SBD/11/Franchises

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  • BAGS ARE PACKED BUT JETS STILL ON THE RUNWAY

         Jets Owner Barry Shenkarow is still considering offers from
    two bidders seeking to bring the team to MN.  L.A. sports
    marketing exec Scott Nederlander was reportedly returning to L.A.
    after a meeting with Shenkarow yesterday afternoon.  Health care
    entrepreneur Richard Burke also confirmed yesterday that he had
    submitted an offer for the team, and was awaiting a response.
    Nederlander "seems to have put some crimps in the sale process,"
    as it is "unclear what his resources are" and his ties to the
    area.  However, in an interview with the STAR TRIB, Nederlander
    said he would definitely bring the team to the Twin Cities (Jay
    Weiner, Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 5/11).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New York Jets
  • DENVER WARNS QUEBEC NOT TO FLINCH OR ELSE NORDIQUES GONE?

         Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau will give details of his
    final offer to keep the Nordiques in Quebec today.  But it is
    "quite possible Nordiques shareholders will by then have turned
    it down," and could accept the standing $75M offer for the team
    from Comsat Video Enterprises in Denver.  In Denver, one unnamed
    Comsat spokesperson told the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS:  "If they
    flinch, it's ours" (Bill Beacon, CP/OTTAWA CITIZEN, 5/11).  Radio
    Canada reported yesterday that the Quebec government has made an
    offer of $17M in cash and a promise to absorb $14M of the team's
    losses over the next two years (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/11).
         DARK HORSE TO LAND JETS OR NORDIQUES?  The operators of
    Phoenix's America West Arena have signed an "exclusive agreement"
    with an "outside investment group" that is interested in bringing
    the NHL to Phoenix, according Bob McManaman in this morning's
    ARIZONA REPUBLIC.  Brian Colangelo, president of Phoenix Area
    Sports, the operators of America West, said yesterday that arena
    officials "secured the deal a few months ago" with the NHL group.
    Colangelo would not identify the group, but he did tell the
    REPUBLIC that the group "has entertained discussions" with both
    the Jets and Nordiques and that they are "financially strong" and
    would represent "solid ownership."  Colangelo:  "They have the
    wherewithal to make it run.  I know the NHL is very pleased with
    this group as it relates to them buying a potential franchise."
    Colangelo said neither Phoenix Area Sports, nor his father, Suns
    President and Diamondbacks' CEO Jerry Colangelo, want to invest
    in a hockey team.  Colangelo: "We'd prefer to remain on a tenant-
    landlord relationship" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 5/11).
    

    Print | Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Franchises, New York Jets, NHL, Phoenix Suns
  • ROSS PEROT JR. TO BECOME PART OWNER OF THE STARS?

         An NHL source says that Ross Perot Jr. is negotiating with
    Stars Owner Norm Green to invest more than $30M in the team and
    become as much as a 50% owner, according to this morning's DALLAS
    MORNING NEWS.  Green reportedly "needs the potential cash
    infusion to keep the team financially stable" and "aggressive" on
    free agents.  The source also said that a smaller group of
    limited partners is being sought to buy in -- including former
    Cowboy Roger Staubach and golfer Fred Couples.  Staubach has
    confirmed that he has been approached about investing, however
    Couples "denies any involvement."  Negotiations continue over how
    much Perot would own and who would have controlling interest.
    According to the league source, though, "little would change in
    the Stars' daily operations," now run by Green and Stars
    President Jim Lites (Terry Egan, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/11).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Stars, Franchises, NHL, Southwest Sports Group
  • THE OUT FOR THE DEVILS' LEASE MAY BE IN THE DETAILS

         In New York, Larry Brooks examines the events contributing
    to a possible move by the Devils to Nashville.  Brooks notes that
    the Devils have initiated an audit of the NJ Sports & Exposition
    Authority, a strategy that caught the NJSEA by "surprise."  The
    audit charges that there are "13 areas in which their landlord is
    in default of the lease."  In the past ('86 and '91), the Devils
    "simply demanded renegotiation of the lease."  This time,
    however, the team has "opened a process under which they have the
    ability to declare a breach of contract and immediately terminate
    the lease."  Brooks notes that four of the "areas of alleged
    misconduct concern" are number of parking spaces, drafts in the
    building, overlap of events, and the safety of a pedestrian
    bridge.  Brooks writes that Devils Owner John McMullen believes
    "that he has been treated outrageously" since moving to NJ in
    '82, and that -- "as much as a desire to make more money" is
    driving his threats to move to Nashville.  Despite McMullen's
    complaints, Brooks concludes that NHL Bylaw 36.5, which lists 24
    criteria to be evaluated in determining whether a team should be
    permitted to move, does not back up the Devils' claims (N.Y.
    POST, 5/11).
         NASHVILLE'S READY, JUST IN CASE:  Nashville Mayor Phil
    Bredesen presented a $57.5M plan to the city council to bring a
    team to the new downtown arena, but "he tied the package firmly
    to approval of beer sales at the facility."  The arena is under
    construction 85 feet from the a Baptist church, and city beer
    laws require a distance of at least 100 feet between businesses
    that sell beer and churches.  Bredesen wants a vote on the beer
    exemption before the sports package (Jim East, Nashville
    TENNESSEAN, 5/10).
         HERE'S THE DEAL:  Bredesen's package breaks down into $27.5M
    in revenue bonds, $12M in equal contributions by the Metro
    government, Gaylord Entertainment and the team owner, and $18M in
    ticket sales, rent and concessions.  The $12M would fund a Metro
    Sports Authority to oversee the arena, with the authority paying
    Gaylord about $350,000 a year (4.8% of non-NBA/NHL revenues) to
    manage operations.  In addition, the authority would cover $20M
    in reolcation fees for any pro team.  The team's lease would be:
    100% of ticket revenue; 100% of radio/TV revenue; 97.5% of team-
    related suite sales;  50% of non-team suite sales;  35% of game
    day merchandise; 100% of NBA/NHL-related ad revenue; 40% of gross
    revenue on game day concessions; 75% of game day parking revenue
    from an attached 350-car garage; and 2.2% of non-NBA/NHL revenue
    (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 5/10).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NBA, New Jersey Devils, NHL, YankeeNets
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