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         Citing "sensitivity to the number of gun-related deaths in
    the area," Bullets Owner Abe Pollin said yesterday that he will
    decide this summer whether to change the name of his team.
    Although he has made no final decision, Pollin's comments suggest
    he is "leaning toward dropping the name" the franchise has had
    for the past 31 years.  Pollin:  "In the old days, our motto was
    'Faster than a speeding Bullet.'  Today the connotation is a
    little different."  Pollin said he has "no preference" for a new
    nickname and is "uncertain" of a timetable for a change.  If
    there is a change, however, it would most likely be for the '96-
    97 season when the proposed new downtown DC arena is scheduled to
    open.  Bullets officials reportedly "favor" a new name because it
    would continue the "widespread facelift" that began with the
    arena plans and the signings of Chris Webber and Juwan Howard
    (Richard Justice, WASHINGTON POST, 5/2).

    Print | Tags: Franchises

         The May 1 Midnight deadline came and went as Jets President
    Barry Shenkarow agreed to a Canadian federal government request
    to delay any decision on the future of the team, according to the
    Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.  The government has called for a meeting
    with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to discuss the future of the
    league in Canada.  That meeting, to be held today in Toronto,
    will focus on how small-market teams such as the Jets and
    Nordiques can survive (David Roberts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/2).
    Shenkarow "stopped short of saying the franchise is for sale to
    all bidders, including groups from Minnesota.  He said, however,
    after two days of continuous and torturous talks, the Manitoba
    Entertainment Complex 'didn't have a deal they could put
    together.'"  Shenkarow: "I don't know if there's anything the
    federal government can do" (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE,
    5/2).  MEC spokesperson John Loewen, whose group is trying to buy
    the team and build a new arena, said they are "still concerned
    about whether it's feasible to buy the Jets and build a new arena
    to keep the team in Winnipeg" (CP/Vancouver PROVINCE, 5/2).
         WAIT A MINUTE:  "The stay in proceedings came as a group
    called 'Thin Ice,' which opposes public funds for an arena,
    issued a scathing analysis of a proposed financing deal" for a
    new Jets arena.  The group counters claims that only C$40M in
    public funds would go toward the arena, arguing that taxpayers
    will have to pay C$131M in cash and loan guarantees and nearly
    C$8M a year thereafter to help sustain the arena and the Jets.
    The analysis was done by the economics departments at the
    Universities of Brandon and Manitoba (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/2).
         FROM ONE WHO KNOWS:  Minnesota's KFAN radio got the rights
    to carry tonight's Jets-Kings game.  KFAN Program Dir Mark
    Ginther said he told his counterpart at Winnipeg's CJOB when he
    first inquired:  "I hate to do this."  Ginther told him that
    Minnesota "have been through" what Winnipeg is experiencing now,
    and said that the Winnipeg radio exec "was very gracious"
    (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/2).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New York Jets, NHL

         The Rockets announced last week they will raise ticket
    prices for the second straight year.  The team will not raise the
    price of their lowest priced, $11 ticket, but have announced
    raises for all tickets in the $16.50-$65.50 range.  For tickets
    in that range, the two year percentage change in prices ranges
    from 32.1%-57.6%.   A ticket that cost $46 two years ago, will
    cost $72.50 next season -- a 57.6% increase.  The team did not
    announce whether they will raise prices for VIP courtside seating
    that cost $150-$295 this season (David Barron, HOUSTON CHRONICLE,

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Houston Rockets

         The plan set up by the late Ewing Kauffman to give proceeds
    from the sale of the Royals to local charities is yet to get
    approval from the IRS, according to AP's Doug Tucker.
    Furthermore, it is the "worst possible time" for the team,
    averaging around 16,000 thus far, to take a "big attendance hit."
    Assuming the IRS and the AL approve Kauffman's plan, "who'd want
    to buy a small-market team in a town that draws only about
    16,000, and in a climate of general deterioration of baseball
    interest nationwide?"  On the other hand, if the IRS does not
    approve the plan, the team would "probably be put on the market
    and go to the highest bidder."  WRites Tucker, "If that happens,
    baseball in Kansas City could be in greater peril than any time
    since [Charlie] Finley first started packing for Oakland."
    Either way, Tucker notes the team and the city need a local
    benefactor to step up soon (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/2).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Kansas City Royals
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