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  • BET'S JOHNSON ONLY WANTS PART OF BULLETS BUT WITH A CLAUSE

         BET President Robert Johnson said yesterday that he has no
    interest in becoming a part owner of the Bullets "unless he knows
    he'll have the option in the future to buy a controlling
    interest."  Bullets/Caps owner Abe Pollin recently told
    associates that he would consider offers from potential partners.
    Johnson has been "jockeying to become part" of an downtown arena
    deal by offering to guarantee repayment of city bonds if Pollin
    would let him buy a share of the Bullets now, with an option for
    more of the team later (Howard Schneider, WASHINGTON POST,
    11/22).
    

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  • BRAVES WILL NOT RAISE TICKET PRICES NEXT SEASON

         The Braves will send out season-ticket renewals next week,
    and for the first time since 1990 the cost for a Braves game will
    not go up.  Prices will remain $20 for dugout level, $18 for club
    level, $15 for field level, $12 for lower pavilion, $10 for upper
    level and $5 for upper pavilion (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 11/22).  The Orioles, Rockies and Yankees have
    raised their prices.
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Franchises, New York Yankees, Time Warner, YankeeNets
  • COSBY SHOW RETURNING TO PHILADELPHIA?

         Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie is trying to lure Bill  Cosby
    into becoming a minority partner.  Lurie: "I casually mentioned
    it to him.  He seemed interested."  Last week, Lurie invited
    Cosby to sit in the owner's box at Veterans Stadium and before
    the Browns game, Lurie introduced Cosby to some of the players.
    Lurie "apparently sees Cosby as the perfect marketing and
    promotion fit for his football team."  Cosby, a Temple grad, is
    an "entertainment giant who has impeccable ties to Philadelphia's
    minority community."  Since he bought the team for $185M, Lurie
    has been looking for up to 10 investors to put up between $5-10M
    each.  He has approached many potential investors but is "looking
    for the right mix" (Paolontonio et al., PHILA. INQUIRER, 11/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Browns, Franchises, Philadelphia Eagles
  • ORLANDO BASEBALL BIDDER EXPRESSES INTEREST IN BUCS

         Norton Herrick, who is heading Orlando's MLB expansion
    efforts, wants to buy the Bucs and keep them in Tampa.  During
    his quest for an MLB franchise, Herrick has "bad-mouthed" the
    Tampa Bay area.  But now, Herrick, a Boca Raton developer, is
    teaming with Chicago real estate investor Bruce Frey to make a
    prospective bid for the Bucs.  Herrick told the PALM BEACH POST
    Monday that he had joined Frey and South FL real estate investor
    Murray Goodman in a bid for the team.  Frey and two other
    investors made a reported $135M offer for the Dolphins but lost
    out to Blockbuster's Wayne Huizenga.  Herrick: "In Tampa, I see
    some cross-marketing possibilities.  I am trying to follow in my
    friend Mr. Huizenga's footsteps."  Herrick envisions a high-speed
    train to take baseball fans from Tampa-St. Pete to Orlando to see
    baseball and vice-versa for football (Testerman & Topkin, ST.
    PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/22).
         OWNERS SPEAK OUT:  On Monday, Bucs trustees Steve Story and
    Jack Donlan and Bucs GM Rich McKay were in L.A. to meet with Rams
    officials.  Meanwhile, In Tampa, Pay Yasinkas notes that in order
    for a new owner to relocate the Bucs, 23 of 30 owners would have
    to approve the move -- and many owners are supportive of staying
    in Tampa.  Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones: "I know that Tampa is one
    of the premier places -- and let me emphasize premier places --
    in the country for an NFL franchise."  Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen:
    "You have to show cause to move a team.  At this stage, I don't
    think there's any cause."  Steelers President Dan Rooney, a
    member of the league's expansion committee in '74 when Tampa was
    selected:  "It turned out to be everything we hoped it would
    develop into and more" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/22).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Franchises, Miami Dolphins, MLB, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • RAPTORS FACE FINAL SIX WEEKS 'TIL DEADLINE

         The NBA's decision that the Raptors "Basketball 101" season-
    ticket plan would not count against their season ticket minimum
    is the "latest evidence the NBA's arrival in Toronto is no sure
    thing." In the "quiet corners of the league head office, those
    putting the pieces together must be getting concerned," writes
    Stephen Brunt in the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.  The team "figured
    that selling season tickets would be the least of their
    concerns," but when sales slowed, the "team was forced to rent
    additional office space to house telemarketers to hustle tickets
    -- obviously something they didn't originally anticipate having
    to do."  David Stern "has been unequivocal: deadlines are
    deadlines, minimums are minimums.  The NBA is cutting the new
    franchises in for a share of TV and properties revenues.  And for
    that the league wants something solid in return.  That is the
    real Basketball 101" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/22).  Columnist
    Craig Daniels praises the idea behind "Basketball 101": "The team
    has been publicly hammered for selling expensive tickets, and now
    has been pummeled for selling cheap tickets, too" (TORONTO SUN,
    11/22).
         HOCKEY AT FAULT?  NBA spokesperson Jan Hubbard believes the
    NHL lockout may be working against Toronto & Vancouver:  "People
    are so turned off to sports right now that it might hurt them.
    They are selling an unknown product and for people to fork out
    that amount of money can be difficult" (Angelo Bruscas, SEATTLE
    POST-INTELLIGENCER, 11/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, NHL, Toronto Raptors
  • TODAY IS NBA'S DEADLINE FOR HEAT SALE. IS ANYTHING COOKING?

         With the NBA deadline today, "little progress has been made
    in resolving issues crippling Whit Hudson's planned purchase of
    managing control of the Miami Heat.  And barring a last-minute
    settlement -- which is unlikely because of the complexity of the
    disputes and lack of communication between the involved parties -
    - the NBA should soon rule it won't discuss Hudson's ownership
    application until after the season ends in June."  Hudson, who
    agreed last August to purchase 41.5% of the team from partners
    Lewis Schaffel and Billy Cunningham for $60M, said his attorneys
    have not met with reps of Heat majority owner Ted Arison or those
    of limited partners Raanan Katz and Julio Iglesias since last
    Friday.  If the NBA delays the sale, Hudson said he would
    consider legal action against the Arison family.  Iglesias'
    attorney Shepard King was optimistic a settlement could be
    reached within a few weeks.  Katz said the deal "was done without
    my knowledge or consent" and that his "beef" is with Schaffel and
    Cunningham (Alex Marvez, MIAMI HERALD, 11/22).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Miami Heat, NBA
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