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         VANCOUVER: The Grizzlies have "about 8,500 seats spoken for"
    in their quest to meet the NBA-imposed quota of 15,000 by
    December 31.  What "concerns" Grizzlies VP/GM Stu Jackson is that
    the team hasn't "made appreciable gains in ticket sales since an
    early flourish" last spring.  Jackson said that the people of
    Vancouver "don't necessarily share our sense of urgency."  Some
    question how fair the NBA mandate of 15,000 season ticket sales
    is for an expansion team, as "only a handful of teams -- Suns,
    Bulls, Knicks, and Hornets  -- exceed 15,000 in sales.  More
    typically, NBA teams have sales between 10,000-12,000."  Jackson:
    "It is probably not appropriate for me to comment on what's
    reasonable or unreasonable.  It is a figure that has been handed
    to us and we've got to meet it" (Dan Stinson, VANCOUVER SUN,
         TORONTO:  The Raptors officially kicked off their season
    ticket campaign yesterday.  Although they have yet to sell a
    ticket, Raptors President John Bitove does not "anticipate any
    problem" meeting the NBA deadline.  The team will sell tickets
    with a license fee -- a first for a Canadian franchise -- which
    gives a ticket buyer ownership of the seat.  The fee will be
    mandatory for all five seating levels in the lower bowl of
    Skydome.  During the first two years of play at SkyDome, the
    Raptors will offer a $5 ticket, the lowest price in the NBA.
    Ticket plans and licenses sold will be transferrable when the
    team moves to its new arena (James Christie, Toronto GLOBE &
    MAIL, 10/7).

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Chicago Bulls, Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors

         Pittsburgh city officials "flatly" denied requests for a
    two-week extension on today's deadline for Pirates bids.  Bill
    Craig, GM of KBL Sports Network, a susidiary of TCI's Liberty
    Sports, will still submit a bid, but said, "It's not going to be
    as good as we would like."  Craig maintained KBL would buy the
    team only if all other bids fell through.  Robert Caporale,
    attorney for Penguins Owner Howard Baldwin, said he would file
    papers "in an attempt to keep his client's name alive" -- but he
    would not call it a formal bid.  Baldwin had argued for an
    extension, citing the NHL labor negotiations and charging city
    officials with "unilaterally" setting a deadline.  Former Orioles
    President Larry Lucchino declined to say whether he would bid.
    But Craig said there may be room for Lucchino to join the KBL
    group.  Cleveland investment banker Jeffrey Moffie is no longer
    on the city's list, but he may tell the city he has lined up two
    more investors with Pittsburgh ties.  Moffie is not submitting a
    proposal today but said his group would "make it impossible" to
    be outbid.  Other groups working on bids include the Steelers'
    Rooney family, Adelphia Communications Chair John Rigas and
    Florida financier Malcolm Glazer (Steve Halvonik, PITTSBURGH
    GAZETTE, 10/7).

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Cablevision, Franchises, New York Liberty, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers

         St. Louis' NFL franchise group, FANS Inc., announced
    commitments for 86 of 100 luxury suites as of yesterday.  The
    list includes suites withheld for the Rams as part of the team's
    "wish list."  FANS point man Tom Eagleton said FANS "would like
    nothing better" than to have a sell-out in time for the formal
    proposal in L.A. next week.  13 more companies have reserved
    suites than did for the 85 boxes sold during St. Louis '93
    expansion drive.  Next week, volunteers will call club seat
    holders from the expansion drive about renewing commitments for a
    portion of the 6,300 club seats (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST
    DISPATCH, 10/7).
         "YES OR NO": Orioles Owner Peter Angelos is "pressing for a
    decision" about the possibility of moving the Rams to Baltimore.
    Angelos thinks the decision will be made "before the end of the
    month" (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 10/7).

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, NFL, LA Rams
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