SBD/17/Franchises

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  • ARE FELLOW NHL OWNERS UPSET AT STAVRO?

         Several NHL owners "are unhappy" with Toronto Maple Leafs
    Chairman Steve Stavro, according to David Shoalts of the Toronto
    GLOBE & MAIL.  Stavro's bid for control of the Maple Leaf Gardens
    has been hit by lawsuits from the Office of Public Trustee of
    Ontario and minority Gardens shareholders Jim Devellano and Harry
    Ornest.  The owners in question are "not pleased they were not
    informed of any potential problems posed by an investigation by
    the Public Trustee before approving Starvo's takeover last April"
    (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/17).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • CFL DIALS UP LONG DISTANCE INFORMATION -- MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

         A Memphis group headed by Federal Express is hoping to win a
    CFL franchise to begin play in the fall of '95.  Pepper Rodgers,
    who would be managing general partner of the team said Federal
    Express founder Frederick Smith would be the chief owner.  The
    CFL will discuss the Memphis bid at a news conference today.
    Rodgers: "It is not a done deal because our lawyers have not gone
    over all the things, but we are confident it will be done"
    (AP/Mult., 11/17).
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Franchises
  • GRIZZLIES' "DRIVE FOR FIVE" PROFILED IN CANADA

         This morning, Three Canadian papers examine the marketing of
    the Grizzlies and their quest to meet the 12,500 season ticket
    minimum with an NBA-determined deadline of December 31.  "The man
    in charge of the unenviable task," Tod Leiweke, is profiled in
    the VANCOUVER SUN.  "Recruited out of the Warriors organization
    almost three weeks ago, Leiweke has become perhaps the single
    most important employee of the Northwest Entertainment Group; the
    umbrella company that oversees the Grizzlies, Vancouver Canucks,
    and General Motors Place" (Dan Stinson, VANCOUVER SUN, 11/17).
    But Jim Taylor of the Vancouver PROVINCE takes the team to task
    for their hard sell.  "Memo to the marketing department of the
    Vancouver Grizzlies:  Back off.  ... The Grizzlies are not a
    community operation, and the community is under no obligation to
    support them."  Taylor writes that if the team fails to sell
    enough tickets "it will be because not enough people want to buy
    your product. ... Wanting the NBA and needing it are two
    different cats" (VANCOUVER SUN, 11/17).  A day in the Grizzlies
    ticket office is chronicled in the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL (Neil
    Campbell, GLOBE & MAIL, 11/17).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, General Motors, Golden State Warriors, NBA, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Vancouver Canucks
  • NEW NAME EMERGES AS "SERIOUS" CANDIDATE FOR BUCS

         Representatives of George Lindemann, 58, the principal owner
    of Southern Union Co., a natural gas utility in Austin, TX, have
    been in contact with Steve Story, spokesperson for the trust
    operating the Buccaneers.  Lindemann, a FL resident, has become a
    "serious candidate to buy the Bucs and keep the team in Tampa
    Bay."  Lindemann tried to buy the Dolphins in Janaury , but lost
    out to Wayne Huizenga who had the right of first refusal on the
    team.  Now with the Bucs on the market, he is again a "major
    player" in bidding for a team.  Forbes lists Lindemann as the
    170th wealthiest man in America with a net worth of $590M (Bruce
    Lowitt, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/17).  MO businessman Stan
    Kroenke spoke by phone with the three-man trust yesterday and
    "expressed interest to move" the Bucs to St. Louis if that city
    does not get the Rams (Pat Yasinskas, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/17).
         MORE STADIUM NEWS:  Tampa Sports Authority Exec Dir Rick
    Nafe discussed preliminary plans for a $50-70M stadium
    renovation, part of which would be the "installation of revenue
    producing club level seating and additional sky boxes."  The
    retrofitting, however, could reduce the stadium's capacity to
    about 65,000 -- 5,000 below the minimum to host the Super Bowl.
    Tampa has hosted two Super Bowls and was set to bid for the 2000
    game (Don Banks, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/17).  Pinellas County
    officials say they are unable to offer "cold, hard cash" to keep
    the team in the Tampa area, but would "lend a hand on advance
    season tickets sales" (Stebbins & Walker, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/17).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • RAMS TELL ANAHEIM -- BUILD IT AND WE WILL STAY

         Rams President John Shaw told Save the Rams that the team
    would need a new stadium to stay in the L.A. area.  Agent Leigh
    Steinberg, spokesperson for Save the Rams, said that "one of the
    factors that is really attractive to the Rams in the St. Louis
    situation is the presence of an instantly usable football
    stadium."  Steinberg said he told Shaw that their plan for a
    refurbished Anaheim Stadium would "create the same income
    opportunities" of a new stadium, but that Shaw "remained
    unconvinced."  Steinberg stressed the 15,000 ticket pledges for
    next season and the help of "the Orange County Register and a
    major radio station" with that effort (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS
    POST-DISPATCH, 11/17).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, St. Louis Rams
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