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Volume 24 No. 160

Franchises

     The CBA's Mexico Aztecas will move to San Diego for the '95-
96 season, the team announced yesterday.  The to-be-renamed CBA
club will play home games at the former home of the Clippers --
The San Diego Sports Arena.  Team officials said that they will
market themselves to fans in Tijuana and may play a few games
there (AP/Tacoma NEWS-TRIBUNE, 7/20)....The Rapid City Thrillers
of the CBA will set up shop next season in West Palm Beach.  Team
president John Samuelson said the team was not profitable despite
drawing well in Rapid City (MIAMI HERALD, 7/20).... In his column
in this morning's ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, Bernie Miklasz
criticizes Anheuser-Busch for letting the Cardinals deteriorate
and warns the Rams not to become complacent (ST. LOUIS POST-
DISPATCH, 7/21)...."Like it or not," Astros Owner Drayton McLane
has proposed a new deal to keep his club's spring training
operations in Kissimmee, FL for another five years.  The city has
not responded, and Osceloa County officials are saying "they are
not sure they want the Astros."  Alan Truex reports that the
Orioles could be a possible competitor for Kissimmee (HOUSTON
CHRONICLE, 7/18)....In Hartford, the Whalers are pushing to sell
10,000 season tickets this season.  Owner Peter Karamanos says
the team lost $11.5M last year and played before the most empty
seats in the NHL.  The team had about 5,500 season tickets last
season.  A TV ad campaign runs this summer and sales reps are out
in Hartford and around CT and Western MA trying to get the word
out (Jeff Jacobs, HARTFORD COURANT, 7/16).

     Interbrew S.A., the Belgian brewer that recently purchased
Blue Jays' and Argonauts' Owner Labatt, has put on hold plans to
sell the teams, according to this morning's TORONTO SUN.  George
Gross reports that Jays President/CEO Paul Beeston said Interbrew
"will take their time before making a decision."  Labatt's assets
also include ownership of a percentage of SkyDome (TORONTO SUN,
7/21).

     After airing "frustrations about long negotiations," Alameda
County supervisors approved $11M in payments to the A's to
"appease" the team's future owners, writes Sandy Kleffman in
today's SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS.  The supervisors also agreed to
advance the team up to $2.5M and allow them to terminate their
lease at the end of '98 for any reason.  Kleffman reports that it
is still "unclear" whether these moves will ease concerns of
prospective owners Kenneth Hofmann and Stephen Schott (SAN JOSE
MERCURY NEWS, 7/21).

     Spirit of Manitoba officials met yesterday with NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman in a session that "opened a line of
communication between the Winnipeg group and the people who will
have the final word on whether professional hockey stays in
Manitoba," writes John Douglas in this morning's WINNIPEG FREE
PRESS.  Spirit officials, including Chair Alan Sweatman and
President Cam Osler, told the league about their plan to raise
C$80M, including C$30M for an endowment fund to cover the team's
future losses until a new arena is built.  NHL VP/Public
Relations Arthur Pincus stressed that Bettman does not have the
final say on the Jets deal.  However, Pincus said Bettman is "a
pretty good hammer to have on your side if you've got to go
before the board of governors" (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 7/21).

     The Raiders' planned move back to Oakland "gained a powerful
ally" when NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue asked owners "to lift
final roadblocks" to the move, according to David Li of the
OAKLAND TRIBUNE.  NFL owners meet today in Chicago to consider
the move.  NFL Dir of Communications Greg Aiello confirmed
yesterday that Tagliabue faxed a letter Wednesday night
"supporting the move" to all 30 owners (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/21).
In L.A., Bill Plaschke notes the NFL will not only allow the
Raiders to leave L.A. "without a fight," but the league may also
allow them to go with no relocation fee because Oakland is not
considered a "hot" expansion or relocation market (L.A. TIMES,
7/21).
     WHO ARE YOU?  Oakland building contractor Joseph R. Debro
emerged Thursday as the Chair of the "Taxpayers for a Vote on the
Raiders Deal."  The disclosure came as Debro sent a letter to
Tagliabue asking the NFL to delay today's scheduled vote.
Raiders supporter and former Alameda County Supervisor Don
Perata:  "Just because there may be a local name here, that
doesn't mean there couldn't be collaborators ... to slow the deal
down and get a piece of the action" (Craig Staats, OAKLAND
TRIBUNE, 7/21).
     SOLD OUT:  Raiders marketing agents announced Thursday that
they have sold out the Coliseum for this season, but "thousands"
of club seats remain unsold for '96 when the seating expands
(Renee Koury, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 7/21).