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         The Hillsborough County Commission, the elected body that
    will try to keep the Bucs in Tampa, is faced with internal
    disagreements on how to help the franchise.  Two staff members
    have been directed to monitor the sale and develop options on
    what can be done to help the team, but several "members also
    warned that they do not want to commit any public dollars to the
    project too soon."  Much of the funding to renovate Tampa Stadium
    would come from the county (Kevin Walker, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/8).
         FOR SALE:  Palm Beach millionaire George Lindemann said he
    will not enter a "blind auction" for the team and described the
    sale price of $175M-$200M unrealistic for a group planning to
    operate the club in Tampa.  Lindemann: "I can't afford to match
    what Baltimore will pay" (Rick Stroud, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES,
    12/8).  If Orioles Owner Peter Angelos bids "high" and loses,
    "he'll go after the NFL and the Bucs in court," according to USA
    TODAY'S Gordon Forbes.   Forbes also reports the NFL is working
    behind the scenes to keep the Rams and the Bucs from moving.
    "The fear is that a Rams move might be followed by a Raiders
    move, and the NFL also wants a Jacksonville-Tampa rivalry" (USA
    TODAY, 12/8).

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, NFL, Oakland Raiders, LA Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

         John Labatt Ltd. may seek a partnership or joint venture in
    its bid to "spin off part of its sports and entertainment
    assets," according to company President George Taylor.  Labatt
    "is mulling over a number of options in its selloff strategy and
    not only a public offering, as has been widely reported."
    Labatt's sports and entertainment assets include the Blue Jays,
    the SkyDome and TSN.  Taylor said the company still intends "to
    control and drive the development of these businesses -- whether
    its 49% or 45 or 40, (that is sold off) doesn't much matter."
    Taylor acknowledged that the baseball strike, "which soaked up
    about" C$16M of Labatt's earnings, has delayed selloff plans.
    And the "sinking stock markets probably aren't as receptive to an
    issue as they were last June."  Labatt has been hit by the NHL
    lockout as well, but to a much lesser extent (Marina Strauss,
    Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/8).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Labatt Brewing, NHL, Toronto Blue Jays

         Raptors President John Bitove said the ticket office's phone
    lines continue to ring after Tuesday's open house at SkyDome.
    About 600 season tickets were sold from the event, and the team
    is believed to be about 3,000-3,500 sales away from meeting the
    NBA's mandate of 12,500 season tickets by December 31.  The team
    is working on a "massive corporate sponsorship said to be worth
    multiple million of dollars."  Rumors had GM signing on (Jim
    Byers, TORONTO STAR, 12/8).
         COLLEGE HOOPS STRUGGLES TO SELL: This weekend's U.S. college
    basketball games at Maple Leaf Gardens are having trouble
    selling.  The poor sale of lower end seats have led to a $5-off
    coupon program, lowering prices from $7-12 for the Georgetown-
    Memphis game.  Peter Allemang, organizer of the adidas Toronto
    Invitational and president of DWA Canada: "In reality, we're
    surprised.  We feel we priced the event really well" (Jim Byers,
    TORONTO STAR, 12/8).

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