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         Cincinnati Investment banker William DeWitt and his partners
    will sell their limited interests in the Orioles to principal
    owner Peter Angelos for the approximately $4M originally
    invested.  DeWitt, who "nearly became" the club's controlling
    owner in '93, combined with Angelos' group later that year when
    the Orioles were auctioned by a U.S. Bankruptcy court.  Angelos
    said once the deal is completed, the club will be "100 percent
    owned by Maryland investors" (Mark Hyman, Baltimore SUN, 5/24).
    DeWitt attributed the reason for the sale to his proximity:  "We
    enjoyed being a part of the franchise.  But we just don't get a
    chance to get to Baltimore" (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 5/24).

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises

         Nordiques spokesperson Jean Martineau said yesterday's
    scheduled meeting between Nordiques President Marcel Aubut and
    Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau was postponed because Aubut was
    out of town on business.  The CANADIAN PRESS said the delay
    "looked more like another round of one-upmanship between the
    equally strong-willed Parizeau and Aubut than a sign of a
    breakthrough in efforts to keep the Nordiques in Quebec."
    Parizeau: "All I could say was yes.  If that's what you want,
    you'll have your meeting on Thursday" (CP/TORONTO STAR, 5/24).
    In Montreal, the GAZETTE's Don MacPherson writes, "One has to
    wonder why Parizeau is allowing himself, and the office of
    premier, to be jerked around by a would-be carpetbagger like
    this."  MacPherson notes that Parizeau "seems to care more about
    the Nordiques than Quebec City does" (Montreal GAZETTE, 5/24).

    Print | Tags: Franchises

         Shares of John Labatt, Ltd. "continued to rise to record
    highs for the year as investors expect a bidding war for the
    brewing and entertainment giant," writes Marina Strauss in this
    morning's Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.  In Toronto, shares closed at
    C$25.62, up C.50 cents from the previous day in heavy trading.
    Strauss reports that one of the brewers that may be interested is
    Carlsberg AS of Denmark.  Labatt makes Carlsberg under an
    agreement in Canada.  Anheuser-Busch is also frequently mentioned
    as a possible bidder (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/24).  Labatt is
    part owner of the SkyDome, 90% owner of the Jays, and full owners
    of the Argonauts and sports cable network TSN.

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Franchises, Labatt Brewing

         Tuesday's Nashville TENNESSEAN examined whether or not
    Nashville has what it takes for the NHL to survive there.  Harold
    Huggins reports that while the city has many positives the league
    is looking for, there are doubters.
         THE PROS:  Positives such as a new downtown arena and strong
    corporate presence by Gaylord Entertainment are Nashville's
    biggest strengths.  NHL VP/Public Relations Arthur Pincus told
    the TENNESSEAN:  "The cities have to make the decision that they
    want to have a major league team.  What you've got is a very big
    part of that.  It's very important."  In addition, Huggins writes
    that Pincus said that downtown districts with nightlife "are
    especially good," because "that helps create excitement."
         THE CONS:  Huggins writes, "Hockey is a sport that's foreign
    to Tennessee.  No youth leagues, no high school programs, no
    college teams. ... the question remains: Will Nashville buy
    hockey?"  Greg Lutz, COO of the ECHL Nashville Knights:  "I don't
    see how a market like Nashville could support an NHL team.  I
    think the city's a long way from a venture with the ticket prices
    they have in the NHL."  Larry Schmittu, owner of the minor league
    baseball AAA Sounds: "Most people have heard of Gretzky, but he's
    not going to be here every night.  You're looking at trying to
    attract thousands of fans here for 30, 40 or 50 games a year at
    $25 or so per ticket."  A survey of local sporting goods stores
    found no interest in NHL merchandise (TENNESSEAN, 5/23).
         APPROVAL FROM ABOVE?  In this morning's N.Y. POST, Phil
    Mushnick writes that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "was reciting
    a string of reasons as to why it makes little sense for the
    Devils to stay in Jersey," during an interview on SportsChannel
    Monday night.  During the interview, Bettman pointed out that
    only the NHL has a market with three teams, and that hockey is
    "No. 4, which means we have the seventh, eighth and ninth pro
    teams in New York."  Bettman said that "it's difficult (for the
    Devils) to get media attention, it's difficult for doing your TV
    contracts, it's difficult for attracting fans to your building,
    so I think that presents some problems."  Mushnick writes
    Bettman's comments may have been "designed" for the Devils'
    landlord -- the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority (N.Y.
    POST, 5/24).
         MIDDLE AGE BLUES?  The Bergen RECORD analyzed the role of
    the 20-year-old NJSEA, and the problems they face  satisfying
    Devils Owner John McMullen's demands.  NJSEA spokesperson John
    Samerjan: "The four-franchise occupancy is a great draw, but it's
    a very difficult business balancing act" (Fitzgerald & Hirsch,
    Bergen RECORD, 5/21).

