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         "A deal to wrest control of the Heat from partners Lewis
    Schaffel and Billy Cunningham is on the verge of being
    completed," according to this morning's MIAMI HERALD.  The deal,
    brought together by Micky Arison, whose family owns the majority
    of the team, would allow the five remaining limited partners to
    buy out Schaffel and Cunningham.  Arison's attempts to reach an
    agreement have been impeded by a lawsuit filed by Whit Hudson,
    who tried unsuccessfully to purchase managing control of the team
    for $60M.  One source close to Hudson said that "Hudson's
    motivation now is to assist Micky Arison to straighten out the
    team's confused management structure."  Hudson:  "Our lawsuit is
    still in place, but we've been talking to the Arisons to try and
    get something settled" (Reed & Marvez, MIAMI HERALD, 1/27).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Miami Heat

         The Rams move to St. Louis is the focus of a front page
    piece in this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL by John Helyar.
    Helyar writes the "economic underpinning of the league has long
    been its generous revenue-sharing arrangements: equal sharing of
    network television money and a 60-40 home visitor gate split. ...
    This egalitarian approach left NFL teams with basically equal
    resources."  But Helyar notes the clubs now are becoming
    "economically stratified by their ability to extract -- or extort
    -- lucrative stadium deals. ...  Suddenly, a stadium wasn't'
    considered just a game venue, but also a financial asset."
    Profits from improved facilities led to owners gaining from
    unshared income and moving to a different financial plane than
    their counterparts.  Now, with the minimum salary in the NFL, the
    disparities between clubs has become more apparent.  SportsCorp
    Ltd. Marc Ganis comments on the cap's effect: "Some people
    thought that would create more league parity.  It has caused
    exactly the opposite.  A low-revenue team now has spend very
    close to what the high revenue teams do for salaries" (John
    Helyar, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/27).
         NO TIME FOR SAVE THE RAMS:  Save the Rams, the civic
    committee trying to block the Rams move to St. Louis, will not be
    able to address NFL owners at a special meeting on February 16

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, LA Rams

         Timberwolves Owner Harvey Ratner said he and his partner
    Marvin Wolfenson cannot afford to accept less money for their
    sale of the team.  Ratner and Wolfenson have agreed to sell the
    team to Glen Taylor for $88.5M contingent on the buyout of the
    Target Center, which has been held up due to tax problems.
    Ratner called the problems "not our fault," adding "they should
    have done their homework before they made the proposal. ... We
    can't afford to accept (less).  We still owe $76 million on the
    (Target Center). ... Somebody will pay it. I just don't know who
    or how" (Charley Walters, Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 1/26).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Minnesota Timberwolves
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