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  • ISLANDERS MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE TURNS LOAN INTO EQUITY

         The four-member management committee that has run the
    Islanders since 1992 announced that it has bought 10% of the team
    from majority owner John Pickett, Jr.  Committee Co-Chair & CEO
    Stephen Walsh:  "Our group had previously made a loan to the
    team.  In exchange for that, we converted the loan to equity,
    which makes the team a lot stronger financially."  While there
    has been "confusion" as to who runs the team, the new agreement
    calls for the committee "to have operating control of the
    franchise for the next decade, beginning immediately"  (N.Y.
    TIMES, 11/16).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New York Islanders
  • PITTSBURGH WILL DEAL WITH RIGAS OVER SALE OF PIRATES

         Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy announced that city reached an
    agreement with Adelphia Cable TV President John Rigas "on terms
    relative to the purchase" of the Pirates.  Murphy said he would
    ask the city to formally submit Rigas' name to the team.  Murphy:
    "We are excited about this because it means major league baseball
    will be in Pittsburgh for a long time to come."  The city faced a
    deadline of January 29 to find a buyer to keep the team in
    Pittsburgh.  Rigas will now have to negotiate the purchase of the
    team with the "10-member consortium of companies and individuals
    who own the Pirates," and then get it approved by MLB (Mark
    Hyman, Baltimore SUN, 11/16).  Baseball owners "have frowned on
    additional television based companies from owning teams, twice
    rejecting the sale of the Rangers to broadcast interest."   The
    price tag for the Pirates is estimated at $95-100M, with most
    going to pay off the team's current debt.  The deal with the city
    includes a new stadium lease, and a promise of "good faith" by
    the city to build a "Forbes Field-like baseball-only stadium"
    (AP, 11/16).  Former Orioles President Larry Lucchino, an "early
    favorite" to buy the Pirates, "put his bid on hold" and turned
    his full attention toward a deal for the Padres (Baltimore SUN,
    11/16).  Lucchino and Houston businessman John Moores are
    reportedly in the final stages to buy the Padres.  Lucchino:
    "Because the exceptional San Diego baseball opportunity I have
    been offered is now nearing consummation, it's unreasonable, if
    not impossible for me to continue to participate in the Pirates
    process" (City of Pittsburgh).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres
  • TALE OF TWO BALLCLUBS: MARLINS TIX GO DOWN; ORIOLES UP

         FLORIDA:  Marlins President Don Smiley said that ticket-
    price reductions "will not be limited to season-ticket holders,
    and that 'the Marlins intend to lower prices for individual game-
    day tickets in at least one' of the two categories that already
    have been reduced:  terrace box and mezzanine reserved."  Smiley:
    "We know we're going to have to reach out and get aggressive in
    the marketing of this ballclub, especially in light of the
    shortened 1994 season" (Susan Miller Degnan, MIAMI HERALD,
    11/16).
         BALTIMORE:  In Washington, Thomas Boswell reprimands the
    Orioles for their ticket-hike announcement.  "The Orioles say the
    strike cost them $15 million.  Notice the Orioles said 'cost,'
    not 'lost.' ... You may have noticed that the Orioles have had a
    slightly reduced costs of doing business.  They haven't had to
    pay their players a cent" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/16).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Miami Marlins, Franchises
  • TAMPA BAY OFFICIAL OFFERS INCENTIVES TO LURE LOCAL OWNERS

         Hillsborough County Commission Chair Joe Chillura said the
    "county could provide more than $40 million worth of renovations
    to Tampa Stadium to induce the next owners" of the Bucs to keep
    the team in Tampa.  Chillura's comments went "further than other
    elected officials" in promising tax dollars to keep the team.  He
    said funds could come from excess surplus hotel taxes collected
    to help pay for a downtown hockey arena, but those funds would
    "only cover a fraction" of $40M (Larry Dougherty, ST. PETERSBURG
    TIMES, 11/16).  The threat of a move by the team is consuming the
    local media.  Steelers Owner Dan Rooney feels a move by the Bucs
    could be "the first real test" of the nine guidelines for
    relocation implemented in '84 by former Commissioner Pete Rozelle
    following the Colts move to Indianapolis.  NFL spokesperson Greg
    Aiello: "The league only wants teams to move when it is
    absolutely necessary.  That is why we have the guidelines."  When
    the guidelines -- such as stadium lease and financial conditions
    -- are applied to the Bucs, the team "appears to be in good
    shape" (Pat Yasinkas, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/16).  Local investors
    willing to purchase the team will do so only under the following
    conditions, according to TAMPA TRIBUNE columnist Tom McEwen.  1)
    If the financial numbers work; 2)  Tampa Stadium can be
    renovated; 3)  New Buc facilities are worked out; 4) Community
    support via ticket and luxury box sales (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/16).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Indianapolis Colts, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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