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  • CANUCKS FEEL RESTRICTED BY NAME, LOGO -- MAY CONSIDER CHANGE

         The Canucks, who feel like they're "operating now under a
    restrictive name and logo," could consider a name change "if
    there was overwhelming support for a change," according to
    Northwest Entertainment Group's Larry Donen.  Mike Beamish writes
    in this morning's VANCOUVER SUN that the NEG's NBA Grizzlies have
    "turned the sporting fashion world on its head" with their
    uniform designs, and the company's creative types are "always
    thinking."  Donen says the Canucks will soon introduce a third,
    "special events" jersey "in the near future."  Beamish writes
    that this jersey could be a "weaning-off process" for the team's
    fans before a new jersey or logo change (VANCOUVER SUN, 5/23).
         AFFILIATE SWITCH:  The Blues are expected to announce today
    they are naming the AHL Worcester IceCats as their main minor-
    league affiliate.  The Blues will drop their IHL affiliate, the
    Peoria Rivermen (USA TODAY, 5/23).
    

    Print | Tags: AHL, Franchises, NBA, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks
  • JETS DEAL REPORTEDLY LONG-TERM; NAME CHANGE IN WORKS?

         The effort by local groups to keep the Jets in Winnipeg is
    "not for one-year, but for long-term," according to a source
    close to negotiations cited by Douglas & Samyn in this morning's
    WINNIPEG FREE PRESS.  A plan expected to be released today will
    call for a new 16,000-seat arena and "also add a host of new
    local owners to the group."  The new ownership group will
    reportedly pay current owners Barry and Marvin Shenkarow, Randy
    Moffat and Harvey Secter C$32M for 42% control of the club.
    Provincial and local governments will continue to control 36%;
    the Shenkarows, Moffat and Secter will hold 22%.  A news
    conference today is expected to announce details (WINNIPEG FREE
    PRESS, 5/23).
         REGIONAL APPEAL?  When the team was seemingly headed south a
    few weeks ago, the Jets officially retired their name and logo
    following the final game of the season at Winnipeg Arena.  Tim
    Campbell of the WINNIPEG FREE PRESS reports that nobody is
    certain what the team will be called next year, but "speculation
    is the team will be called the Manitoba Jets" (WINNIPEG FREE
    PRESS, 5/23).
         BETTMAN'S HAPPY, RIGHT?  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told
    the WINNIPEG FREE PRESS yesterday that the effort to keep the
    Jets in Winnipeg is "extraordinary and heartening."  Bettman
    denied reports that neither he nor the league wanted the team to
    stay.  Bettman: "We haven't said it, we haven't felt it and we
    don't believe it.  We're happy for the Jets and the fans of
    Winnipeg if it all works out" (Don Campbell, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS,
    5/23).
         DON'T CRY FOR MINNESOTA:  Bettman, on the Land of 10,000
    Lakes: "We're delighted there was an interest in having the NHL
    return to Minneapolis but long-term, we can satisfy that in other
    ways" (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/23).
         NORDS PUT ON HOLD:  The sale of the Nordiques is on hold --
    "at least for now."  A Radio-Canada report last night said team
    President Marcel Aubut and Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau will
    meet today "in a last-ditch attempt to keep the franchise."
    Discussions will reportedly center on the government offer that
    Aubut rejected last week (CP/TORONTO SUN, 5/23).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New York Jets, NHL
  • LABATT BOARD RECOMMENDS "NO SALE" TO COMPANY SHAREHOLDERS

         John Labatt, Ltd., the owners of the Blue Jays, CFL
    Argonauts, and TSN, recommended that shareholders not tender
    their shares to LBT Acquisition Corp. (a subsidiary of Onex
    Corp.) before a detailed evaluation of the offer is completed.
    Labatt issued a statement yesterday calling the offer of C$2.3B,
    or C$24 a share, "unrealistically low."  Labatt will release
    their recommendation for shareholders on May 29 (Drew Hasselback,
    TORONTO STAR, 5/23).  Labatt President George Taylor told the
    Toronto GLOBE & MAIL that they hope to "spark an auction that
    will bring a significantly higher price for the brewing giant."
    Michael Palmer, an analyst at Equity Research Associates in
    Toronto, said C$27-28 a share "would be doing shareholders a
    great favor" (Susan Bourette, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/23).
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Franchises, Labatt Brewing, Toronto Blue Jays
  • NFL OWNERS MAKE RAIDERS TOP PRIORITY AT MEETINGS

         A proposal that would bring L.A. a second pro football team
    in '98 and two Super Bowls to a new stadium at Holloywood Park
    "is expected to be formalized" by the NFL's finance committee
    today, according to Bill Plaschke in today's L.A. TIMES.  If
    accepted, the proposal would "pave the way" for the construction
    of a $200M stadium "that would house the Raiders and an
    undetermined existing franchise."  However, Plaschke writes that
    "one final hurdle" exists:  a $20M loan requested by Hollywood
    Park officials, who will build the stadium along with the
    Raiders.  The league "steadfastly" refuses to make the loan, but
    instead will offer Hollywood Park as much as $20M in relocation
    fees from the stadium's second tenant -- money that would not
    come until '98.  Oilers Owner Bud Adams:  "We realize the
    importance of the Los Angeles market, and we're doing everything
    we can to help."  Plaschke notes that by doing this, the owners
    are apparently willing to "snub" Orange County and Anaheim
    Stadium -- despite a reported "letter of interest" from Disney
    CEO Michael Eisner to the NFL (L.A. TIMES, 5/23).  In Atlanta,
    Len Pasquarelli writes, "The league now is proposing a
    partnership some owners regard as tantamount to dancing with the
    devil."  The league reportedly will offer various "financial
    enticements" to Raiders Owner Al Davis and Hollywood Park CFO
    R.D. Hubbard.  Among them are $25M in revenues from luxury suites
    and/or permanent seat licenses, along with the promise of 10,000
    tickets for Super Bowl games staged at the new facility (ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 5/23).  Davis is expected to keep the Raiders at
    the L.A. Coliseum for the '96 and '97 seasons.
         ALSO ON THE AGENDA:  Chiefs Owner Lamar Hunt has proposed
    awarding the conference championships to cities through bidding,
    like the Super Bowl (N.Y. TIMES, 5/23).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, Kansas City Chiefs, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Walt Disney
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