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Owners Worry About Expos’ Future

June 3, 2000

MONTREAL (AP) _ Some of the partners of new Expos controlling owner Jeffrey Loria are concerned about the team’s future.

Local investors own 76 percent of the Expos, while Loria, a New York art dealer Jeffrey Loria, controls the team after investing about $12 million.

Henri Masse, president of the Quebec Federation of Labour, said Friday the end of NL baseball in Montreal ``seems to be getting near.″

Raymond Bachand, head of the Solidarity Fund, suggested Thursday the club’s survival is at stake. ``There’s always hope until it’s over, but it’s difficult,″ he said.

Reports said the rift between the local owners and Loria grew May 18 when he demanded they invest an extra $20 million this year and $26 million next year.

Paul Delage Roberge, head of Boutiques San Francisco, said this week that he and other local owners are getting ready to go public with their concerns.

``I think all the stakeholders are a bit worried now,″ Roberge said.

Other local owners include BCE, Canadian Pacific, Le Groupe Jean-Coutu, the Montreal and western Quebec federation of credit unions and the City of Montreal.

Meanwhile, work on a new downtown ballpark hasn’t started even though construction was to have begun this spring.

Originally, plans called for an open-air stadium that would cost $133 million and be ready for the 2002 season. But reports say Loria now wants a $180 million stadium with a roof.

Meanwhile, the Expos don’t have local TV or English radio contracts.

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