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CANADIANS SEE A TOUGHER INITIATION FOR NBA EXPANSION TEAMS

     In Vancouver, Mike Beamish compares the last round of NHL
expansion (Anaheim & Florida) with the latest round of NBA
expansion (Toronto and Vancouver), and concludes when the NHL
decided to expand, "Rather than just the dregs, which is what any
previous expansion team had been offered, the Panthers and Mighty
Ducks were allowed to be respectable in their first season in the
interests of establishing a hockey footprint in the American
Sunbelt."  By the same process, the NBA, "a league accustomed to
innovation and less rigid infrastructure, chose the traditional
style when it made its move into Canada.  The theme of the latest
NBA shakedown:  Let's hose the hosers."  The new NBA teams had to
pay an entry fee of $125M, but will only get the 6th or 7th pick
in the '95 draft, and the current teams will get to protect eight
players on their 12 man rosters for the expansion draft.  Other
restraints:  the new teams have agreed to a $10.6M salary cap in
their first year versus the approximately $16M for other teams
(VANCOUVER SUN, 10/4).  The cap rises to 75% of the league's cap
in the 2nd season, and then equal in the 3r.  The expansion draft
is tentatively scheduled for June 21 in Toronto -- a week before
the regular NBA draft (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/4).
     VANCOUVER WATCH:  The Grizzlies have "deposits on hand" for
just over 7,000 season tickets and 1,244 suite seats at "now
under-construction" General Motors Place.  The NBA requires that
50% of the dollar value of a minimum 15,000 season tickets be in
place by December 31.  With that deadline "hanging around their
necks like an albatross," the Grizzlies announced three new
ticket-buying plans -- aimed at "casual fans, youngsters who
attend elementary or high school, and employees who may want to
purchase season tickets through payroll deductions if their
companies participate."  Grizzlies VP/GM Stu Jackson admitted
it's difficult for the Grizzlies to create a "sense of urgency
for ticket buying."  But he adds: "In-house, there's a real sense
of urgency" (Dan Stinson, VANCOUVER SUN, 10/4).
     WORK STOPPAGE GOOD FOR VANCOUVER:  "The only possible silver
lining of a shutdown" for Vancouver is that the '94-95 season
might be delayed -- and with it the "onerous stipulation that the
Grizzlies must come up with 15,000 season ticket buyers" by
December 15.  But then any work stoppage "might bring out the
fans' frankly-I-don't-give-a-damn resentment" (Mike Beamish,
VANCOUVER SUN, 10/4).
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