, SEATTLE POST-INTELLEGENCER,
4/21)....The Mariners will have a free workout at the Kingdome
for fans the day before their season opener.  The Mariner Moose
mascot will roam the stands and team representatives will be on
hand to answer questions (Mariners).