SBD/16/Franchises

GRIZZLIES/RAPTORS SHOULD BE OFFICIAL TODAY

     The expansion Grizzlies and Raptors were kept from
officially joining the NBA Monday by a "couple of tiny details."
According to NBA spokesperson Jan Hubbard, "a little bit of
paperwork" still needs to be completed before the teams are
official.  The parties were in the process of exchanging $52.5M
(just under half the expansion fee) in cash yesterday
(CP/Vancouver SUN, 5/16).  In Toronto, Terence Corcoran writes on
the many "local political" problems that the Raptors have faced
in trying to establish itself as an NBA franchise.  According to
Corcoran, "Politicians, planners, bureaucrats, real estate
developers, architectural preservationists, historical board
members, zoning wonks, site-line freaks, archaeologists, culture
and tourism bureaucrats, and an assortment of anti-development
activists and environmentalists have been circling the Raptors'
plans for months now" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/16).
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