SBD/22/Franchises

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  • APSL EXPANDS TO THE BIG APPLE

         The APSL will add a seventh franchise with a new team in New
    York this spring, giving the Big Apple its first professional
    soccer franchise in 15 years.  The New York Centaurs will play at
    Downing Stadium on Randall's Island.  Team colors will be orange,
    blue and silver with a white logo -- similar to the Mets and
    Knicks.  NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says he hopes the team "could
    build on the soccer spirit" generated by the area's hosting of
    the World Cup last summer (AP/N.Y. POST, 2/22).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Franchises, New York Knicks, New York Mets
  • BITOVE: EXPANSION DRAFT WILL BE SHOWN, SOME WAY, SOME HOW

         Raptors President John Bitove says that contrary to a
    statement by NBA operations VP Matt Winick, Canadian fans will
    see the expansion draft on television.  Bitove: "One way or
    another, we are committed to getting the draft on TV for our
    fans.  That's sacrosanct."  Bitove says he will try and get an
    agreement with a national network to carry the draft.  If that's
    not possible, he will "enlist" local broadcast partner CITY-TV to
    carry the draft in Ontario.  Bitove:  "The league told me over a
    year ago that this was an idea they wanted to try.  I know
    they're completely supportive" (Craig Daniels, TORONTO SUN,
    2/22).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Toronto Raptors
  • CHARLOTTE INVESTORS WANT HIGHER LEVEL HOCKEY AT COLISEUM

         ECHL Charlotte Checkers Owner Felix Sabates and Managing
    General Partner Carl Scheer said that they are interested in
    owning an NHL, IHL or AHL team that would play hockey in the
    Charlotte Coliseum.  The Checkers average 7,900 fans per game
    playing in Independence Arena, second highest in the
    developmental ECHL.  Sabates and Scheer think hockey at a higher
    level would fill even more seats.  Scheer: "Our intention is to
    play hockey in Charlotte this year, next year and 10 years from
    now. ... If the Charlotte Coliseum is for sale we'd like to be in
    the discussions."  Sabates and Scheer say "numerous recent
    inquiries" to purchase the coliseum from the city "forced their
    hand."  The city's coliseum authority and the Hornets are
    negotiating a new lease that could bring improvements for the
    facility -- including an ice surface.  According to Scheer, he's
    had "several recent conversations" with NHL Commissioner Gary
    Bettman about putting a team in Charlotte.  But Sabates also
    "seemed enthused" about landing an IHL or AHL team for the
    Coliseum, predicting the team could draw 15,000-18,000 fans per
    game:  "We'll approach it from a business sense.  An IHL or AHL
    team may draw as many fans as an NHL team, but with lower ticket
    prices" (Cliff Mehrtens, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/22).
    

    Print | Tags: AHL, ECHL, Franchises, New Orleans Pelicans, NHL
  • D.C. MINORITY INVESTOR GROUP LOOKING TO BUY PIRATES

         One of two DC-Northern VA groups seeking a MLB expansion
    franchise was one of four interested parties to meet with the
    Pirates' investment bank last week, according to this morning's
    PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE.  Robert Johnson, a Northern VA shopping
    center developer and Donald Greene, a NY venture capitalist
    reportedly have pledged a combined $40M to Capital Baseball,
    which Capital Baseball President Bart Fisher now says includes
    51% minority investors.   Fisher said he met with Wertheim
    Schroeder officials last Thursday and "would give Pittsburgh a
    chance to keep the Pirates if his group bought the team."  Fisher
    "is pitching" Capital Baseball's minority investors as an
    "attraction."  Recently, both Jerry Reinsdorf, a member of MLB's
    ownership committee, and Acting Commissioner Bud Selig have said
    they prefer prospective ownership groups with minority partners.
    Capital Baseball is "running a distant second" to Virginia
    Baseball Club Inc. in an effort to bring a MLB expansion team to
    Northern VA.  For more on MLB expansion, (Steve Halvonik,
    PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/22).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Franchises, MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • JAGUARS GET A BIG CAT OFF THEIR BACKS

         Jaguars officials are "expected to complete a deal with
    Ford" next week that will make Jaguar, Ford and Lincoln-Mercury
    products "the official cars" of the Jaguars.  If a settlement is
    reached, it would end the controversy that resulted in Jaguar
    Cars, Ltd. filing a lawsuit that the team's "leaping cat" logo
    too closely resembled its own.  Under the proposal, the car
    companies would pay an "undetermined amount of money for
    corporate sponsorship," as well as lease an "undisclosed number
    of cars" to the team to be used by team personnel.  Two car
    dealers familiar with the negotiations added that the deal will
    also include full-page advertising for the car companies in team
    publications, such as game-day programs, advertising on rotating
    scoreboard signs at the south end of the stadium, and TV and
    radio time (Earl Daniels, FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 2/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Jacksonville Jaguars
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