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Selig Unfazed by Brewers Payroll

January 22, 1998

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ The Milwaukee Brewers’ expected record payroll this year doesn’t worry team president Bud Selig.

The Brewers have 18 players signed for 1998 at an aggregate cost of more than $27 million.

The pricetag for signing two arbitration-eligible players, Jeromy Burnitz and Jose Mercedes, will be a minimum of $2.115 million, based on figures filed Monday.

Add in the rest of the 40-man roster and you have a payroll headed for about $30 million or more.

The highest payroll in Brewers history was $29.8 million in 1992, the last year the team had a winning record.

``The fact of the matter is I know where the payroll is headed, as do (general manager) Sal (Bando) and (club vice president) Wendy (Selig-Prieb) and (negotiator) Tom Gausden and everyone else,″ Selig said. ``And we’re not uncomfortable with it.″

Buoyed by the team’s move to the National League last fall and the scheduled opening of the retractable-roof Miller Park in 2000, season ticket sales are on track to surpass the previous high of 8,994, set in 1993, said Bob Voight, vice president for ticket sales.

``Right now, we are about a hundred sales ahead of that pace at a comparable time,″ Voight said.

And that’s despite the distraction for fans of the Green Bay Packers’ run to Sunday’s Super Bowl.

``A lot of people are telling us they’re interested in season tickets, but please call back after the Super Bowl,″ said Voight, who noted that new buyers have until Feb. 27 to take advantage of discounted packages.

Selig said he is committed to building a solid contender leading up to the opening of Miller Park, when anticipated revenue increases will allow continued payroll growth.

``We believe in keeping our club intact and watching it grow, which I certainly believe it has with the addition of (center fielder) Marquis Grissom and others,″ Selig said.

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