A group of investors, headed by Bethesda-based real estate developer Morton H. Levine, is "likely" to purchase the management contract for the Washington Commandos Arena Football team, Arena Football President Jim Foster said this week.

If an agreement is reached and then approved at an Arena Football board of directors meeting scheduled for Nov. 24 in Chicago, it is almost certain the Commandos again will play their home games at Capital Centre, according to Barry Silberman, Capital Centre's vice president of arena administration.

Levine, president of Associated Investment Co., said "I can't say it is 100 percent at this time" but added his group is "extremely interested," is "trying to put a deal together" and is "the only group {Arena Football} is dealing with {in Washington}."

After Arena Football's demonstration season last summer, Foster said if local investors did not come forward with the $1.5 million Arena Football is asking for each of the 10 available "limited partnership units," the franchise would be moved. He reiterated that Wednesday night, saying "teams without local investors will not operate this year."

Another investor group, which includes former Washington Redskins Mark Moseley and George Starke, "is still kicking around, but it's definitely on a back burner," Foster said.

Foster said he expects the teams which played last season -- Washington, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Denver -- will be joined by teams in Seattle, Los Angeles, Detroit, Miami and New York. Teams might also be placed in Providence, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Dallas or Cincinnati.

Levine said Arena Football's management structure -- unique in professional sports because the teams are controlled by the league not by the individual owners -- and the Washington franchise's potential as an investment were the main reasons for his interest.

"In other leagues, rich guys get in and dominate salaries," he said. "With this there's a lot more control, more potential for success."

He added, "NBA franchises years ago went for $1 million to $2 million. The last one that was sold went for about $50 million."

However, Levine admitted his considerations were not purely financial.

"I do everything to have fun, from what I do in my business to what I do in my personal life," Levine said. "I think if you can't have fun doing something, it's not worth doing."

Foster said Arena Football's 1988 regular season will last 10 weeks, starting April 29, with two weeks of playoffs, and the Arena Bowl on July 30. Also, the league, whose games were televised exclusively by ESPN, is negotiating an additional contract with Fox Television, Foster said.