SBD/12/Franchises

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  • ARENA 2000 TO PURCHASE MAJORITY OF SAN DIEGO SOCKERS

         The CISL announced that Arena Group 2000 has signed a letter
    of intent to purchase controlling interest in the San Diego
    Sockers.  The Ancira family, the primary owner of the Sockers
    since '91, will retain minority stake in the team. Arena Group
    2000, the leasehold operator at the San Diego Sports Arena,
    brings the number of arena owners/operators in the CISL to eight.
    Arena 2000 also has an exclusive agreement to develop a new
    downtown entertainment and sports center with the city of San
    Diego.  The Sockers are the oldest pro soccer club in the history
    of the U.S. (CISL).
    

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  • BUCS SALE MOVES SLOWLY -- NO WEEKEND PROGRESS MADE

         Stephen Story, member of the Bucs trust in charge of selling
    the team, said yesterday "no formal offer has been made" for the
    team, but that he remains hopeful "talks will produce one as
    early as this week."  Story: "We had the hopes that something
    would get done by the end of next week.  I still think that is a
    good deadline. ... Everybody is kind of waltzing around the issue
    and nobody wants to be the first one at the dance" (Rick Stroud,
    TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/12).  Orioles Owner Peter Angelos met for two
    hours with the group over the weekend and reported "substantial
    progress" in his bid to buy the team.  Angelos said the two sides
    "are in agreement on a number of points" (Jon Morgan, Baltimore
    SUN, 12/11).  But Story had a different take on the meeting,
    saying "until it is in writing and there is a check, there is no
    offer. ... (Angelos) kinds of skirts the issue as far as numbers"
    (Rick Stroud, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/12).  In a related development,
    real estate developer Norton Herrick dropped out of the running
    to buy the team, saying he will focus on his effort to bring
    baseball to the Orlando area (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-
    DISPATCH, 12/12).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • HERRICK AND CITY OF ORLANDO CLOSE TO COMPROMISE ON STADIUM

         In a dispute that threatens to land a fatal blow to their
    expansion hopes, Orlando officials and would-be baseball owner
    Norton Herrick are close to a deal "that could salvage Orlando's
    bid for an MLB expansion team."  The disagreement centers on who
    would control surplus tourist tax revenue -- the county or the
    team.  Negotiators for both sides said they have come up with a
    compromise that would give Herrick "some surplus money but less
    than he was demanding."  Herrick wanted the surplus money to go
    back into improving the stadium, "perhaps adding a retractable
    roof."  Orlando's presentation to baseball owners will take place
    Wednesday in Chicago, and both sides "agree the stadium must be a
    done deal for Orlando to have any chance" of being awarded a
    franchise (Lebowitz & Tracy, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 12/9).
    

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  • RAMS MOVE TO ST. LOUIS CLOSE TO COMPLETE

         Speculation continues to grow that the Rams move to St.
    Louis is nearly a done deal.  Rams President John Shaw, in Tampa
    for the Bucs-Rams game, told reporters "the bulk of the work is
    done, but we are still negotiating.  I'm optimistic that we will
    get it done."  When asked what was holding up the sale, Shaw
    said, "Ask FANS, Inc." (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH,
    12/12).  People familiar with the negotiations said "momentum is
    clearly on St. Louis' side," and that the talks have "gotten down
    to the nitty gritty" (Jon Morgan, Baltimore SUN, 12/10).  FANS
    Inc. spokesperson Tom Eagleton told the WASHINGTON POST that he
    was "very optimistic.  I think we are going to get it done"
    (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST, 12/10).
         NO FREE LUNCH:  Shaw did say that in St. Louis, the team
    would have to pay up to $2.5M per season in taxes.  He said they
    currently pay no taxes in Anaheim.  If the team decides not to go
    to St. Louis, they could "stay in Anaheim for one more season and
    tough it out" as Orange County and the NFL work to develop a new
    stadium, according to Bernie Miklasz of the ST. LOUIS POST-
    DISPATCH.  That would give some new candidates a chance to enter
    the bidding for the team (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/11).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • WILL CORPORATIONS SOLVE GRIZZLIES/RAPTORS TICKETS PROBLEM?

         Reports out of Canada this morning indicate corporate help
    may soon be on the way for the expansion Grizzlies and Raptors.
    Two companies have "confirmed they are currently in negotiations
    for significant group corporate ticket purchases."  The groups
    involved are Shopper's Drug Mart and the Overwaitea grocery
    stores, and it is "believed that if either or both deals go
    through, the Grizzlies season ticket goal would be well within
    reach."  They are reportedly just under 3,000 tickets short of
    reaching the NBA mandated minimum of 12,500 before December 31.
    Greg Harmeson, VP of Marketing for Western Canada Shopper's
    stores, said "if all this does come to fruition, it is more a
    civic-minded task we're performing.  We would be offering them
    for sale to our customers."  Raptors Dir of Communications Tom
    Mayenknecht would only say that "there are quite a few companies
    who are looking at the great potential of basketball in this
    country."  If a company does not have a corporate sponsorship
    with a team, it can buy an unlimited amount of season tickets.
    If the team has a deal, NBA regulations state the corporation can
    purchase no more than 500 tickets (Howard Tsumura, Vancouver
    PROVINCE, 12/12).
         EDITORIAL HITS THE LEAGUE:  An editorial in today's
    Vancouver PROVINCE notes the slow tickets sales in Canada but
    targets the NBA-mandated minimum.  "12,500 was a ridiculous
    figure from the outset, especially considering Canada doesn't
    have the basketball history of the U.S.  The Grizzlies could sell
    more season tickets than the Houston Rockets or the Vancouver
    Canucks and end up without a team" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 12/12).
    

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