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  • BUCS ANNOUNCE TEMPORARY TICKET DISCOUNT

         The Bucs announced a "temporary, but sweeping cut of season-
    ticket prices designed to bolster a dwindling fan base."  New
    Owner Malcolm Glazer and the three-man trust that ran the team
    for the late Hugh Culverhouse reduced season-ticket prices for
    every seat in Tampa Stadium. The offer will run through May 12,
    when prices will return to last year's levels.  Single game
    tickets will remain the same price, but all season-ticket seats
    will be discounted at least 5%, and 30,000 seats will be
    available at $20 or less.  Bucs GM Rich McKay said the drive was
    oriented toward strengthening the season-ticket base, as the team
    has "not paid enough attention to season-ticket sales in years
    past" (Pat Yasinskas, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/3). The Bucs "boldest"
    move was the creation of a new category -- the $Buc-50 Zone --
    consisting of 3,230 seats whose price tag has been cut from $300
    to $150 for the year.  The special is geared to families, who
    must buy at least four season-tickets to be eligible for the low
    price.  McKay: "You cannot undersell the importance of a season-
    ticket base.  It becomes the measuring stick for the viability of
    the franchise" (Don Banks, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 2/3).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • HELLCATS MAY HAVE FOUND NEW HOME OWNER IN HARTFORD

         The CBA's Hellcats "may be back in business," according to
    this morning's HARTFORD COURANT.  After folding Monday, the
    Connecticut Development Authority announced yesterday that Brian
    Foley, owner of a health care company in CT, had put up $750,000
    to operate the team.  The deal would still need to be approved by
    the CBA, and it requires that the team stay at the Hartford Civic
    Center for the rest of the year.  After this season, Foley could
    move the team to another venue.  Foley would also not be
    "responsible for the debts" of the previous owner, the Hartford
    Sports and Exposition Group. The team "was reassembled in the
    past two days and flown -- at Foley's expense" to their next game
    site in Illinois (Roy Hasty, HARTFORD COURANT, 2/3).
    

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  • ITT REPORTS BIG 4THQ GAINS; MSG DEAL DONE IN TWO WEEKS?

         ITT's 4thQ profit "jumped" 39%, "driven by strong gains in
    the company's automotive and hotel businesses," according to Eben
    Shapiro in today's WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The results exceeded
    Wall Street's expectations and ITT's stock rose $3.50 or 3.9%, to
    $92.50/share.  ITT is in the midst of an "ambitious restructuring
    that analysts believe may lead to its being split into three
    separate companies based on its three broad business lines":
    insurance, manufacturing, and hotels and entertainment.  ITT
    Chair/CEO Rand Araskog said a restructuring has the potential to
    "create a lot of happiness" among ITT shareholders.  At a meeting
    with stock analysts, ITT said it may close its acquisition of
    Madison Square Garden, which includes the Knicks & Rangers, in a
    "week or two."  ITT also recently completed its tender offer for
    Caesars World (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/3).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Franchises, Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks
  • MEASURING THE VIABILITY OF EDMONTON'S SPORTS TEAMS

         "Edmonton's two professional sports franchises are in deep
    trouble," according to Scott Feschuk in this morning's  Toronto
    GLOBE & MAIL.  The Oilers recorded their smallest home-attendance
    figure yet on Wednesday night, and the CFL Eskimos are struggling
    to sell 7,000 new season-tickets.  Oilers GM Glen Sather:
    "Edmonton is a great hockey town. The sport is huge at the
    grassroots level.  People just don't seem to want to see us play
    anymore.  It's frustrating."  The Oilers are not playing well,
    but Sather points out that team Owner Peter Pocklington spent
    millions last year to "spruce up the aging Coliseum."  Byran
    Hall, a veteran Edmonton sportscaster said the lousy play of the
    team is one reason, but other factors include the increase in
    money spent on the video-lottery in Alberta, a backlash to the
    hockey work stoppage and higher Oilers' ticket prices.  The
    Eskimos' plight is "an even greater mystery as the team had a
    winning season and consistently drew 50,000 in the early years,
    but only 15,000 season tickets were sold in '94 (Toronto GLOBE &
    MAIL, 2/3).  Sather expressed frustration on the poor attendance:
    "I could understand if we were charging $40 a ticket, but we're
    not.  It just seems like people in the States have accepted what
    happened (during the lockout), but people here love to complain.
    You can have a hell of a junior club with 10,000 fans, or an IHL
    team, but not the NHL.  If this is all we're going to get, it's
    not a major league city" (Cam Cole, EDMONTON JOURNAL, 2/3).
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, NHL
  • RAPTORS LOSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR TO RIVAL GRIZZLIES

         Raptors Dir of Communications Tom Mayenknecht is reportedly
    leaving the team to take a position with the rival Grizzlies,
    according to reports in Canada this morning.  Sources close to
    the Raptors confirmed last night that Mayenknecht, 35, "has given
    the Raptors notice and has been hired" as a Grizzlies VP.  He
    could begin his new job by the middle of February.  There had
    been "unsubstantiated rumors recently" that Mayenknecht and team
    VP Isiah Thomas did not "see eye-to-eye on several issues,
    including the hiring of a team media relations employee" (Craig
    Daniels, TORONTO SUN, 2/3).  Mayenknecht is seen as a "key piece
    of the management puzzle" for the Northwest Arena Corp., the
    company that runs the Grizzlies, Canucks, and the new GM Place.
    Mayenknecht, who was the first executive employee hired by the
    team, was one of the Raptors' "most visible" employees during
    their drive to sell the NBA mandated 12,500 season tickets (Neil
    Campbell, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/3).
         OTHER NEWS:  Grizzlies Owner Arthur Griffiths and his
    partners still owe the NBA US$112M in expansion money, and the
    falling Canadian dollar has Griffiths "keeping his fingers
    crossed." Griffiths said of the exchange rate: "Last week would
    have been ugly, this week is better and hopefully by April it'll
    be even better."  The dollar's recovery this week meant a "swing"
    of about C$3M on the expansion fee.  Also, the Grizzlies received
    their prototype uniforms, but they are not ready to unveil them.
    GM Stu Jackson: "We'd like to have the release more closely tied
    to when we can actually merchandise the uniform.  And it does
    need some tweaking" (Gary Kingston, VANCOUVER SUN, 2/3).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Toronto Raptors, Vancouver Canucks
  • VIPERS SET IHL SEASON ATTENDANCE RECORD

         The announced crowd of 11,896 for Wednesday night's Vipers
    game gave the team a season attendance of 401,455 in 29 home
    games, which broke the IHL's season attendance record.  The
    previous high was 389,876 by the Milwaukee Admirals set last
    season (Paul Harris, DETROIT NEWS, 2/2).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Palace Sports & Entertainment
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