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  • DEVILISH PLOT TO TAKE CONTROL OF BRENDAN BYRNE ARENA?

         The Devils, who have been conducting an audit of the NJSEA's
    books, may be "seeking to replace the NJSEA and become the
    [Brendan Byrne] Arena's managing agent," according to this
    morning's N.Y. POST.  Larry Brooks reports that a December 22
    letter sent by the NJSEA during the NHL lockout -- called "an
    attempt to suspend the team's lease" in a recent news report --
    "has prompted the audit and intensive negotiations with Nashville
    as a site for franchise relocation."  Brooks writes that "there
    is reason to believe that shared revenue -- specifically from
    suite sales -- is at the center of the notice.  The Devils' lease
    with the NJSEA includes a mutual 'hold-harmless' clause regarding
    labor disputes."  Brooks, on the leverage the team may have:  "If
    the Sports Authority did indeed breach the lease, if the Dec. 22
    notice becomes the 'smoking gun,' the Devils may not only be in
    control of the agenda but on their way to control of the Arena,
    as well" (N.Y. POST, 5/25).
         THE RED-JERSIED STEPCHILD:  In a report on the Devils'
    finances, Richard Sandomir calls the team "hockey's local
    stepchild to the Rangers ... in terms of attendance, attention
    and corporate cache."  The team has also made marketing mistakes
    by selling themselves as a New York rather than a New Jersey
    team, according to Mike McCall, Devils Head of Marketing and
    Sales.  McCall: "[Team Owner John] McMullen said he felt he was
    buying a team in the Big Apple.  That's proved not to be the
    case.  North Central Jersey is our primary area" (N.Y. TIMES.
    5/25).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New Jersey Devils, NHL, YankeeNets
  • JETS DEAL READY TO BE SIGNED -- SHENKAROW LOOKING FOR MORE?

         Some close to the Jets negotiations "are concerned" that
    Owner Barry Shenkarow may be "trying to put off signing the final
    agreement" to sell 42% of the team to a local group "in hopes of
    upping the ante," according to this morning's WINNIPEG FREE
    PRESS.  John Douglas reports that The Spirit of Manitoba, Inc.,
    the company created by the Manitoba Entertainment Complex and
    other local investors, has met Shenkarow's previous demands, but
    that Shenkarow wants "a memorandum of understanding" instead of a
    purchase and sale agreement.  A source close to the deal told
    Douglas "an attempt to raise the price was the only reason he
    could think of for the delay" (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 5/25).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New York Jets
  • MULTIPLE NEWS REPORTS SAY NORDS-TO-DENVER DEAL IS DONE

         Montreal's LA PRESSE, Quebec City's LE SOLIEL, LE JOURNAL DE
    QUEBEC, the DENVER POST, and Denver's CBS Affiliate all report
    that the Nordiques have been sold to Comsat Video Enterprises,
    owner of the Nuggets.  According to the POST and LE PRESSE, Nords
    President Marcel Aubut flew to Comsat's Bethesda, MD, HQs
    yesterday, "where he completed the deal."  The POST reports Aubut
    told a close friend: "I had to sell it, that's it."  Denver's
    KMGH-CBS reported yesterday that the deal was "imminent," and an
    announcement coming as soon as today, according to the POST
    (CANADIAN PRESS, 5/25).  LE PRESSE reports that the deal is worth
    $75M, and "the only details left to be worked out have no
    potential to torpedo the agreement" (TORONTO SUN, 5/25).
         JUST FOR SHOW?  Aubut is to meet today with Quebec Premier
    Jacques Parizeau in what is being called "a last-ditch effort" to
    keep the team in Quebec.  LE SOLIEL says the meeting will be "for
    show only" (TORONTO SUN, 5/25).
         FIRST CLASS OR COACH?  Yesterday's ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS
    reported that Comsat's President Charlie Lyons and Media
    Relations Dir Paul Jacobson were booked on a flight this
    afternoon from the Washington area to Denver.  The NEWS also
    reported that there was "plausible speculation" that a news
    conference to announce the sale could be held as soon as tomorrow
    (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 5/24).
         HO-HUM:  Nordiques spokesperson Jean Martineau, "frustrated"
    at the lack of progress in negotiations with Quebec, said
    yesterday that Provincial Negotiator Andre Joli-Coeur "wouldn't
    have a heart attack if the Nordiques moved" (CP/OTTAWA CITIZEN,
    5/25).
         REALIGNMENT:  The DENVER POST reports the team would be
    moved to the Western Conference's Central Division, with Toronto
    moved to the Eastern Conference (DENVER POST, 5/25).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Denver Nuggets, Franchises, Viacom
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