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  • ALABAMA BEER DISTRIBUTOR READY TO BECOME CFL ROUGH RIDER

         Elliot Maisel, an AL-based beer distributor, is reportedly
    ready to buy the Ottawa Rough Riders.  Maisel could finalize the
    deal as early as Wednesday.  Team officials indicated the only
    item holding back the deal was a potential offer from Chicago
    restaurateur Horn Chen.  Rider President Phil Kershaw also met
    with Florida developer and leader of the Orlando baseball bid,
    Norton Herrick.  Herrick was "only letting the CFL know he was
    interested in a team for Orlando as soon as possible."  Maisel
    and four partners would buy the club from current Owner Bruce
    Firestone and sell it back to local interests after two years and
    "purchase an expansion team for Mobile, possibly as early as
    1997."  The price of the franchise is reportedly close to $3M
    (Don Campbell, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 2/14).
         SPEROS SAID BALTIMORE IN THE RED: Baltimore CFL Owner Jim
    Speros said that although his team led the league in attendance,
    he lost $648,000 on the team.  Speros said he would have drawn
    even if not for the instability around the league (Ken Murray,
    Baltimore SUN, 2/12).
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Franchises
  • ARISON IN COMPLETE CONTROL PROMISES CHANGES TO HEAT

         The Arison family's $60M purchase of team shares owned by
    Billy Cunningham and Lewis Schaffel was approved by the NBA
    yesterday.  The Arison family now holds 100% of the Florida
    Basketball Associates, Inc., with Micky Arison overseeing the
    family's interest in the team.  Micky Arison met with the press
    yesterday where he promised "sweeping, across-the-board" changes:
    "I think virtually every area of the franchise has to change and
    I intend to do that."  Arison's first mission is to "get people
    back to the arena." Arison said he would study the situation with
    the Miami Arena, a facility which NBA Commissioner David Stern
    said yesterday was "inadequate" for an NBA team "in the long
    run."  Arison announced he would leave the business day-to-day
    operations to Heat VP Pauline Winick and make hiring a GM a "top
    priority" (Alex Marvez, MIAMI HERALD, 2/14).
         OTHER NBA NEWS:  Stern "gave a positive" report on the
    progress of the Wolves sale, but reissued a warning that the
    league would move the franchise if local leaders miss an April 1
    deadline on the buyout of the Target Center (Ray Richardson, ST.
    PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 2/14).  The Board of Governors also approved
    the Knicks' ownership change.
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Franchises, Miami Heat, NBA, New York Knicks
  • GLAZER'S ATTEMPTS TO DIVEST FROM COMPANY FAILS

         New Buccaneers Owner Malcolm Glazer's deal to sell his  31%
    share in Envirodyne Industries, a "troubled" IL company, fell
    through after Glazer thought he had struck an agreement.  Glazer
    and his family dismiss the idea that the stock sale and the
    purchase of the Bucs are related, as there was speculation that
    Glazer was trying to gain equity for the franchise.  Glazer said
    that the "failure of the stock deal would not affect the [Bucs]
    deal, and repeated his statement when asked if the stock deal was
    an attempt to raise cash" (Rex Henderson, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • LOCKOUT BACKLASH IN CANADA AS NHL TEAMS STRUGGLE AT THE GATE

         Outside of Calgary, a lockout backlash in Western Canada is
    "certainly true," according to Mike Beamish of the VANCOUVER SUN.
    The difficulties the Jets, Canucks, and Oilers have faced, both
    on the ice and at the gate, is "the worst case of bad timing."
    Poor attendance could be interpreted as "further evidence of
    trouble with a Canadian 'small-market team.'"  Beamish: "Out
    there in the desert, Suns' President Jerry Colangelo is doing the
    relocation dance. ... The owners hoped-for 'footprint' in the
    American sunbelt could become a stampede."  Beamish claims that
    the "notion that a city's image depends on its ability to attract
    and support professional sports is very much in vogue in the
    United States.  Civic pride is not so much about peaceful
    neighborhoods ... but whether the local arena has enough skyboxes
    and club seats to keep the pro team satisfied" (VANCOUVER SUN,
    2/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, New York Jets, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Phoenix Suns, Vancouver Canucks
  • NAME THAT FRANCHISE

         The Phoenix baseball partnership officially began a name-
    the-team contest Monday, asking fans to choose between Arizona
    Coyotes, Arizona Scorpions, Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona
    Rattlers or Arizona Phoenix (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Franchises, Phoenix Coyotes
  • NO EXPANSION FEE FOR RAPTORS/GRIZZLIES UNTIL CBA IS REACHED

         NBA officials advised the league's Board of Governors
    yesterday that the Canadian expansion clubs won't have to pay the
    $112.5M expansion fee they owe the league until a CBA is reached
    with the players.  The league had pushed back the due date for
    payment to March 1, but "now another respite has been granted,
    although the league may ask that the money be put in escrow."
    The league was given an update yesterday on the progress of the
    two teams.  The Grizzlies do not yet have the "mandated broadcast
    agreement in place," but the league is "being patient because its
    own national Canadian deal has not yet been completed."  The
    Raptors have their broadcast deal, but are running "into trouble
    on a proposed pay-per-view deal."  The team wanted to offer 82
    games at $150, with 20 live and the rest on tape-delay.  But
    Viewers Choice Canada has not agreed to those terms (Neil
    Campbell, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Toronto Raptors
  • TWINS TO FEATURE UNIFORM IN ADS, NOT WHO'S IN THEM

         Under a replacement player scenario, the Twins' marketing
    plan would look to capitalize on "three old faithfuls" -- the
    Metrodome, the Twins uniform, and manager Tom Kelly.  Kelly will
    be the featured star in radio and TV ads.  Bill Mahre, Twins VP
    of Sales and Marketing:  "The biggest focus of ours is that
    baseball will be played on April 4 at the Metrodome, whether it's
    major leaguers or replacement players" (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE,
    2/13).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Minnesota Twins
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