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John Labatt Ltd., "buoyed by the end of the baseball strike, may have new partners for some of its sports businesses by early summer," according to Labatt President George Taylor. Taylor said the company is negotiating with "several parties" about the possibility of them investing in Labatt's sports assets, which include the Blue Jays, the SkyDome, CFL's Argonauts and TSN. Taylor said the company is talking with five or six U.S. firms and a larger number of Canadian companies about teaming up with Labatt in sports. Taylor noted that a foreign company can only own up to 20% of a Canadian broadcaster under current regulations. Taylor noted that the strike's end should help ink these deals sooner (Marina Strauss, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 4/4).
Canucks VP of Marketing and Communications Glen Ringdal resigned yesterday, amid "speculation he would not be invited back" by Northwest Entertainment Group (NEG after his contract expires this summer. The move gives the team "a chance to get more in tune" with NEG's "progressive" empire, according to Iain MacIntyre in this morning's VANCOUVER SUN. MacIntyre reports that Ringdal "bore the brunt of criticism" for the handling of a 49% ticket price increase this season, and for doing "nothing to enhance [the team's] image or promote its games." NEG Exec VP Tod Lieweke will "add Canuck marketing and communications for his responsibilities," and Canuck Corporate Sales Director Ric Thomsen and Media Relations Dir Steve Tambellini will take over other duties (VANCOUVER SUN, 4/4).
According to USA TODAY's Danny Sheridan, the Raiders could be headed for Baltimore for the '95 season. Sheridan reports that owner Al Davis has told opponents not to make travel plans to L.A., "that the Raiders won't be playing this preseason and regular season in Los Angeles. He's told the league his first choice is Baltimore." Sheridan says Davis' second choice "may be Oakland." Sheridan: "I don't think Al's bluffing, because he's unlikely to get that new stadium in Los Angeles." NFL Dir of Communications Greg Aiello says he hasn't heard the rumors of the Raiders move to either city, but adds: "In our April 12 meeting to discuss the Rams, the Raiders' situation is likely to also be discussed, as it has been. The big problem is the NFL's presence in Los Angeles" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 4/4).