SBD/30/Franchises

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  • IF JACKSON BID FAILS FOR POSSE, WHO IS NEXT?

         If a Jackson, MS, group fails to buy the CFL Las Vegas Posse
    by the weekend, speculation is that a group from Northern VA led
    by Bill Collins will "move in" to buy the team.  Collins, a
    recent finalist for one of the MLB expansion franchises awarded
    last month, owns two Single A baseball teams and a semipro hockey
    team in FL (Kent Spencer, Vancouver PROVINCE, 3/30).
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Franchises, MLB
  • IN A SHARP TURNAROUND, PATRIOTS BOOST TICKET SALES TO 59,000

         The Patriots plan to announce by the end of the month that
    every ticket for their ten home games next year, including two
    exhibitions, will be sold out.  This is an "amazing" turnaround
    for a team which ranked last in the NFL in season-ticket sales in
    '91.  Patriots Owner Robert Kraft said they could have sold
    everything on a season-ticket basis, but "I didn't want to do
    that.  I have letters from people saying they can't afford a
    season-ticket but they would like to be able to buy seats for a
    game or two games."  The Pats had 17,634 season-ticket holders in
    '91, and jumped to 39,850 when Kraft bought the team in '94.
    They now will have 59,000 guaranteeing that every game will be
    televised locally, and boosting hopes for a Monday night
    appearance on ABC.  Kraft: "It would be great for our team, and
    our area, to have that kind of exposure.  You can't pay for that"
    (Will McDonough, BOSTON GLOBE, 3/29).
         BEHIND THE TURNAROUND: Patriots Dir of Public and Community
    Relations Don Lowery spoke to THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY yesterday
    about the team's resurgence.  Lowery said one focus was to make
    Foxboro Stadium more "fan friendly."  The facility has long had a
    reputation of rough fan behavior, not ideal for families.  Lowery
    said the team set up an entertainment and food area outside the
    stadium aimed at children, "so families would feel they could
    come to the game."  Lowery also stressed tougher standards on
    crowd control and alcohol rules: "If there are unruly people, we
    have a security system now where we can focus a video camera on
    any seat in the stadium, and if people are disruptive, we have
    the ability now with over 60 security staffers that we've added,
    to ask them to leave.  So the atmosphere in the stands is a lot
    better."  Lowery said the team revoked over 100 season-tickets
    last year due to disruptive behavior, and that policy will
    continue (THE DAILY).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Franchises, New England Patriots, NFL, Walt Disney
  • MCLANE REPORTEDLY TO SELL 25% OF ASTROS

         Astros Owner Drayton McLane is considering selling up to 25%
    of his team, according to KRIV-TV in Houston.  McLane has
    reportedly started looking for possible local partners, adding
    that has had discussions with a few "key leaders" in Houston for
    "their ideas and thoughts."  McLane said the partial offering has
    "nothing to do" with the strike and that he would wait until
    after the strike ends before "acting on seeking new partners"
    (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/29).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Houston Astros
  • OH! THE GLORY, THE JOY, THE RAPTOR OF LANDING AN IHL TEAM

         The Raptors are in the process of securing an IHL franchise,
    according to Craig Daniels in this morning's TORONTO SUN.
    Raptors VP/Business Operations Brian Cooper said the deal could
    be completed by the summer.  An IHL team would not begin playing
    for three years, but a source with ties to the Raptors said there
    is "pressure on the team to close a deal with the IHL sooner than
    later" in order to show investors in the new Air Canada Centre
    the building "will be viable."  The source said the team "has to
    show more than 45 NBA dates."  The only sticking point may be the
    fluctuation in exchange rates and the "meteoric rise in prices"
    of IHL franchises (TORONTO SUN, 3/30).  The Raptors will make a
    presentation today to Toronto's land use committee to begin the
    "maze-like approval process" on the arena (David Israelson,
    TORONTO STAR, 3/30).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Toronto Raptors
  • TAGLIABUE SETS EMERGENCY OWNERS MEETING FOR RAMS MOVE

         NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has called for a special
    meeting of team owners for April 12 in Dallas to re-examine the
    Rams proposed move to St. Louis.   This comes amid reports that
    Tagliabue and Rams President John Shaw are closer to a settlement
    that would allow the team to move to St. Louis for the '95 season
    (Mult., 3/30).
         THEY CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW THE RAMS ARE GONE:  If the league
    approves the move, it will clear the "muddied future" of certain
    teams, including the Bengals, and put the NFL in "position to
    court the Bengals, or any other team dissatisfied with its
    stadium, to fill the vacancy in Southern California."  Yesterday,
    Bengals President & GM Mike Brown wouldn't rule out a move to CA,
    "although he maintained his preference is staying."  Brown said
    if the Rams do move, "there will be teams who'll take a look at
    moving there."  NFL Dir of Communications Greg Aiello said the
    Bengals are not part of the emergency meeting:  "That's a story
    for a different day.  Things are focused purely on the Rams"
    (Geoff Hobson, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/30).  In Cleveland, Browns
    Owner Art Modell, also in pursuit of a new facility for his team,
    said if the city of Cleveland will not help fund a new stadium in
    six months he will pursue other options.  If the Rams move,
    Modell's "new home could be Anaheim" (Gordon Forbes, USA TODAY,
    3/30).
    

    Print | Tags: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Franchises, NFL, St. Louis Rams
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