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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 9, 1995

Team Set to Begin Play in 1998

ARIZONA GRANTED MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL FRANCHISE

PHOENIX -- The dream of Major League Baseball in Arizona officially became reality today when the Grand Canyon State was granted a franchise to begin play in 1998.

Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig made the announcement in Palm Beach, Fla., where league owners are holding their quarterly meetings. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., also was granted a franchise to begin play the same year.

The local franchise will be called the Arizona Diamondbacks. The name was chosen out of thousands submitted in a statewide name-the-team contest conducted last month.

The team colors will be Arizona turquoise, copper, black and purple. Turquoise was chosen because the greenish-blue stone is indigenous to Arizona, copper because Arizona is one the nation's top copper-producing states and purple because it has become a favorite color for Arizona sports fans, thanks to the success of the National Basketball Association's Phoenix Suns.

"It's a historic day for the state of Arizona," said Jerry Colangelo, the president and chief operating officer of the Suns, who will be the managing partner of the new baseball franchise. "I was asked more than a year ago by local civic and political leaders to put together an investor group and give this state its best chance to land a Major League Baseball franchise. Thanks to the hard work and persistence of hundreds of people, today the hope of Major League Baseball has become a reality."

The Diamondbacks will play in a retractable-dome stadium in downtown Phoenix, on a site bounded by Fourth Street to the west and Seventh Street to the east, Jefferson Street on the north and the Southern Pacific railroad tracks on the south.

"The stadium, a $238 million public investment, will revitalize our community and will be a push for economic development in all of Maricopa County," Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Garrido Wilcox said.

Arizona Gov. Fife Symington said, "This is a great day for the State of Arizona and particularly Maricopa County. "We have all seen the tremendous economic benefits of America West Arena and the Phoenix Suns to our downtown area. We can now add to that Major League Baseball. I am very proud of Arizona's effort and Jerry Colangelo's leadership in scoring a Major League franchise for the state."

Diamondbacks season tickets go on sale for a five-day period beginning Friday, March 10. A $50, non-refundable deposit is required. To reserve season tickets, fans may fill out an application appearing in Sunday's edition of The Arizona Republic or call the Diamondbacks' Customer Service Office at (602) 514-8400.

Brochures also will be available at Circle K convenience stores beginning Monday. Reservations for priority seating must be made by Tuesday, March 14. Reservations and deposits will be taken after that date, but priority seating cannot be guaranteed. Fans who apply for season tickets before June 1 will be assigned seating based on a daily random lottery. Applications received after that date will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.


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