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  • CFL FRANCHISE NOTES

         SAN ANTONIO:  Local businessman Tom Herring "apparently will
    have the first chance" at owning a CFL franchise.  Calgary
    Stampeders owner Larry Ryckman said yesterday he will allow
    Herring to choose whether he wants a team at the Alamodome before
    making his decision on where the Stampeders play next season.
    Herring plans to meet with league officials in early October
    about his possible ownership group.  Herring has not decided
    whether to pursue a team for next season or wait for '96.
    Ryckman said the league "has heard from other potential owners
    should Herring not push to have a team in San Antonio next
    season."  Franchises in Las Vegas and Hamilton could be
    relocation targets "if an expansion team doesn't materialize."
    Cost of a CFL expansion franchise is $6M, with a $6M line of
    credit to cover operating costs during the first season.  There
    is also a one-time $100,000 application fee (Tim Griffin, SAN
    ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 9/22).
         BALTIMORE:  In Washington, Christine Brennan writes that the
    city has "thoroughly embraced" the CFL.  Attendance for
    Baltimore's five home games:
    DATE VISITOR   ATTENDANCE
         July 16             Calgary             39,247
    July 23             Shreveport          31,172
    August 10           Hamilton            37,231
    August 20           Toronto             41,155
    September 10        Sacramento          42,116
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Franchises
  • CHECKETTS CHECKS IN AS INTERIM MSG HEAD

         One day after Bob Gutkowski's dismissal as the president of
    Madison Square Garden, his interim replacement, Dave Checketts,
    said his "immediate goal is to break the logjam in contract
    negotiations" with Rangers star center Mark Messier.  But in a
    break from his predecessor, Checketts said he would let Rangers
    President/GM Neil Smith conduct the negotiations.  And "in
    another break from Gutkowski," Checketts said he would not
    discuss any progress in the talks with the news media.  Checketts
    new role "may indeed be temporary."  Viacom will conduct a search
    for a permanent MSG president.  Checketts: "I was told I would be
    a candidate" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 9/22).
    Checketts, on the possible resale of the Knicks and Rangers: "I
    have been told by Cablevision/ITT executives that the teams are
    not going to be resold" (N.Y. POST, 9/22).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Franchises, Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks, Viacom
  • ISSUES LINGER OVER KEENAN'S ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK

         In New York, Jay Greenberg reports that the Rangers have not
    fulfilled promises the team allegedly made following the
    departure of former coach Mike Keenan.  Among the issues:  The
    Rangers had agreed to drop a lawsuit against Keenan as part of
    the settlement that freed their former coach to go to the Blues;
    the Rangers have also refused to pay $208,000 the team owes
    Keenan; Blues President Jack Quinn alleges that Rangers GM Neil
    Smith has not met with Quinn to discuss a trade to supplement the
    deal that Petr Nedved to the Rangers.  Quinn said he contacted
    Smith last Saturday about the trade: "Neil was a little faint of
    memory.  I indicated to him that this was not a figment of my
    imagination."  While the promise of a supplemental trade is not
    in writing, Quinn said he is considering meeting with NHL
    Commissioner Gary Bettman to resolve the matter (N.Y. POST,
    9/27).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NHL, St. Louis Blues
  • NASHVILLE COUNCIL REJECTS STADIUM PROPOSAL; BYE-BYE BASEBALL

         The Nashville Metro Council turned back a proposal that
    would have allowed the public to vote on a tax to fund a new $48M
    baseball stadium.  Following the vote, Nashville Sounds President
    Larry Schmittou declared that he will no longer attempt to
    attract a MLB franchise to Nashville.  An "embittered" Schmittou
    said that the council had "not only scuttled" efforts to bring
    MLB to Nashville, but "failed the public as well."  The defeat
    also blunted Shmittou's "guarantee" that he would bring a CFL
    franchise to the city  (Jeff Wilkinson, Nashville BANNER, 9/21).
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Franchises, MLB
  • ROCKIES SEASON-TICKETS AT COORS FIELD RAISING CANE

         "Still smarting" from the 30% increase in next year's ticket
    prices, Rockies fans are beginning to question the club's policy
    for transferring reserved seats from Mile High Stadium to Coors
    Field.  For many season-ticket holders, "the question is simple:
    Can I improve my seats?"  Rockies Dir of Ticket Sales Sue Ann
    McClaren: "It all depends on cancellations, and how many people
    move into the club seats."  The club hopes to assign seats by
    mid-November when season-ticket holders will be billed for a 33%
    down payment.  Because of construction, fans will not be allowed
    to visit Coors Field to inspect their seats.  "Apparently, the
    only sure-fire option for improving seat location is to move into
    the pricey and exclusive club section."  At $26 a game, a pair of
    season tickets costs $4,160.  About 4,400 club seats will be made
    available (Paul Hutchinson, DENVER POST, 9/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Colorado Rockies, Franchises
  • SPEROS JOINS NORTHERN VIRGINIA GROUP SCOUTING FOR A TEAM

         Baltimore's CFL owner Jim Speros joined an investment group
    trying to bring a baseball franchise to Northern Virginia.  But
    organizers still face "uncertainty over when and if baseball will
    expand and the possible opposition of the Orioles."  The group,
    seeking a team through expansion or relocation, is one of nine
    groups that submitted expansion plans to MLB.  William Collins,
    Chair of Virginia Baseball Club Inc., believes the current group
    has the "market and resources" missing from previous bids in the
    DC area.  His group of 25 investors has a net worth of $350M and
    has pledged $98M to the effort.  They are currently exploring
    five sites in the Northern VA area to build a baseball-only
    stadium -- all approximately 60 miles from Baltimore.  Orioles
    Owner Peter Angelos would not say if he would fight such a move,
    but he expressed confidence in the loyatly of Orioles fans:  "Is
    it something that worries me?  The answer is no" (Jon Morgan,
    Baltimore SUN, 9/27).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, CFL, Franchises, MLB
  • TIMBERWOLVES AND TARGET CENTER: I'S DOTTED, T'S CROSSED

         The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission and the new
    ownership of the Timberwolves reached agreement on "everything
    that's important" for a Target Center lease, according to
    commission chair Henry Savelkoul.  The deal "seems to guarantee
    that pro basketball will remain in the Twin Cities for the next
    30 years."  The commission votes on the deal tomorrow, which will
    likely trigger votes by the Minneapolis City Council and
    Metropolitan Council approving the $75M public purchase of the
    "debt-ridden" facility.  Under the agreement, the first $5.8M in
    ticket-tax revenues will pay off bonds used to finance the
    purchase.  The Wolves will pay no rent, but there will be a 10%
    tax and at least a $1 surcharge on each ticket sold to a Target
    Center event.  About $11.25M -- $750,000 for 15 years -- will
    come from the state's general fund, as generated by a tax on
    health club memberships.  Savelkoul is confident that the deal
    will prevent the imposition of a downtown liquor and hotel tax,
    which would become permanent if the arena's revenues don't cover
    the annual bond payments.  New Wolves Owner Glen Taylor "has
    expressed a desire to bring an NHL team to the arena," and
    Savelkoul believes the deal can allow for that (Jay Wiener,
    Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/24).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Minnesota Timberwolves, NHL
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