SBD/1/Franchises

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  • FORD, JR. BEING "GROOMED" TO LEAD LIONS FUTURE

         William Clay Ford, Jr. is slowly gaining control over the
    Lions operation from his father, William Clay Ford, Sr. "There is
    no timetable on when the younger Ford, 37, will take control of
    the franchise" that his father has run since 1964, as the
    transfer of leadership will "come only when father and son decide
    the time is right."  Ford, Jr. will represent the team next week
    in Denver at a meeting of NFL owners (Mike O'Hara, DETROIT NEWS,
    11/30).
    

    Print | Tags: Detroit Lions, Franchises, NFL
  • GRIZZLIES USE SOME MAGIC TO HELP DRIVE FOR FIVE

         The Grizzlies brought Magic Johnson to Vancouver yesterday
    in an effort to boost the franchises season-ticket sales.  "For
    three whirlwind hours, he pressed the flesh as part of the
    Grizzlies full-court press" to secure the franchise (Mike
    Beamish, VANCOUVER SUN, 12/1).  Johnson sent a message to the
    city, saying "the team is like a new baby being born.  Take it.
    Embrace it.  Love it. Nurture it."  Johnson urged the Vancouver
    press to "stress how important it is to get those 3,500 tickets":
    "Write nice things.  We don't want this to fail" (Elliot Pap,
    VANCOUVER SUN, 12/1).    HOW MANY MORE? It was a big day for the
    Grizzlies, who also announced their "magic number" to secure the
    team had been reduced to 3,580.  The NBA is requiring the
    Grizzlies and Raptors to have sold 12,500 season-tickets by
    December 31 in order to preserve their franchises.  Grizzlies
    VP/GM Stu Jackson said two companies, Wall Financial (100) and
    BC's Pontiac/Buick (300) had made significant purchases of season
    tickets "to make sure the Grizzlies are a reality on January 1."
    After Johnson's appearance, Uniglobe Travel announced they had
    purchased a block of 100 season-tickets for a total of 400
    corporate sales in one day.  Grizzlies Owner Arthur Griffiths was
    optimistic on reaching the NBA minimum: "I think we will get
    there. ... With the number of initiatives going, we'll get the
    job done" (Elliot Pap, VANCOUVER SUN, 12/1).  One initiative the
    team is offering is a giveaway of five Pontiac cars in a contest
    open to all season ticket holders who pay their full 50% deposit
    before December 31.  With just a month to go, the team needs to
    average just over 112 sales a day, including Sunday's and
    holidays, to reach 12,500 (Grizzlies).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, General Motors, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Orlando Magic, RDV Sports, Toronto Raptors
  • PROSPECTIVE BUCS OWNERS IN CONTACT WITH JIMMY JOHNSON

         "Two prospective owners" of the Buccaneers contacted Jimmy
    Johnson's attorney about hiring him to coach the team. Johnson's
    attorney, Nick Christin, declined to "confirm the Tampa
    overtures," but said he has received calls from around the league
    (Pat Yasinskas, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/30).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • RAMS MEET WITH ANAHEIM GROUP -- STADIUM DISCUSSED

         The Anaheim group trying to keep the Rams in Orange County
    met yesterday with Rams President John Shaw "for more than two
    hours" at the club's practice facility.  Save the Rams Co-Chairs
    Leigh Steinberg and Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly said the main topic of
    discussion was the "possibility of building a stadium" for the
    team.  Steinberg: "Essentially, Mayor Daly outlined a willingness
    of Anaheim to explore the concept of a new football stadium."
    When asked of Shaw's response, Steinberg said Shaw wished the
    discussion wasn't occurring in late November, as the team has
    moved forward in their negotiations with St. Louis, but that he
    "appeared interested."  Steinberg said he remained hopeful to
    keep the team in CA, despite daily reports that a move is
    "imminent" (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, St. Louis Rams
  • SCHIEFFER ASSUMES TOP RANGERS ROLE FROM GOV.-ELECT BUSH

         TX Governor-elect George Bush will "relinquish" his role as
    Rangers managing partner on December 31 and be replaced by club
    President Tom Schieffer.  Bush had served in that position since
    1989.  Bush's investment will be put into a blind trust while he
    serves as the state's chief executive.  Bush said it was best if
    he "not be involved in investment decisions whatsoever or
    management decisions in the case of the Rangers."  Rose will
    retain his position, and Schieffer will continue to oversee the
    day-to-day operations of the team (Sullivan & Gonzalez, FORT
    WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 12/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises
  • THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS HAS NOTHING ON THE HEAT SALE

         A dispute over Israeli taxes is causing some of the problems
    in the sale of 40% of the Miami Heat.  Whit Hudson is seeking to
    purchase the share of partners Lewis Schaffel and Billy
    Cunningham, but not directly.  Instead, Schaffel and Cunningham
    would "resell their shares for $60 million to Florida Basketball
    Inc., which is the official name of the Heat's general
    partnership.  That would give the Arison family complete control
    over the team."  The Arisons would then sell "managing control"
    of the team to Hudson.  But the deal, set up for tax reasons, has
    reportedly generated a dispute between Hudson and Arison.  Since
    Marilyn Arison lives in Israel, the sale would be subject to
    Israeli taxes.  But Hudson says he agreed to pay U.S. taxes, and
    that terms of the sale "do not address Israeli taxes."  The two
    also disagree over who pays limited partner Julio Inglesias $2.4M
    upon any sale (Alex Marvez, MIAMI HERALD, 12/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Miami Heat
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