    Print | Tags: ECHL, Franchises, New Jersey Devils, NHL, St. Louis Blues

         The new owners of the Jets, "in a gesture of appreciation
    for the grassroots campaign" that raised C$13M to help keep the
    team in Winnipeg, will likely add two fans to the team's board of
    directors.  Sources say the team will not have a majority owner,
    but instead be run by a 15-16 member board (Samyn & Douglas,
    WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/24).   ARENA DEAL:  The Jets are expected
    to sign a 20-year lease for the new, C$111M arena that will be
    built with public funding, with arena profits shared equally
    between the public and private sector (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS,
         OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES:  In his GLOBE & MAIL column this
    morning, William Houston writes that "a European syndicate was
    prepared to buy the Jets and keep them in Manitoba," but Jets
    owner Barry Shenkarow "refused to do business with [the buyer]
    after an initial discussion."  Michael Largue, a former Swiss
    League player and CEO of M.A.L. Associates, says the fact that
    Shenkarow did not want to negotiate with him signals that he
    "never really wanted to sell the team" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New York Jets

         CELTICS:  The Celtics will charge up to $125 for front-row
    sideline seats at the new FleetCenter, according to a report in
    this morning's BOSTON HERALD.  It was believed the team's top
    ticket price at the new facility would increase from $50 to $70
    (Steve Bulpett, BOSTON HERALD, 5/24).
         HEAT:  The Heat have announced "across-the-board" ticket
    price increases.  This season's prices for season-ticket holders
    ranged from a top price of $34 to $10.50.  The new prices will be
    $39, $26, $19 and $12.  Tickets purchased for a single game will
    also be $2 higher in all categories (Bob Rubin, MIAMI HERALD,
         NUGGETS:  The team announced yesterday a ticket price
    increase for all seats next year.  The largest increases will be
    seen in courtside seats, from $115 in '94-95 to $150 in '95-96;
    and end courtside seats, from $85 in '94-95 to $115 in '95-96.
    Lower- and upper-end balcony seats will see the smallest
    increases.  Lower-end balcony seats will rise from $12.50 during
    '94-95 to $14.50 for '95-96.  Upper-end balcony will go from
    $8.50 to $9.50 in '95-96 (Nuggets).
         MAVERICKS:  Late last week, the Mavs announced across-the-
    board ticket price increases for '95-96.  The increases average
    about $4 per ticket, but will not affect current season-ticket
    holders who renew by June 16.  According to GM Norm Sonju, even
    with the increases, the team's new ticket prices are "below last
    year's NBA average in every seating category" (Brad Townsend,
         MIGHTY DUCKS:  The team announced a revised season- ticket
    policy for next season.  Prices will increase by an average of
    7.9% with an average price in the lower/upper bowl of $34.51 a
    ticket (Mighty Ducks).
         LIGHTNING:  Club level seats that cost $36 last season are
    being raised to $38.  Tickets that were $30 last season are now
    $33, and $21 tickets are $24.50.  Reserved upper-deck ($12) and
    general admission ($9.99) seats "may rise as well."  Ice-level
    seats of $52 and $36 will stay the same and none of the changes
    will affect season tickets (Tom Jones, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 5/13).
         EAGLES:  In Philadelphia, the Eagles are offering ticket
    packages next season to attract new paying customers.  But unlike
    the season-ticket packages, the three and four-game special packs
    do not offer discounts.  Tickets in the packs are still $40
    apiece -- unlike the $20 price for each season ticket in the 700
    level, where most seats are available (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER,
         LIONS:  The Lions have reduced ticket prices for the 5,000
    upper-level seats from $30 to $19.95.  Lions Dir of Sales Fred
    Otto: "With these new, more affordable ticket programs, I would
    expect us to have the lowest average ticket price in the NFL this
    year" (Lions).

    Print | Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Lions, Franchises, Miami Heat, NBA, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Lightning, Walt Disney
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