In announcing the re-signing of manager Tony LaRussa yesterday, A's CEO Wally Haas also acknowledged that the team will remain in Oakland through 1995. But Haas said that the A's still remain on the market and would continue to search for a prospective buyer. Haas did not waive the December 6 deadline that has been given to Alameda County officials to find a buyer committed to keeping the team in Oakland. Oakland Coliseum Board Member James Vohs said he remains "optimistic" a buyer can be found by the deadline (Larry Slonaker, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/19).
The Tribune Company's combined revenues for the publishing, broadcasting and entertainment business declined 4.3% for the September period, showed a 5.5% increase in the 3rd quarter and went up 9.1% for the year-to-date. Combined broadcasting and entertainment revenues were down 20.8%, "primarily" from the loss of broadcasting revenues from Trib stations carrying baseball, and the loss of Cubs revenues due to the strike. Pure entertainment revenues decreased 100% for the period (Tribune Co.).
Whit Hudson, who is attempting to purchase 40% of the Heat from managing partners Billy Cunningham and Lewis Schaffel, confirmed that an "internal conflict" has slowed the transaction. Numerous sources close to the team said that Schaffel "told employees the sale was close to collapsing," but Schaffel said only that he was announcing that he and Cunningham are returning to the front office on a daily basis. Hudson "said he has signed contracts" with Cunningham, Schaffel and majority owner Ted Arison to purchase that team, but that he needs approval from four limited partners before he can submit his ownership application to the NBA. The limited partners own 5% of the team which Hudson said he isn't trying to purchase. Hudson: "There's no problem with my financial package, I can assure you. There just seems to be problems from the partners in there" (Alex Marvez, MIAMI HERALD, 10/19). PARTNER RESPONSE: Limited partner Raanan Katz said he wants "only what's fair to me and what's best for the Heat in the long run" and hopes "the problems will work out." Schaffel denied awareness of any problems with the sale: "I've been in neutral, and it's time to get back to work. ... This is our duty. Maybe if we would have closed two weeks ago, someone else would be running the team." Schaffel said he will talk to Hudson before making personnel any changes (Alex Marvez, MIAMI HERALD, 10/19).
In an attempt to persuade King County officials to build a community-financed stadium, Mariners CEO John Ellis yesterday disclosed the team's financial statement revealing that the team has lost between $42-50M over the past three seasons. At that rate, Ellis told the King County Stadium Alternatives Task Force, Mariners owners will lose $50M by 1995. Ellis contended that the only way to stem the losses is to build a 45-47,000-seat baseball-only stadium and to have MLB reach an agreement on revenue sharing and a salary cap with the players union. Ellis further added that if a publicly-financed stadium is not built, the Mariners would leave Seattle. Ellis: "I'll tell you if it's (baseball) gone, you'll know it, and other communities are standing on their ears [to have a team like the Mariners]." The Task Force did not dispute the team's losses, but several members questioned how the public could pay for a stadium estimated to cost at least $250M. Ellis admitted that even if King County agrees to the stadium, "things might not change" for the team if a new CBA does not include revenue sharing and a cap (Angelo Bruscas, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 10/19).