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         A's CEO & Chair Walter Haas said he was "very pleased" that
    two serious prospective purchasers will step forward with offers
    to buy the team and keep it in Oakland (Athletics).  Today is the
    date set by the Hass family as a deadline for local buyers to
    come forward, and "as an inducement" the team was offered to
    local buyers for $85M, $15-$35M "under market value."  The
    Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum board had been actively trying to
    find a local buyer to keep the A's playing in the facility, and
    board member Jim Vohs said, "I'm very optimistic that we will
    have the A's continue to play in Oakland."  One of the potential
    buyers is the Sacramento partnership of Kevin McClatchy,
    McClatchy Newspapers heir, and Fred Anderson, minority owner of
    the Sacramento Kings and owner of the CFL Sacramento Gold Miners.
    The other offer for the A's comes from an anonymous group.  The
    team has 90 days to consider the offers and inform MLB which one
    they prefer (George Raine, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER, 12/2).

    Print | Tags: CFL, Franchises, MLB, Oakland Athletics

         Dixon Ticonderoga Chair Gino Pala said he is "convinced"
    Bucs trustees are sincere about wanting to keep the team in
    Tampa.  He also confirmed that he has spoken directly with Jimmy
    Johnson about becoming the team's head coach.  Pala said he left
    his meeting with the Bucs trust "much more encouraged" about his
    potential ownership of the team.  Pala: "Mr. Donlan and Mr. Story
    (Bucs trustees) were both very forthcoming.  The Bucs needs some
    data from us, and we need some things from them.  ... There are a
    lot of numbers that have to be studied by both sides."  On
    Johnson, he said "we did contact Jimmy Johnson and we plan to get
    together" (Ira Kaufman, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/2).
         HOK STUDIES TAMPA STADIUM: "A simple thing like more
    restrooms at Tampa Stadium could help keep the Buccaneers from
    moving out of Tampa Stadium."  That is part of a three- week
    study by the architects from HOK, the sports facilities group,
    who are studying possible renovations to the 27-year old stadium.
    Ronald Labinski, Senior VP of HOK: "We're trying to determine to
    what extent premium seating and revenue enhancements can be
    accomplished within the existing stadium facility" (Joe
    Henderson, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/2).
         TAMPA CHAMBER PUTS BUCS ON WISH LIST: Greater Tampa Chamber
    of Commerce's incoming chair Joseph House told the group that
    keeping the Bucs in Tampa should be their top priority.  At the
    group's annual luncheon, House said, "Make sure the Bucs stop
    here" (Jean Gruss, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/2).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

         In Vancouver this morning, there are reports that Grizzlies
    Owner Arthur Griffiths is looking for investors to share in the
    "staggering" $112.5M franchise fee that is due at NBA
    headquarters on March 1.  Northwest Entertainment Group, the
    parent group of the Grizzlies and Canucks, is reporting a loss of
    $431,870, or $.43/share, for the three months ending September
    30, and is spending $160M to build General Motor Place.
    Griffiths and his sister own 70% of the team with the McCaw
    brothers of Seattle "holding the rest."  Griffiths said he would
    "like to see 10-15% of the ownership in the local businesses
    community," but added that he will go it alone if "no one steps
    forward."   The difficulty with operating a franchise in Canada
    is the "disparity between the value of currencies."  Griffiths:
    "The franchise fee costs about $35 million to $40 million on
    exchange.  That is a big hit to take basically for nothing in
    return."  But he did believe that once the team begins
    operating, "it won't be so bad," citing that the $13.5M in
    broadcasting and merchandise revenue will be in U.S. dollars
    (Neil Campbell, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/2).
         TORONTO:  Raptors ownership has long heard "whispers" that
    they "simply don't have the cash" to start and maintain a NBA
    franchise.  The group tried to "enact a cash grabbing seat-
    license scheme, and still has not committed to plans for an
    arena.  Also, the much-ballyhooed ownership role of VP Isiah
    Thomas still has not materialized.  One source at another club
    says the former NBA superstar has yet trigger an option that
    would see him sink in some cash to buy a share of the club" (Neil
    Campbell, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/2).  "Expect the Raptors to
    announce a major corporate sponsorship tomorrow" (Craig Daniels,
    TORONTO SUN, 12/2).  For news on the Raptors' SkyDome deal.
         LABATT'S SPONSOR'S MAGIC EVENT:  For Magic Johnson's
    appearance for the Grizzlies on Wednesday, Labatt's "picked up
    the tab for rental of a huge downtown hotel ballroom and provided
    food and beverage for the party" (Campbell, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
    12/2).  Grizzlies spokesperson Tod Leiweke: "Labatt's wanted to
    get involved if we could deliver Magic" (Archie McDonald,
    VANCOUVER SUN, 12/2).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Labatt Brewing, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, Vancouver Canucks
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