HAVE THE EXPOS PLAYED THEIR LAST GAME IN MONTREAL?
Finance Minister Bernard Landry "shot down a new
proposal" to finance a downtown Montreal ballpark for the
Expos with government-guaranteed bonds that would be repaid
out of taxes on players' salaries, according to Clark &
Gyulai of the Montreal GAZETTE. The Quebec government has
said repeatedly that "it will not guarantee debt racked up
to build a new stadium," and Landry said yesterday that it
"has no intention of changing that refusal." Landry: "A
guarantee is a guarantee. And if you sign somewhere, it
means that ultimately you could have to pay. I think that
the figures are not there. Mathematically, I think it's
nonsense." The Expos have set September 30 as the deadline
for coming up with a financing plan for a new stadium. Team
President Claude Brochu has warned that the team "may be
sold if the stadium plan does not come together by the
deadline" (Clark & Gyulai, Montreal GAZETTE, 9/17).
HOME FINALE: The Expos drew 13,540 for last night's
home finale, bringing the season total to 914,909 -- the
third-lowest total in team history. The Expos drew 908,292
in '75 and 646,704 in '76, the team's last season at Jarry
Park (AP/ESPN.com, 9/17). In Montreal, Jack Todd writes
that at the home final, which was "perhaps the final home
game in their 30-year history in Montreal -- the sharks were
already circling" (Montreal GAZETTE, 9/17).
WAITING FOR BROCHU: Beaver Sports' Don Beaver, who
"wants to bring big league baseball to Charlotte, will have
to wait a while" to see what happens with the Expos. The
Expos "won't seek permission to talk to potential buyers
until after" the September 30 deadline. Expos spokesperson
Sina Gabrielli: "It all just depends what happens September
30" (Foon Rhee, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/17).