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  • BUCS SALE BOOSTS ALL FRANCHISE VALUES?

         Malcolm Glazer's purchase of the Buccaneers for $192M sent
    shock waves "throughout the North American sports community," as
    the worst-ever NFL team was sold for the highest price of any
    professional sports team in history.  FINANCIAL WORLD's Managing
    Editor Paul Brown says Glazer overpaid by $50M: "But Economics
    101 tells you the worth of anything is what somebody is willing
    to pay for it.  And you've got a lot of rich guys walking around
    with money burning a hole in their pockets."  The sale will boost
    franchise values in every sports, according to Brown: "This sale
    transcends sports. ... If I own the [Blue] Jays, I point out the
    Tampa Bay sold for 30 per cent above its appraised value and make
    the argument that it's worth $200 million."   Brown estimated the
    Dallas Cowboys value jumped from $190M to $290M    "If I'm
    (Dallas Cowboys) owner Jerry Jones, I buy a case of champagne"
    (Tim Harper, TORONTO STAR, 1/18).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Franchises, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • RAIDERS NOW IN DRIVER'S SEAT?

         The Rams move affects the Raiders on "several fronts."  Most
    notably, with a stadium.  Raiders Owner Al Davis may be "able to
    use the loss of the Rams as leverage to better guarantee that"
    current negotiations on a new facility are successfully
    concluded.  Davis has held talks about a stadium at Hollywood
    Park in Inglewood and the league had "already been working for
    some time to keep the team here."  If the team reaches an
    agreement, they could stay at the L.A. Coliseum for the interim,
    or move to Anaheim, where Davis could take advantage of luxury
    seating the Coliseum lacks.  A Raider official also noted
    yesterday that the club might increase "its advertising effort in
    Orange County to attract disenfranchised fans there."  The
    Raiders will also benefit from being the only team covered by
    local print and electronic media (Steve Springer, L.A. TIMES,
    1/18).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams
  • RAMS HOLD CELEBRATION IN ST. LOUIS; FRONTIERE RETURNS "HOME"

         The long-awaited announcement of Rams' move to St. Louis was
    made yesterday at the America's Center Convention complex in
    downtown St. Louis.  "It was part celebration, part pep-rally,
    part theater.  And Rams Owner Georgia Frontiere ... stole the
    show," according to Jim Thomas in this morning's ST. LOUIS POST-
    DISPATCH.  Frontiere, a St. Louis native: "I'm so proud to be
    able to come home after this long journey in my life."  She was
    introduced with Columbia, MO, businessman Stan Kroenke who
    finalized his purchase of 30% of the team for $60M.  The
    unprecedented deal, outlined in yesterday's SPORTS BUSINESS
    DAILY, virtually guarantees the Rams a annual $20M pretax profit
    for a team that lost over $6M last year.  Former Sen. Tom
    Eagleton, spokesperson for FANS, Inc., the civic group who
    negotiated the move, said the city must now "put up or shut up,"
    as it faces a March 10 deadline to sell 40,000 permanent seat
    licenses, or the Rams can void the deal.  Yesterday, the two
    public phone numbers to FANS, Inc. were "swamped" all day, and
    Eagleton said more phone lines and operators will be installed
    soon (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/18).  The relocation
    must be approved by 23 of the league's 30 owners at the NFL
    league meetings in March in Phoenix.  Vikings President & CEO
    Roger Headrick told the L.A. TIMES that the vote was no "sure
    thing":  "One of the things you have to look at is the reasons
    they lost money there" (Mike DiGiovanna, L.A. TIMES, 1/18).
    Giants Pres Wellington Mara: "I am very unhappy ... of one of our
    teams leaving one of the largest markets in the country."  Chiefs
    Owner Lamar Hunt: "I'd rather see stability.  The Rams have been
    in California for years" (Lorraine Kee, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH,
    1/18). Frontiere was confident of approval: "Most of the owners
    have had problems of their own.  They all realize the predicament
    I've been in" (Michele Himmelberg, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 1/18).
         LOCAL REAX:  In St. Louis, Bernie Miklasz writes: "We lost a
    football team seven years ago, and no one felt sorry for St.
    Louis.  ... Orange County defaulted on its team" (ST. LOUIS POST-
    DISPATCH, 1/18). Bob Oates of the L.A. TIMES writes: "Has L.A.
    degenerated as a sports town?  No ... The Rams aren't walking
    away from something bad.  They're headed for something better --
    millions of dollars in luxury box revenues" (Bob Oates, L.A.
    TIMES, 1/18).  Bob Keisser of the Long Beach PRESS-TELEGRAM
    writes: "In many ways, the Rams move behooves the NFL cartel.
    One team here might prop up TV ratings for everyone" (Long Beach
    PRESS-TELEGRAM, 1/18). Mike Downey of the L.A. TIMES blames poor
    management on the Rams departure: "Management -- and I use this
    word loosely   -- of the Rams tore down this team, piece by
    piece. ... This team that has been so completely mismanaged is
    St. Louis' problem now and wait until the suckers they get stuck
    paying the tab" (L.A. TIMES, 1/18).
         INTERVIEW: Yesterday, THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY spoke with
    the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER's Michele Himmelberg, who has covered
    the Rams' move from the start.  Himmelberg noted the team and
    city have been at odds since the Rams moved South from the L.A.
    in '80: "It's a bad marriage that's just gone sour and the $30
    million payment back to Anaheim is the divorce settlement."
    Himmelberg believes the city of Anaheim had no chance to keep the
    team without support from surrounding communities: "What the city
    of Anaheim has learned, and what Orange County has learned
    through this whole process, is that it's too hard for [a area
    that size] to stay in the professional sports market anymore."
    She cited the team's lack of community involvement and poor on-
    field performance, which created a loser at the box office.  When
    asked whether these tactics could have been planned by the Rams
    to pave their way out of town, Himmelberg responded: "It looks
    suspicious."  However, Himmelberg said Rams fans "have really put
    together a remarkable effort and have gotten a steady flow of
    support" in an attempt to keep the team, and if they lose the
    Rams, they may use their organization to lure an existing
    franchise.  Himmelberg mentioned the Raiders, Browns and
    Cardinals as possible future tenants in Anaheim (THE DAILY).
    

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Browns, Franchises, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, NFL, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams
  • SAVE THE RAMS PUTS FIGHT INTO "OVERDRIVE" TO KEEP TEAM

         Save the Rams, the civic group trying to keep the Rams in
    Southern CA, said yesterday that they intend to lobby team owners
    in an attempt to garner the eight "no" votes necessary to block a
    Rams move.  Their "two-pronged attack" includes lobbying NFL
    Commissioner Paul Tagliabue with a presentation outlining an
    offer to the Rams that "could be worth" $22M in annual profits to
    the team.  The presentation would also include appearances by
    politicians and "impressive people" will to "buy all or part" of
    the team.  Another part of the plan is to show the league owners
    that the team made "a series of deliberate moves to undercut
    their fan base" (Michele Himmelberg, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER,
    1/18).  Steinberg hinted he could "stop" the move through
    Frontiere's "lack of desire to go through litigation": "Georgia
    is no Al Davis.  She's not going to go through all that" (Mike
    DiGiovanna, L.A. TIMES, 1/18). Rams President John Shaw called
    any attempt to stop the team's move "a longshot" (Andre Mouchard,
    ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 1/18).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, St. Louis Rams
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