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The Milwaukee business community committed yesterday to increase Brewers' season ticket sales by 25% starting this year as part of a six-year promise to financially support the team. This morning's MILWAUKEE SENTINEL reports the business leaders also guaranteed 2.2M in attendance at a new Brewers stadium, which is "a critical step toward cementing the club's future in Milwaukee." The ticket promise is worth about $2M in new ticket sales in '95 with an increase from 8,000 season tickets in '94 to 10,000. Metropolitan Milwaukee Chamber Chair Robert O'Toole said the promise "was valid regardless of whether the Brewers field a team of replacement players this spring." O'Toole said area businesses would buy any unsold season tickets to meet the annual goals, and announced that business leaders will "launch a statewide season ticket sales campaign." Brewers VP/Sales Jeff Eisenberg said the effort will also include advertising and other marketing efforts "well beyond what the Brewers could afford to do on their own." A ticket guarantee was expected to be part of the efforts by the community to help the Brewers build a new stadium, and the guarantee of attendance leading up to the construction and opening of a new stadium provides a "key revenue source" for the team (James Nelson, MILWAUKEE SENTINEL, 1/24).
After remarks by former Bullet Tom Gugliotta, and current player Chris Webber questioning the organization's care of its players, Bullets President Susan O'Malley defended Bullets Owner Abe Pollin and the organization in this morning's WASHINGTON TIMES. Webber recently complained regarding lack of space in their charter flights, and the food served on the flights. The Bullets have a deal with USAir for the season. O'Malley said if players have a complaint, "we want to be accommodating." A survey by the TIMES notes that of 23 teams reached, nine own or lease their own plane, 13 teams fly charters, and one team, the Bucks, split time between commercial and charter flights. The Jazz was the only team reached that flew "strictly commercial" -- because the team has an agreement with Delta Airlines, which owns naming rights to the team's arena. The Jazz "will not charter with other airlines." Two Bullet players recently complained on the food USAir was serving on flights, and the team has switched to a catered menu. It is unlikely Pollin would purchase a plane for the team, since he would probably have to do the same for his NHL Capitals (Frank Hughes, WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/24).
LA Governor Edwin Edwards said an annoucement would be made this week regarding the purchase of the Class AAA Zephyrs by a "local group." Edwards would not reveal the name of the buyers, but New Orleans attorney Rob Couhig has been attempting to purchase the team from current owner John Dikeou. The two reportedly met last week in Denver. The Zephyrs are scheduled to move into a $20M, 10,000 seat stadium to be built in Metairie in time for the '96 season. The team sale, for a "minor-league record" $8.5M, reportedly has been on and off for months (Peter Barrouquere, New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/21).
Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner has rejected parts of the city's $380M plan to "keep the team in the Bronx," according to a report in this morning's N.Y. POST. City officials have since formulated a new plan and submitted it back to Steinbrenner, but no details of the proposal were released. Steinbrenner dismissed a report in this week's NEW YORK OBSERVER that he has decided "to abandon the Bronx" and had met secretly with officials at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. Through a spokesperson, Steinbrenner said: "We haven't made up our minds yet as to what we will do." Steinbrenner met yesterday with city officials, including NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, about the city's proposal (David Seifman, N.Y. POST, 1/24).