SBD/26/Franchises

SEASON PRODUCES BIG WINS FOR MAVERICKS ON AND OFF COURT

     The Mavericks, who won just 24 games in the past two
seasons, rebounded this year with a late-season playoff run, but
as Richard Alm reports in the DALLAS MORNING NEWS, "the team
bounced back where it really counts -- on the business side of
basketball."  Mavericks COO & GM Norm Sonju notes that the team
improved financially in several ways:  Paid attendance was up
39%, TV ratings up 90%, concession revenue up 77%, and in-arena
souvenir sales up 28%.  Sonju: "Everything we control is up
substantially."  Alm writes that Sonju is optimistic that '94-95
is "just the foundation for the big payoff that will begin next
season."  The team will be able to capitalize on this year's
success through merchandise and ticket sales, but "perhaps most
important,"  TV revenue will be up sharply.  The Mavs, who sell
all TV ad time in-house, charged advertisers based on last year's
average rating of 3.6.  This year's average was 6.3, and a new TV
contract calls for more games next season.  However, Sonju says
much of that money will go for player salaries, a reason the team
is seeking a new arena.  Sonju:  "It's tough to make a lot of
money if you don't have luxury suites and premium seating"
(DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/25).
     ARENA ISSUE:  The two leading candidates in the Dallas
mayoral election disagree on the need for a new downtown arena
for the Mavericks and Stars.  Mayor Pro Tem Domingo Garcia
stressed the importance of new schools, while his leading
opponent Ron Kirk said the city needs the new business an arena
would bring to pay for new programs  (Kendall Anderson, DALLAS
MORNING NEWS, 4/24).
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