SBD/14/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.
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