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FILING DEADLINE FOR TRIPLE-A FRANCHISE EXTENDED

FILING DEADLINE FOR TRIPLE-A FRANCHISE EXTENDED

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The deadline for filing an application for a possible Triple-A franchise to be in place when minor league baseball expands at that level in 1993 originally was set for today, but has been extended until Monday.

``We did it because of the weekend involved,' said Triple-A Alliance commissioner Randy Mobley, who told the News & Record from his hotel room in Omaha, Neb., that Greensboro owner Steve Bryant had not filed one as of midday Friday.It would have to be accompanied by a non-refundable $5,000 fee.

Bryant announced earlier at a press conference here several weeks ago that he planned to file an application, and one day later he also released a statement in Raleigh that he was going to file one for that city.

``We sent out 24 applications by request,' said Mobley, ``and those interested in being considered for one of the two expansion franchises would need to be in by Monday (Sept. 17).' Durham had filed its application, according to Mobley, but nothing had been received from anyone in Raleigh. Charlotte also had requested an application.

According to Mobley, the seven-man expansion committee which has former Greensboro owner Larry Schmittou as its chairman, hopes to get down to serious business by the middle of next summer - or at least by early fall of next year. Before then, the committee will review each application.

``All those making application will be invited to appear before the committee,' said Mobley. Three important criteria he mentioned that would weigh heavily on any decision of the final two choices include soundness of ownership, a suitable facility and the relationship between the owner or owners of the facility and the franchise owner.

``The lease would have to be fair to the club owner,' said Mobley, ``or he would not be able to successfully operate a team.'

How does the commissioner view Greensboro as a viable candidate?

``First, let me say that Greensboro has an excellent history in professional baseball,' said Mobley. ``On our level we like to do things that make sense geographically, and I think Greensboro could fit into several areas.

``There are Richmond and Tidewater just down the road in the International League, and we have Nashville in the American Association. It's not too far away and we have a habit of selecting sites by pairs - such as the possibility of adding any two of the four cities of Greensboro, Charlotte, Raleigh or Durham.'

He expected each to meet Monday's extended deadline.

Mobley said it did not bother him that Bryant already had a bid in for a possible expansion franchise in the Double-A Southern League. ``I don't know the particulars and that's something we certainly would want to know before any decisions are made.'

A suitable stadium would not necessarily have to be in place when a franchise is awarded, according to Mobley, but ``we would have to have guarantees that it would be available for the 1993 season.'

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