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  • ANGELOS MEETS WITH BUCS OFFICIALS IN ORLANDO

         Orioles Owner Peter Angelos held a 3-hour meeting Friday
    with the trustees selling the Buccaneers.  Angelos described the
    meeting as "very positive," but Bucs officials downplayed it as
    "one of a dozen or so introductory exchanges they expect to hold"
    with bidders.  Angelos and Bucs officials "declined to disclose
    the specifics" of their talks (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 11/19).
    Columnist Vito Stellino notes, with the election of Democrat
    Parris Glendening as MD Governor, the funding for a new football
    stadium should stay in place, leaving Baltimore remaining as a
    "player in the franchise game" (Baltimore SUN, 11/20).
         WHY BUY AN NFL TEAM?  In St. Pete, Robert Keefe lists
    reasons why buying an NFL franchise is a good investment.  1)
    There is "relatively" very little risk.  2)  "While sports teams
    may not be the best investment in the short term ... they are
    extraordinary investments in the long term, after they are
    resold."  3)  "They're not as good as they used to be, but sports
    teams can still be fair tax shelters."  4)  As for supply,
    "football teams are as rare as fine gems, regardless of their
    quality."  As for the Bucs, besides the guaranteed revenue they
    receive from the league from TV revenue, the team has "one of the
    best leases of any sports franchise" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES,
    11/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • DEADLINE TO FIND LOCAL BUYER FOR A'S IS NEARING

         Oakland Coliseum officials seeking a buyer for the A's "find
    themselves ominously close to a deadline to get the job done."
    But so far, "even with no indication that a legitimate buyer has
    been lined up for the baseball team, they have not asked the
    current owners for an extension, and none has been offered."
    Coliseum board member James Vohs, who heads the search committee,
    said the December 6 deadline is "helpful in bringing things to a
    head.  I don't want to even talk to the A's about it to give any
    impression (to possible buyers) that there might be an
    extension."  When the Haas family announced that the team was for
    sale, it set a price of $85M, contingent on the buyer keeping the
    team in Oakland.  The search committee has forwarded several
    names of possible buyers for review by MLB but none of the names
    has been released to the public.  If the officials are unable to
    find a buyer before the December deadline, the Haases have the
    option  of "marketing the team as they deem fit -- possibly at a
    higher price, without the local buyer restriction" (Larry
    Slonaker, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, MLB, Oakland Athletics
  • HEAT SALE TO WHIT HUDSON IN DOUBT

         Whit Hudson's plan to purchase a controlling interest in the
    Heat is on the "verge of collapse, the victim of internal
    fighting among the team's partners and a contract dispute with
    majority owner Ted Arison."  The NBA has set a Tuesday deadline
    for Hudson and Heat owners to settle their differences.  Among
    them:  Deciding who pays entertainer/ Heat partner Julio Iglesias
    $2.4M, and a pending lawsuit by limited partner Raanan Katz.  If
    no progress is made, NBA owners probably will not vote on the
    sale until the season ends.  Hudson does not "believe the NBA
    will approve this transaction."  In August, Hudson -- brother-in-
    law of FL sports mogul Wayne Huizenga -- agreed to purchase 41.5%
    of the Heat from managing partners Lew Schaffel and Billy
    Cunningham for $60M (Alex Marvez, MIAMI HERALD, 11/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Miami Heat, NBA
  • INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY? ABE POLLIN CONSIDERS PARTNERS

         Abe Pollin, owner of the Capitals, Bullets and the USAir
    Arena, has told associates he will consider offers for new
    partners to join him in the ownership of the teams.  Wes Unseld,
    Exec VP of Pollin's Centre Group Management, confirmed last night
    Pollin's intent to attract new partners: "Mr. Pollin let it be
    known a year ago [to his bankers] that this was possible in the
    future.  That if he was to entertain future partners, they would
    have to demonstrate a commitment to the community and to minority
    affairs.  But to say that this is anything more than conceptual
    at this point is premature."  Last night, WUSA-TV (DC) reported
    that Pollin was attempting to sell "part of his sports empire" in
    anticipation of a downtown arena.  BET President Robert Johnson
    has offered to guarantee repayment of any city bonds necessary to
    build an arena, if Pollin would agree to sell him a share of the
    Bullets.  Last year, Pollin rejected an offer to sell his sports
    empire to a NY-based group led by former football star Calvin
    Hill.  Pollin has told friends that when he steps down, he would
    like Bullets President Susan O'Malley and Unseld to run his
    operation (George Solomon, WASHINGTON POST, 11/21).  Sources
    close to the Bullets told WUSA that Pollin has informed DC city
    officials that he may roll the Bullets, Caps and other businesses
    into one company.  Pollin would keep 60% ownership in the company
    while making the remainder available to the public (WASHINGTON
    TIMES, 11/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Washington Capitals, WUSA
  • STARS OWNER SAYS HE MAY SELL PART OF TEAM

         Stars Owner Norman Green said he would be "forced to put
    part of the team up for sale if the NHL lockout were to wipe out
    the entire season."  Green owns 100% of the Stars, which he
    bought in '90 for $40M and moved to Dallas in '93.  The has an
    estimated worth of $70-80M.  Green: "The way (sports) is headed
    is toward all the teams being owned by big business.  The unique
    thing is that I'm one of the few owners in sports who owns the
    team 100 percent.  That's the old way of doing it.  It appears
    the old way of owning a sports franchise no longer works."  Stars
    officials said they lost a couple of million dollars last season.
    With no hockey being played this year, the Stars are losing about
    $600,000 per game in ticket revenue.  "That is not offset" by the
    estimated $200,000 per game they save on player salaries (Egan &
    Deener, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/18).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Stars, Franchises, NHL, Southwest Sports Group
  • THE STATE OF THE NBA'S CANADIAN EXPANSION TEAMS

         In Toronto, Randy Starkman compares the progress of the
    Grizzlies and the Raptors: "Vancouver seems to have the leg up."
    ARENA:  GM Place is half built and should be finished on
    schedule; the Raptors' future home?  "The much ballyhooed plans
    for an arena by the Eaton Centre that helped the group led by
    John Bitove Jr. win their franchise bid have been shelved."  TEAM
    MANAGEMENT:  The Griffiths family has a "long tradition in sports
    ownership"; The Bitove group, "by comparison, is unproven on the
    sports ownership scene."  SEASON TICKET SALES:  As of last week,
    the Grizzlies said they were close to 8,000; the Raptors are at
    approx. 6,500 (TORONTO STAR, 11/19).  In Vancouver, Mike Beamish
    writes of the Grizzlies, "If we've made a mistake, it may be that
    we've become overly smug in believing this basketball team is a
    sure thing" (VANCOUVER SUN, 11/19).  From an editorial in the
    Vancouver PROVINCE: "The proposed NBA franchise for Vancouver is
    clearly deserving of support and attention, particularly in the
    next six weeks.  To not do so could mean the end of Vancouver as
    an emerging major league sports market in North American"
    (Vancouver PROVINCE, 11/21).  Both teams have until December 31
    to sell 12,500 season tickets.
         RAPTORS NEWS:  "Apparently concerned about undermining the
    credibility of its own mandate," the NBA yesterday ruled that
    "Basketball 101" -- a planned Raptors' promotion to sell the
    lowest priced season-tickets at the SkyDome for $101 -- would not
    count toward the 12,500 season ticket mandate.  Raptors
    VP/Communications Tom Mayenknecht: "Basketball 101 will be rolled
    out somewhere down the line" (Craig Daniels, TORONTO SUN, 11/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Toronto Raptors
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