M A J O R _ L E A G U E _ B A S E B A L L

Padres, Cardinals
to play in Hawaii

The three-game series set for April 19-20
at Aloha Stadium is finalized today

By Paul Arnett
and Mike Yuen

The San Diego Padres believe that playing the St. Louis Cardinals at Aloha Stadium in April will help establish a local following and serve as a stepping stone to giving the major-league baseball organization more international appeal.

A doubleheader between the two National League clubs, which clashed in the playoffs last season is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. April 19 with a single game set for 2:05 p.m. April 20. That game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.

Tickets - priced at $8, $10, $16 and $20 - go on sale today at Aloha Stadium and isle military bases.

The official announcement of the first major-league series to be played in Hawaii was made this morning by Gov. Ben Cayetano, San Diego Padres vice president Bob Wells and first baseman Wally Joyner.

"We are proud and excited to welcome the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals for this historical in-season visit to our island paradise," said Cayetano, who plans to attend the three-game series.

"The return of the Padres renews a long relationship the people of Hawaii have shared with San Diego, which we hope to continue by making the Padres Paradise Series an annual event in Hawaii," Cayetano said.

For many years, the now-defunct Hawaii Islanders, a triple-A minor league team, played at Aloha Stadium as part of the Padres farm system. The Padres' Tony Gwynn, one of baseball's best hitters, was on the Islanders' 1982 team.

In 1975, when Aloha Stadium opened, the Padres played the Seibu Lions, one of Japan's professional baseball teams, in an exhibition series.

Charles Steinberg, Padres vice president of public affairs, told the San Diego Union on Sunday that the three-game series is a dry run for future exhibition games in Hawaii. The Padres have hopes of playing a major-league series in Japan someday.

"Hawaii is another place for us to plant our flag," Steinberg said. "We want to plant our flag in as many places as we can. Wouldn't you like to believe that Padres baseball is on radio every day in Hawaii?

"You're going to drive up interest in Hawaii. Maybe there is a great business arrangement, say a corporate sign goes up in (San Diego's Jack Murphy Stadium) and it is seen in Mexico and Hawaii.

"Maybe another business sees it, and says I want to do business with you. You can market your club internationally just as Coke and Disney do. Just because you have your names associated with a good ballclub, it's a value from having a good name. We have to be fashionable and that's done by doing goodwill."

The Padres will be hard-pressed to make any money on this project. If the series were played in San Diego, the three games would likely draw 100,000 fans.

Local sports marketer Jack Wiers, who helped put this series together last summer, believes the Padres can draw up to 35,000 each day if it's handled properly. "This is a great event for Hawaii," Wiers said. "You could see the Padres using this series to help further market themselves internationally. It's a really good business venture for them."

Last August, the Padres played a three-game series against the New York Mets in Monterrey, Mexico.

New corporate name
for San Diego stadium

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO - The city and Qualcomm Inc. have reached an agreement to rename Jack Murphy Stadium after the high-tech company in exchange for $18 million in cash needed to complete expansion of the facility.

Under the deal, which still must be approved by the city council, the stadium would be called Qualcomm Stadium at Jack Murphy Sports Complex. Final approval could occur late today.

The Qualcomm deal should be the final chapter of a controversial $78 million saga that had threatened to move the 1998 Super Bowl to Pasadena and the San Diego Chargers to the Los Angeles area.

The deal would strip a beloved name from San Diego's stadium.

Murphy, a San Diego Union sportswriter who died in 1980, was instrumental in bringing the Chargers from Los Angeles to San Diego and getting the stadium built.

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