The official transfer of ownership of the Warriors to cable TV exec Christopher Cohan was finalized on Thursday. NBA owners had approved the sale by former owners Dan Finnane and Jim Fitzgerald on Tuesday, but the "official exchange was delayed" because Cohan had to restructure a bank loan to meet league requirements. Cohan, a resident of San Francisco, first purchased 25% of the team in '91 for $21M and "reportedly paid $105M to take complete control of the franchise." The day-to-day operations of the club will be handled by newly hired team President, Andy Dolich, former Exec VP of the A's (David Li, OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 1/20).
Former Senator Tom Eagleton, who heads FANS, Inc. -- the civic group negotiating the Rams' move to St. Louis -- was "caught off guard" by the announcement that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "wants to review all aspects of the Rams' relocation." Tagliabue has called for a special February 16 meeting in Dallas to review the move, and NFL owners are supposed to vote on the deal at their spring meetings in March. Eagleton: "Am I surprised? Yes. Am I downcast? No. I think when it is reviewed they will see that all the requirements and criteria that are needed for such a move the Rams have met" (Timothy Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 1/20). MORE SUITES: The Rams have asked FANS, Inc. to build 20 more luxury boxes in time for the stadium's opening in October, raising the number of luxury suites to 120. Premium seat sales in St. Louis seem to be strong: 80 of the 120 suites are already spoken for. FANS spokesperson Al Kerth said that FANS has commitments for 5,400 of the 6,388 club seats. The deal with the Rams guarantees commitments -- including a deposit and a signed contract -- of 6,000 club seats by mid-March (Robert Steyer, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/20). MORE FALLOUT? Angels Owner Jackie Autry warned that if attendance at Angels games does not pick up, the team could follow the Rams out of town: "It is time for Orange County to wake up. If they don't the only team left in Anaheim may be a hockey club." The N.Y. POST's Tom Keegan writes of Autry's remark: "Threatening fans in the midst of a work stoppage ... always adds such a nice public relations touch" (Tom Keegan, N.Y. POST, 1/20).
New Bucs Owner Malcolm Glazer's two sons will play a large role in the team's community relations program in an effort to "sell the Bucs." Byran, 30, and Joel, 28, will use their own experiences to help make the Bucs a success. Joel Glazer: "We're fans. We're coming at this from a different perspective because we've been sitting around in the stands for the last 25 years waiting in line for hot dogs and seeing the little things fans get annoyed with." The two plans to push out into the community to "drum up a lot of support" for the franchise. Joel: "We want people to see us. Get to know us. We think marketing is very, very important" (Nick Pugliese, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/20).