SBD/31/Franchises

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  • "BAD TASTE" OF LOCKOUT LINGERING IN DETROIT?

          The Red Wings fans and season ticket holders are
    "exhibiting the bad taste the lockout has left in their mouths,"
    according to Cynthia Lambert of the DETROIT FREE-PRESS.  Lambert
    looks at the Red Wings' attendance figures, adding that between
    1,500 and 2,000 seats were empty at a recent home game, many in
    the lower bowl:  "That to me shows more damage than fans not
    wanting to shell out money just yet.  We're talking about people
    who have already paid for their tickets, yet opted not to go."
    Citing the Leafs' Fan Appreciation Giveaway, Lambert writes that
    other NHL teams "should take note" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 1/29).
    

    Print | Tags: Detroit Red Wings, Franchises, NHL
  • GOING TO HELL IN A BUCKET, AT LEAST CATS ENJOYED THE RIDE

         "The end of a season generally is dictated by lack of
    performance.  The Hartford Hellcats' season ended Monday because
    of a lack of money," according to Roy Hasty in this morning's
    HARTFORD COURANT.  The Hellcats' ownership, the Hartford Sports
    and Entertainment Group Inc. (HSE), ended operations Monday,
    causing the CBA team to fold.  The HSE ran out of money to
    operate the team and couldn't meet the payroll over the weekend.
    HSE was "hoping to get help from the Connecticut Development
    Authority (CDA), which was negotiating with three groups
    interested in buying" the team, but none of the offers were "firm
    enough" to reach a deal.  HSE Spokesperson Tom Drohan said the
    group owes about $200,000 in addition to its loan commitments of
    $1.25M to the state, which guaranteed the loan package through
    the CDA.  Although the CDA currently operates the Connecticut
    Coyotes of the Arena Football League, CDA spokesperson Joseph
    Cohen said the authority did not want to assume control of the
    Hellcats because the team "has been bleeding large amounts of
    money over an extended period of time."  Cohen:  "The Hellcats
    were just too far gone."  The CBA also has a "provision to take
    over the operation" of a failing team, but refused to do so. CBA
    Commissioner Tom Valdiserri: "This situation does not and will
    not deter the CBA from continuing our efforts in moving the
    league in a positive direction" (Roy Hasty, HARTFORD COURANT,
    1/31).  Drohan on the Hellcats' failure:  "We didn't sell enough
    tickets ... And we didn't get the corporate support we needed.
    ... We know how hard-pressed the corporations are in this
    community" (Owen Canfield, HARTFORD COURANT, 1/31).  ESPN's Keith
    Olbermann reported the story last night, quoting a team official:
    "There is no money to go forward, there is no reason to go
    forward" ("SportsCenter," 1/30).
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, ESPN, Franchises, Phoenix Coyotes, Walt Disney
  • ITT READY TO STOP TAKING SPORTS BIDS AT CAESARS

         ITT Corp. said it has reached a "general understanding" with
    NHL and NBA officials to "eventually stop taking sports bets at
    Caesars Palace and its other Nevada casinos," according to this
    morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The agreement reportedly leaves
    open the "possibility that ITT will be able to help its customers
    place sports bets at other casinos."  ITT's deal for Madison
    Square Garden -- which includes the Rangers and Knicks -- could
    be finalized this week.  The deal had been delayed since ITT's
    acquisition of Caesars World, as both the NHL and NBA "bar team
    owners from owning businesses that take bets on sporting events"
    (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/31).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Franchises, NBA, New York Knicks, NHL
  • KRAFT'S COMMENTS NO "ULTIMATUM"; WELD PLEDGES STATE SUPPORT

         Patriots Owner Robert Kraft, "distressed" to find his
    comments on the state of his franchise on the front page in the
    BOSTON GLOBE on Sunday, said he gave no "ultimatum" for the state
    to help his team.  Kraft said comments attributed to him asking
    for state financial help or he would have to sell or move the
    team are not accurate.  Asked if selling the Patriots is an
    option, Kraft said: "No.  Of course not" (George Kimball, BOSTON
    HERALD, 1/30).  MA Gov. William Weld said he did promise
    assistance to Kraft, and he "intends to honor that promise."
    Weld said within the next 30 days he would submit "a legislative
    package to pay for a combination" of highway and parking
    improvements around Foxboro Stadium.  Although the team wants
    help building new luxury seats, Weld said the state was not
    prepared to "go that far" (Kindleberger & Black, BOSTON GLOBE,
    1/30).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New England Patriots
  • OWNERS QUIET ON RAMS MOVE DURING SUPER BOWL WEEK

         A random "straw poll" taken during Super Bowl week in Miami
    showed most NFL owners reluctant to take a position on the Rams
    move to St. Louis.  "A handful refused to respond.  A majority
    declined to comment saying they wanted to wait" for Commissioner
    Paul Tagliabue's report.  The "most promising statement for Rams
    fans" came from the Cowboys' Jerry Jones.  Jones: "When I'm
    looking at Los Angeles I'm saying where are our two teams?  Yes,
    two.  Los Angeles is huge for the NFL, huge.  I am very
    sympathetic to the Rams' position and their circumstances.  But
    this will have to be one in the best interests of the league, not
    just the Rams or Cowboys or any other team."  49ers President
    Carmen Policy said the league is "concerned the Rams have not
    done well" in L.A. and if the Rams meet the guidelines the league
    has set for relocation, "the NFL will be hard-pressed not to say
    yes" (Michele Himmelberg, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 1/31).  In St.
    Louis this morning, the POST DISPATCH runs an extensive Q-and-A
    piece for fans interested in personal seat licenses (Tim O'Neil,
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/31).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Franchises, NFL, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams
  • SHARKS UNVEIL PLANS FOR THEIR FIRST EVER FAN FEST

         The Sharks will hold their first ever Sharks Fan Fest on
    Sunday, March 12 at the San Jose Arena.  In what the team bill's
    as an "interactive extravaganza," 6,000 fans will have the chance
    to interact with Sharks players, wives and coaches in a carnival-
    style environment while raising funds for the Shark Foundation.
    Sponsors of the event include Cellular One, Smythe Buick Pontiac
    and GMC Truck, KICU-TV and SportsChannel (Sharks).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, General Motors, San Jose Sharks
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