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Volume 24 No. 117

Facilities Venues

          The Expos "unveiled their secret weapon and last, best
     hope in efforts to raise at least" C$75M in private funds
     for a new ballpark -- "a salesforce of the city's corporate
     elite who will try to make Quebec businesses give until it
     hurts," according to Jonathon Gatehouse of the Montreal
     GAZETTE.  The six-man booster committee, which includes
     former Canadiens GM Serge Savard, has "less than four months
     remaining to persuade their friends and associates to pony
     up" C$42M to keep the team in Montreal.  With a June 30
     deadline approaching, the Expos have raised C$33M, selling
     "only" 3,500 of 18,000 PSLs and 35 of 60 corporate boxes for
     their proposed $250M stadium.  Gatehouse writes that
     corporate support "is key" to Expos President Claude
     Brochu's efforts to obtain financing for the ballpark.  Team
     officials said that they "are optimistic about the booster
     committee's chances of succeeding in the boardrooms, where
     the club has repeatedly failed to sell tickets" (GAZETTE,
     3/11).  Brochu said that 1,500 of the PSLs sold were the
     "most expensive" available, selling for C$10,000 each.  He
     also said that 40%-50% of the major corporations in Montreal
     "have not yet made a contribution," and that "some type of
     public financing" would be discussed "at a later stage." 
     Brochu: "We will find a method satisfactory to taxpayers,
     the government and ourselves" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 3/11).
          REAX: From a Montreal GAZETTE editorial, entitled
     "Stepping Up To The Plate": "[A PSL] is a small investment
     for any company that cares about the quality of life in
     Montreal and the future of the downtown core. ... Losing
     [MLB] would be an economic blow to the tourism industry, but
     its biggest impact would be psychological.  For a city
     struggling to regain its former stature, the departure of
     the Expos would be a defining moment, of the very worst
     kind" (GAZETTE, 3/11).  In Toronto, Stephen Brunt writes on
     the economic troubles of the Expos and NHL Oilers.  Brunt:
     "Do enough people in Montreal give a damn if the Expos stay
     or go? In the months since the stadium project and the
     deadline were first made public, the answer has seemed to be
     no.  There hasn't been the sense of urgency, of crisis, that
     went with the Jets' departure from Winnipeg, or the Oilers'
     struggles.  Interest in the Expos, if you judge by the
     turnstile count, is at a low ebb" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/11).

          Disney signed a 10-year deal with PepsiCo for pouring
     rights at Edison Int'l Field, according to the L.A. TIMES. 
     Terms were not disclosed.  According to the report, "Coca-
     Cola Co. walked away from a new contract to be the sole soft
     drink supplier" at Edison Field, "[b]reaking a long-standing
     arrangement with Walt Disney Co."  Coke, which has been the
     sole soft drink supplier to Disney's theme parks since 1955,
     had the right to match Pepsi's offer but "decided that the
     price was too high" (L.A. TIMES, 3/11).  The deal gives
     Pepsi pouring exclusivity in eight MLB parks, while Coke has
     rights to the other 22 parks (Skip Wollenberg, AP, 3/11).