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         A judge has ordered the release of files from Miller
    Thomson, the former law firm for the estate of Harold Ballard and
    Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd. (MLG) to two Ontario agencies that "want
    to unwind the recent takeover of the hockey franchise."  But the
    agencies and the estate still need to decide what files "must be
    released" from the firm. MLG fired Miller Thomson in late '90 and
    the firm "resigned from the estate a few months later, after
    executors had rejected their advice.  Stavro, executor of
    Ballard's estate is being accused by Ontario's Public Trustee of
    breaching the estate's fiduciary duties by selling himself a "key
    Gardens block."  Miller Thomson had advised Stavro "not to
    proceed" with the special option to buy into MLG without court
    approval (Tony Van Alphen, TORONTO STAR, 10/13).

    Print | Tags: Franchises

         The TORONTO SUN reports that "the Raptors and other
    expansion groups were guest of the IHL two weeks ago."  The
    meeting took place at The Palace in Auburn Hills, MI, and IHL
    spokesman Tim Bryant confirmed there was a Raptors representative
    present.  This comes on the heels of yesterday's announcement
    that plans for an NBA facility in Toronto were scratched after
    Raptors President John Bitove saw the economic viability of
    adding a hockey franchise to the facility (Craig Daniels, TORONTO
    SUN, 10/13).
         FIREPUCK HITS THE ICE IN MINNESOTA  The Firepuck made its
    debut last night during the IHL Atlanta-Minnesota game.  The
    puck, with a silver stripe on the outside, yellow reflective
    material on the top and bottom and enhanced lighting from the TV,
    is meant to make it easier for fans to follow (Tim Harper,
    TORONTO STAR, 10/13)

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Toronto Raptors

         FANS Inc., the St. Louis group heading up the effort to lure
    the Rams, "delivered a lucrative invitation" to the team
    yesterday "imploring them to move to a sparkling" $258M stadium
    with up to $90M in cash incentives.  Rams President John Shaw
    declined comment after his 4 1/2 hour meeting with FANS, and no
    decision by the Rams "appears imminent" (Himmelberg & Mouchard,
    ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 10/13).  FANS head Thomas Eagleton: "We
    thought it was a good meeting.  They asked very intelligent
    questions."  Eagleton said they discussed the domed stadium
    project, the stadium lease, the proposed practice facility and
    the permanent seat license plan.  Eagleton expects to hear back
    from the Rams soon: "They're going to make some comments to us
    both on the telephone and in writing over the next two or three
    weeks, and we'll be in touch back and forth" (Jim Thomas, ST.
    LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/13).  This week's developments "are also
    likely to provoke discussion in NFL circles about the impact of a
    possible Rams move" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 10/13).
    Baltimore's effort to land an NFL team say the initial rejection
    of the Redskins' proposed stadium in Laurel, MD -- 20 minutes
    from Baltimore -- "represents a significant timely boost for the
    city's 10-year drive to return to the league."  Orioles Owner
    Peter Angelos: "It is better because it clears the air and
    eliminates the contention raised by the Redskins that the area
    cannot support two teams."  Rams spokesperson Heidi Sinclair: "It
    makes that market more attractive" (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN,
         PLAYING POLITICS?   The Rams have made three separate
    contributions totaling $25,000 to CA Governor Pete Wilson's re-
    election campaign.  Rams President John Shaw said that the team
    made the campaign contribution based on the advice of the team's
    political consultant: "I really have no comment other than to say
    we support a number of candidates from different political
    parties."  But UC/Irvine political science professor Mark
    Petracca speculated that the Rams contribution indicated the team
    is interested in a state-financed stadium: "It may mean something
    after the election if Wilson wins and all of a sudden you see tax
    dollars shifting over their way."  Orange County Supervisor
    William Steiner, a member of Save the Rams, said that the
    political contribution is a "sign that they want to stay and they
    want to be involved in California and our future" (Pasco &
    Kingsley, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 10/12).

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, NFL, LA Rams, Washington Redskins, Wilson Sporting Goods
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