SBD/28/Franchises

DOWN ON THE FARM: MAJOR HAPPENINGS IN THE MINOR LEAGUES

     Much as state governments are referred to as the
laboratories of dmeocracy, the minor leagues are the laboritories
of the sports industry -- the place where numerous good ideas get
their start.  Today, THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY debuts "Down On
The Farm" -- the first in a regular series highlighting the
creative promotions, front office news and executive moves from
the minor leagues.
     NOT EASY BEING GREEN:  The IHL Kalamazoo Wings will continue
their annual tradition of dying their home ice green on St.
Patrick's Day for their game against the Vipers.  In-between
period entertainment will include Irish music and dancers.  The
Wings claim to be the only team that dyes their ice green on
March 17 year-in, year-out (Wings).
     TAKE THAT TO THE BANK:  The IHL Minnesota Moose and the AHL
Cornwall Aces both offered "Guaranteed Win Nights" last week.
The Moose lost, thus allowing fans to receive free tickets of
equal value to an upcoming game.  The Aces won their game, which
was sponsored by McDonald's, allowing fans to redeem ticket stubs
for a free order of french fries at an area McDonald's (Minnesota
Moose, Cornwall Aces).
     HANSON BROTHERS SIGHTING:  The three Hanson Brothers, stars
of the movie "Slapshot," made an appearance at the IHL Las Vegas
Thunder game on February 17.  On March 5 they will make an
appearance at the Moose game which will include a special
autograph session (Moose, Las Vegas Thunder).
     MAKING HISTORY:  The AHL Providence Bruins welcomed their
one millionth fan in the history of the franchise against the
Portland Pirates on February 17.  It was only the 110th home game
in the history of the teams, making it the fastest a minor league
hockey franchise has ever made it to 1,000,000 in total
attendance (Providence Bruins).
     DEFLECTING BAD NEWS BY DAY, SLAP SHOTS BY NIGHT:  Kelly Dyer
of the West Palm Beach Blaze of the Sunshine League is more than
the team's goalie -- she is also the team's Public Relations and
Marketing Director.  Dyer, a business major in college, took over
the position when the team's former director left shortly after
the season began.  Dyer says the move "fits into her career
plans" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/26).
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