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  • ATLANTA'S IHL TEAM EXPECTS SEASON-TICKET RISE

         After a successful first season and winning the league's
    title in their 2nd, the IHL's Atlanta Knights open their season
    "on a wave of popularity."  Knights president Richard Adler
    expects a 25% increase in season-ticket sales over last year up
    to about 4,000.  He's projecting a 10-15% jump in attendance per
    game.  Last year, the Knights averaged 8,463, 2nd in the IHL.
    But Adler said he's "foregone his original plans to bring an NHL
    team here and will stay with the growing IHL."  The IHL is adding
    franchises in Houston, Denver, St. Paul, Detroit and Chicago this
    year and plans to expand into Europe next year.  "He shrugs about
    reports that Ted Turner wants to bring an NHL team here": "I'm
    just going to keep on doing my own thing" (Louis Mayeux, ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 10/5).
         ARENA PLANS ON HOLD:  The Knights, who last month unveiled
    plans to build a new arena, have reconsidered.  Adler said the
    team will let its option on a 120-acre site expire and delay a
    decision on whether to build a new home.  The Knights, since
    unveiling the arena plan September 9, have re-negotiated their
    lease with the Omni through '96-97. They are discussing an option
    for two more years, or through '98-99.  The Knights decided
    "there were too many variables to proceed."  One unknown is
    Turner Broadcasting, which owns the Hawks.  TBS has said it will
    build a new arena but has not determined whether it will be
    downtown or in the Atlanta suburbs (Tim Tucker, ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 10/5).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Franchises, NHL, TBS/TNT, Time Warner
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

         Hartford's AFL franchise will be called the Connecticut
    Coyotes, with midnight blue, silver and red as their colors.  The
    Coyotes will play at Hartford Civic Center, beginning in May 1995
    (HARTFORD COURANT, 10/5)....The ongoing sale of the Harrisburg
    Senators, a AA-franchise, has taken "far longer to complete than
    anticipated."  Owners Jerome Mileur and Scott Carter had agreed
    to sell to William Collins, but they are reportedly turning to
    another unknown ownership group.  Collins, whose group owns Class
    A teams in Greensboro, NC and Madison, WI, has threatened
    litigation if the team is not sold to him as promised (Harrisburg
    PATRIOT-NEWS, 10/3)....The first-year CFL Shreveport Pirates are
    asking taxpayers to guarantee a loan of up to $4.5M, but are
    getting a "cool response" from city and state officials.  Team
    officials say the Pirates are expected to lose up to $2M more
    than anticipated (AP, 10/5).
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, CFL, Franchises, Ottawa Senators, Arizona Coyotes, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • STAVRO DEFENDS MLG SALE, IN COURT, AND IN LEAFS' MEDIA GUIDE

         Steve Stavro's bid to buy Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd. has been
    challenged by the Public Trustee of Ontario.  In a few months,
    the two sides will meet in court where a judge will decide if the
    sale goes through.  The Trustee argues that Stavro "misused his
    position" as both MLG Chair and executor of the Ballard estate by
    selling himself" a 60% in MLG held by the estate (William
    Houston, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/5).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises
  • TAKING SHOTS AT THS NFL'S L.A. STADIUM BALLOON

         In St. Louis this morning, Bernie Miklasz criticizes NFL
    Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's "frivolous attempt at entering the
    stadium home-improvement business" and predicts that the NFL
    would get "slapped with the George Halas of all antitrust suits"
    if the league built a stadium for a "preferred" city such as L.A.
    and blocked efforts in St. Louis and Baltimore to attract the
    Rams.  Miklasz also notes that despite the NFL's "double
    standard" which favors large-over medium-market cities, Rams
    President John Shaw is "shrewd" enough to realize that an NFL-
    sponsored stadium wouldn't be a "cure-all" for the Rams problems.
    L.A.'s apathy toward the Rams is "alarming" and team officials
    would miss a chance for a "sweetheart deal" in St. Louis if the
    team is "stuck" in L.A. should the Raiders move first.  "The NFL
    can't give [Rams Owner Georgia] Frontiere a future in L.A.  Build
    the stadium, sure.  But will the NFL put the fans in the seats,
    too?" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 10/5).             APPROVE THE
    MOVE?  While many NFL owners are "less than thrilled" about a
    Rams move, their "collective opinions might not count for squat."
    Eight owners would have to vote to block and the Eagles' Jeff
    Lurie, Cowboys' Jerry Jones, and Colts' James Irsay have all
    "indicated" opposition.  But Shaw is "inclined to ignore" any
    vote to block the move.  Shaw:  "I've given a lot of thought to
    what our options would be."  The NFL's court record on franchise
    moves "isn't strong" and Anaheim's legal options are "thin."
    Leigh Steinberg, co-chair of Save the Rams, said once the NFL
    sees "how committed" Southern CA is to its team, "it will
    instantly change their perspective."  Steinberg favors a grass-
    roots fan effort over legal action (Himmelberg & Mouchard, ORANGE
    COUNTY REGISTER, 10/4).
         JUMPING THE GUN?  The ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH also reports
    this morning that 12-15 sites are being considered on which to
    build a $15M practice and office facility for the Rams (Jim
    Thomas, POST-DISPATCH, 10/5).
         ANGELOS FRONT AND CENTER:  Orioles Owner Peter Angelos met
    with Tagliabue in New York last month to "explain his interest"
    in bringing a franchise to Baltimore, according to a report in
    this morning's Baltimore SUN.  NFL Spokesperson Greg Aiello:  "I
    wouldn't construe it to be highly unusual."  Angelos said he is
    "pleased" that NFL owners' approval of a new Redskins stadium in
    Laurel, MD, "doesn't preclude" a franchise in Baltimore.  But he
    also noted that the MD Stadium Authority and his football
    investment partners have "sufficient" resources to "cover court
    costs" should a legal battle ensue (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN,
    10/5).
         THE NEXT WAYNE HUIZENGA?  Thomas Boswell predicts that
    either Angelos "is going to be a big man in America's games.  Or
    he's going to get burned" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/5).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Dallas Cowboys, Franchises, Indianapolis Colts, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins
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