SBD/1/Franchises

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).
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