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City of Provo Plans To Host A Pioneer League Team; Buzz Owner Balks

January 31, 1996

PROVO, Utah (AP) _ City and community leaders unveiled a plan Tuesday to bring a minor league baseball team to Provo in 1997 and to build a $6 million, 5,000-seat stadium.

However, Joe Buzas, owner of the Class AAA Salt Lake Buzz of the Pacific Coast League, said he would have to be paid ``big money″ to allow the plan to go forward in his team’s back yard.

``If they want to pay me money maybe I’ll talk with them, but they’re going to pay me big money,″ said Buzas. ``The Provo territory is real important to us. ... People come up here from there quite a bit.″

The proposed Class A Pioneer League expansion franchise in Provo would be just 45 miles from Franklin Quest Field in Salt Lake City where the Buzz plays its home games.

The Florida-based National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, which governs virtually all minor-league baseball, determines how markets are shared.

During the group’s winter meetings, the association undertook broad reforms in which the turf controlled by franchises is now defined by political boundaries, said association spokesman Jim Ferguson.

Buzas, when he founded the Buzz in 1994, had territorial rights to within 35 miles of Franklin Quest Field. The November change gave him Salt Lake County and every adjacent county including Utah County, where Provo is the county seat.

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