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         The success of the 49ers has seen them grow into one of the
    most valued franchises in professional sports, according to
    ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER business writer Edward Iwata.  Financial
    experts say the team's market value "hovers near $200 million --
    a price surpassed or rivaled" only by the Eagles, Cowboys,
    Giants, Yankees, and the Lakers.  But while the franchise is
    worth a healthy amount, it is not a big profit-maker.  Franchise
    analyst Paul Much said because of the team's "generous payroll,"
    they would be lucky to break even (Edward Iwata, ORANGE COUNTY
    REGISTER, 2/8).

    Print | Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Franchises, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers

         The slow progress in the sale of the team to Adelphia
    Communications Corp. Chair John Rigas has led the Pirates to
    search for other buyers, according to the PITTSBURGH POST-
    GAZETTE.  A team official said the team is "working on other
    alternatives," and during a conference call, at least two board
    members said they believed the team could be sold for more than
    the $85.15M offered by Rigas.  Jeff Moffie, a Cleveland
    investment manager, said he has put in a bid that he "contends
    was substantially higher" than Rigas. Moffie said he would leave
    his bid on the table for only 24 hours, since he didn't want his
    bid to be used to "pry a higher offer from Rigas."  During their
    conference call, team owners discussed who would be responsible
    for lawsuits "stemming from the players strike" and Rigas'
    financial "health."  The owners want Rigas to accept the legal
    risks and some questioned whether Rigas could afford to assume
    the financial losses between now and the close of the potential
    sale. Most of Rigas' family wealth is tied up in Adelphia stock,
    which "has tumbled by more than 50% since March." The team faces
    heavy losses due to the players strike, interest payments from
    heavy debt, and a decrease in local TV revenue.  The team will
    receive close to $3M from cable-TV partner KBL for the 75-games
    the network will carry this year, down about $500,000 for last
    year (Steve Halvonik, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/7).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Pittsburgh Pirates

         The Bucs sold 1,026 season-tickets on the first day of
    ticket sales, due to reduced prices and "perhaps increased
    interest."  More than 600 season-tickets were purchased for $150,
    part of the special "$Buc-50 Zone," where a minimum of 4 tickets
    must be purchased for the special rate of $15 a game.  The team
    is trying to "recoup the loss" of more than 6,000 season-ticket
    holders after they raised prices last year, and improve a season-
    ticket base which ranked 27th in the NFL a year ago.  Season
    tickets at reduced prices will be on sale until May 12 (Rick
    Stroud, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 2/8).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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