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         In Boston, Will McDonough writes that there will be no
    change in ownership of the 49ers with the death of Edward
    DeBartolo, Sr.  The team is owned by the DeBartolo Corporation.
    Team President Carmen Policy: "Mr. DeBartolo had planned for this
    and it is all covered in his estate.  Eddie [DeBartolo, Jr.] will
    continue to run the team as he has in the past" (BOSTON GLOBE,

    Print | Tags: Franchises, San Francisco 49ers

         A group of Caesars World shareholders filed suit in Palm
    Beach Circuit Court charging that Caesars World did not "shop
    itself around to get the highest price" when it agreed to a $1.7B
    deal with ITT.  The shareholders assert that Caesars Chair & CEO
    Henry Gluck agreed to take ITT's offer because it benefited
    management "rather than stockholders."  Gluck will retain his
    position after the sale and Caesars President & COO J. Terrance
    Lanni also would remain part of the management team.  Analysts
    have called ITT's $1.7B offer a "fair but not exorbitant price."
    ITT offered $67.50 for every share in Caesars World.  When the
    deal was announced, Caesars was trading at about $45 per share.
    It closed yesterday at $66.  The lawsuit alleges that Gluck did
    not pursue other suitors, such as Mirage Resorts and Alliance
    Gaming Corp.  It also alleges that Gluck was prepared to use
    defensive measures to "ward off competing offers."  The
    plaintiffs' chances may have been approved by a court ruling in a
    similar case last December.  Paramount Communications was forced
    to consider a hostile offer from QVC after shareholders sued to
    block a friendly merger between it and Viacom.  "The court sent a
    loud warning to corporate managers that they cannot let personal
    preferences govern their decisions."  Meanwhile, the SEC is
    examining trading in Caesars' stock, which rose "noticeably
    higher in advance of Monday's takeover offer" (Cindy Krischer
    Goodman, MIAMI HERALD, 12/22).
         THE GAMBLING PROBLEM:  Because ITT is expected to become co-
    owner of the Knicks and Rangers, the NHL and NBA will probably
    require ITT to ban betting on their games once ITT officially
    gains control of both Caesars and the two teams.  ITT
    spokesperson Jim Gallagher: "The leagues have their rules and we
    have publicly said we will do whatever we have to do to own both"
    teams (Kenneth Gilpin, N.Y. TIMES, 12/22).  In New York, Dave
    Anderson notes that one solution would have ITT selling off the
    two teams: "Casino owners catering to high rollers shouldn't also
    be team owners. ... Too much suspicion.  Too much temptation.
    Sports has enough worries about gambling" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/22).

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Franchises, NBA, New York Knicks, NHL, Viacom

         The Raptors announced yesterday that not only did they
    surpass the NBA minimum of 12,500 season-tickets, but also that
    they "firmed up" their plans for a new arena.  The team reached
    an agreement "in principal on basic business terms" with Canada
    Post on a downtown site, just blocks away from SkyDome.  The
    Raptors will reportedly pay $30M up front, and $1.5M per year for
    the next 20 years to develop a four-acre parcel of land for their
    22,000 seat stadium.  Payments would increase if the Raptors
    bring in new tenants, such as a hockey team.  The team faced a
    league-mandated deadline of December 31 to finalize its arena
    plans, and the annoucements yesterday marked a big day for the
    Raptors.  Raptors Stadium Director Jay Cross said many obstacles
    remained, but he was hopeful that "arrangements should be in
    place by next summer, with construction to start in the fall"
    (Bill Harris, TORONTO SUN, 12/22).  The site, "nestled beside the
    heavily travelled Gardiner Expressway, has high billboard value."
    The team is expected to sell name rights to a corporate buyer who
    could become a "fixture on the skyline" (James Christie, Toronto
    GLOBE & MAIL, 12/22).
         TICKETS:  Raptors President John Bitove announced that the
    team received deposits on 15,127 season-tickets, well over the
    12,500 mark.  As reported yesterday, the team received a large
    boost for Shoppers Drug Mart who purchased up to 4,250 tickets
    (Chris Young, TORONTO STAR, 12/22).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Toronto Raptors

         Save the Rams, the civic group trying to keep the Rams in
    the L.A. area, will hold a news conference today to announce
    their plans to fight the team's rumored move to St. Louis.  Save
    the Rams believes the team is about to sign a lease with St.
    Louis, and will launch an "all-out lobbying assault on NFL owners
    and Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in an effort to secure the eight
    league votes necessary to block the move."  Save the Rams Co-
    Chair Leigh Steinberg: "We're going to give a progress report on
    where we think the battle goes from here.  This is going to be
    Phase Two."  The group may call on CA Gov. Pete Wilson, U.S.
    Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and former baseball
    commissioner Peter Ueberroth to "persuade owners that Orange
    County can support the Rams and deliver on a package that would
    make them financially competitive" (Mike DiGiovanna, L.A. TIMES,
    12/22).  Bob Glauber of THE SPORTING NEWS writes on the
    implications of pro football leaving the L.A. market. Glauber
    calls a Rams move "bad news for the business of pro football,"
    and noting the potential loss of the Raiders as well, he adds
    that "franchise stability is paramount to any sports league's
    success. ... Not only do you remove football from an area that
    has had an NFL team for nearly half a century, but you remove a
    product from a major population center, something that can result
    in a loss of significant revenue" (THE SPORTING NEWS, 12/26

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Ottawa Senators, LA Rams, Vulcan Ventures, Wilson Sporting Goods

         Political and business leaders in Tampa unveiled a "radical
    plan" on Wednesday, pledging public money to guarantee ticket
    sales to help put 55,000 fans in the stands for every Bucs home
    game over the next two years.  The leaders hope the guarantee
    sends a "strong signal to investor groups concerned about paying
    a near-record price to buy the Bucs and keep them in town."
    Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman: "Our future will change drastically
    if this franchise moves out of this area."  The "novel plan is
    the most daring step so far by a community fearful that Orioles
    Owner Peter Angelos will make good on his pledge to pay $200
    million for the Bucs and move them to Baltimore" (Jeff Testerman,
         DETAILS:  The City of Tampa and Hillsborough County would
    guarantee that 55,000 tickets would be sold at each home game
    unless attendance drops below 45,000.  If that happens, they will
    guarantee the purchase of up to 10,000 tickets.  Businesses would
    be the main contributor, and the "maximum exposure to taxpayers
    would be $2 million a year for two years."  The guarantee would
    be paid through a reserve fund and a sales tax.  The offer is
    being made only to new owners, not the trustees who currently run
    the team (Ken Koehn, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/22).  According to THE
    SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY's "Turnstile Tracker," the Bucs currently
    averages 45,517 for the '94 season.
         REAX:  Reaction by elected officials who will vote on the
    measure was mixed.  Hillsborough County Commissioner Joe Chillura
    said the plan was premature, stating the team does not have
    owners yet:  "This is analogous to an arranged wedding where one
    is not identified. ... We need to dance before we get engaged"
    (Ken Koehn, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/22).
         NEW BUYER? Orlando-based sports agent Robert Fraley met with
    team trustee Steve Story to state his interest in the Bucs.
    Fraley represents a group of Orlando-area investors who intend to
    keep the team in Tampa (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/22).

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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