SBD/29/Franchises

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  • ANAHEIM SPORTS AUTHORITY SEEN AS KEY TO KEEP RAMS IN L.A.

         When Save the Rams meets with Rams President John Shaw
    tomorrow, the group will attempt to keep the team in Anaheim by
    promising that a local sports authority will be established to
    help turn 800 acres of land into a premier sports-entertainment
    complex.  The City of Anaheim plans to hire a land-use consultant
    by the end of the year and will join forces with Orange County to
    create a sports authority, "an agency that could bring county
    financing to new or renovated facilities."  Save the Rams wants
    to turn the area surrounding Anaheim Stadium into a sports-
    oriented retail district, with two stadiums, shops restaurants
    and other tourist attractions.  The Rams may find the idea
    "appealing because of a new managerial structure and potential
    revenue streams for the team."  Agent Leigh Steinberg,
    spokesperson for Save the Rams, called the authority a "critical
    step in the new relationship between the Rams and Orange County,"
    adding "the hope is to wash out the history of bad dealings"
    (Himmelberg & Mouchard, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 11/29).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, St. Louis Rams
  • COWBOYS DEAL WITH NAACP -- ADD MINORITY EXECUTIVE

         The Cowboys, accused by the NAACP of not hiring minorities
    to help run the team, will hire at least one African-American to
    their front office.  The person will most likely serve as a
    director of community relations.  The Cowboys and NAACP will hold
    a joint news conference today to announce the agreement.  The
    NAACP had asked the team to "create a trio of vice president
    positions for African-Americans in three areas: community
    affairs, player relations, and minority procurement and
    diversity" (Price & Fisher, FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 11/29).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Franchises
  • HEAT PURCHASE FACES JANUARY DEADLINE

         Whit Hudson may have only six weeks to complete his purchase
    of 40% of the Heat.  The MIAMI HERALD reports that today that
    Hudson's "agreement to acquire managing control of the team from
    Lewis Schaffel and Billy Cunningham expires in mid-January if the
    sale isn't completed."  With the deal currently held up by
    internal conflicts in the Heat organization and "a dispute
    between Hudson and majority owner Ted Arison -- the deadline
    could pass without the NBA approving the purchase."  Stephen
    Roddenberry, Hudson's attorney, called the January deadline "an
    open question," adding "the words are susceptible to more than
    one interpretation."  The HERALD also reports that the Heat's
    limited partners -- Raanan Katz (5%), Julio Iglesias (1%),
    Amancio Suarez (5%) and Robert Sturges (1%) -- had been offered a
    chance to sell their shares to Blockbuster Entertainment Inc.
    before Hudson "entered the picture."  Blockbuster reportedly
    offered $10M to purchase the 12% held by these partners.  Hudson
    is brother-in-law to Blockbuster Chair Wayne Huizenga (Alex
    Marvez, MIAMI HERALD, 11/29).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Miami Heat, NBA
  • ORLANDO BASEBALL BID HOPES TO MIRROR ROCKIES' SUCCESS

         The efforts to bring baseball to Orlando is examined in two
    parts by the ORLANDO SENTINEL.  Developer Norton Herrick, who
    heads the current expansion effort, is profiled in a front-page
    layout.  Calling Herrick the "mystery man," the headline states
    "Orlando knows little about Norton Herrick except that he had a
    $150 million letter of credit."  Herrick was not viewed early on
    as the front-runner in the derby to lead an Orlando bid, but a
    "key" was a $150M letter of credit "bearing the signature of
    Herrick's private Citicorp banker in Miami and a list of
    references that included H. Wayne Huizenga" (Dan Tracy, ORLANDO
    SENTINEL, 11/27).  The SENTINEL also ran a front-page piece on
    how Orlando hopes to duplicate the success of the Colorado
    Rockies, noting that Herrick's partner, Paul Jacobs and Steve
    Kurtz, were instrumental in making the Rockies such a financial
    bonanza.  Jacobs "negotiated a stadium lease considered the most
    lucrative in all of baseball."  If Orlando gets a team, the two
    will be "key players in determining just how profitable the team
    will be, how much it will keep from every hot dog, beer and
    program sold at the new ballpark" (Larry Lebowitz, ORLANDO
    SENTINEL, 11/28).
    

    Print | Tags: Colorado Rockies, Franchises
  • TAMPA AUTHORITY HIRES HOK FOR COST STUDY ON RENOVATIONS

         The Tampa Sports Authority (TSA) has hired the HOK
    architectural firm to conduct a three-week study on potential
    costs and options to renovate Tampa Stadium.  Since the study
    will cost less than $10,000, the contract did not have to go
    through the normal bid procedures.  But "it is an indication of
    how quickly answers are needed" for local investors interested in
    pursuing the team.  TSA Exec Dir Rick Nafe said they must find
    out "what is realistic" about seating and renovations, saying
    that he believed about 2,500 club level seats are needed to
    generate extra revenue.  Tampa investor Tommy Shannon, along with
    Outback Steakhouse founder Chris Sullivan and Bob Basham, said
    they "need more hard information on what type of revenue is
    possible from Tampa Stadium" before making an offer for the team.
    Shannon: "We don't know what we can do yet because we don't know
    the best deal Tampa Stadium can put on the table" (Joe Henderson,
    TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/29).  USA TODAY's Gordon Forbes writes, "I
    can't shake the feeling that George Steinbrenner will end up
    owning the Bucs, triggering another volatile NFL dispute about
    cross ownership" (USA TODAY, 11/29).
         ALL IN THE FAMILY: In Houston, John McClain comments on the
    turmoil in the Culverhouse family. "Behind-the-scenes squabbling
    is getting more attention than the sale, and greed is the root of
    the problem" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/27)
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • TEXAS HOCKEY FANS FIRE LAWSUIT AT STARS

         Mark Brinkman, a Stars season-ticket holder who filed a
    class-action lawsuit against the team, will "pursue a full refund
    and damages against the Stars for season-tickets he paid for in
    June."  Brinkman said he will continue with the suit even if the
    season is cancelled and the team offers full refunds.  Brinkman:
    "I'd just like to take this out to make a point and maybe set a
    precedent for all sports leagues.  This just isn't the way to
    operate a business.  The fans have no rights."  The Stars have
    offered three different options on a refund policy, although they
    join 22 NHL teams in not offering cash refunds for the entire
    season.  Four teams do offer full refunds for season-tickets,
    although the fans give up the right to retain priority seating.
    This policy has kept requests for full refunds low.  Stars
    President Jim Lites said full refunds are "just not possible" at
    this time (Mike Heika, FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 11/28).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Stars, Franchises, NHL, Southwest Sports Group
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