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  • COULD "THE CATCH" SIGNAL THE END FOR BASEBALL IN SEATTLE?

         Ken Griffey Jr.'s catch that resulted in wide praise and a
    broken wrist Friday could be disastrous for local efforts to pass
    a referendum in King County to build a new stadium for the
    Mariners, according to many reports.  In this morning's N.Y.
    TIMES, Timothy Egan writes that with Griffey's injury "went many
    hopes for building a new stadium ... and maybe even for keeping
    major league baseball in the Pacific Northwest."  Egan calls
    Griffey the "not-so-secret weapon" in supporters' fight to
    convince voters to approve a referendum on a tax for the new park
    (N.Y. TIMES, 5/31).  In Denver, Tracy Ringolsby writes, "Baseball
    will recover, but will Seattle?  This is a city that is on a
    baseball life support system" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 5/31).  Hal
    Bodley calls Griffey's injury "devastating," and writes that
    "seldom has one player meant so much to so many aspects of the
    game" (USA TODAY, 5/31).  In St. Louis, Bernie Miklasz calls
    Friday's event "one small catch for man, on giant leap backward
    for baseball" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/31).  In Seattle, Laura
    Vescey profiles Orlando's Norton Herrick, who would be interested
    in moving the Mariners to Orlando. Vescey, on local support for
    the stadium referendum:  "Joe Namath had more support wearing
    those women's stockings than the proposal for the Mariners' new
    stadium has received so far in Seattle" (SEATTLE POST-
    INTELLIGENCER, 5/28).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Seattle Mariners
  • LABATT GETS NASTY: RESTRUCTURES TSN FOR BITTER TAX PILL

         Onex Corp. said yesterday they may be forced to lower their
    C$24 a share offer for John Labatt Ltd. should the brewer proceed
    with a "reorganization" of The Sports Network that would burden
    any purchaser not approved by Labatt officials with a C$150M tax
    liability.  Under the reorganization, TSN would be broken out
    into a separate ownership structure.  Onex claims Labatt created
    the scenario after rumors of a takeover bid.  Onex CEO Gerry
    Schwartz:  "Labatt management has adopted a 'scorched earth
    approach.  Instead of showing us information that might let us
    raise our price, they have created a reason for us to reduce our
    price."   One source close to Labatt told the FINANCIAL POST that
    "the company could move the broadcast assets into their formal
    ownership structure at its discretion."  The source: "It's a
    C$150-million tax liability the black knight would get tagged
    with that a white knight wouldn't."  Meanwhile, Labatt's Board
    released a circular yesterday giving 11 reasons shareholders
    should not "tender to Onex's play for the company" (Paul Brent,
    FINANCIAL POST, 5/31).  Onex may have to lower their bid by up to
    C$1.60 a share (Marina Strauss, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/31).  In
    Toronto, Labatt's possible breakup has columnist Bob Elliott
    wondering to whom the Jays may be sold.  Elliott suggests that a
    candidate step up and buy the ballclub from Labatt before the
    brewer is sold (TORONTO SUN, 5/31).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Labatt Brewing
  • YOU CAN ALWAYS GO HOME: RAIDERS OFFICIALS TOUR IN OAKLAND

         Raiders officials toured the Oakland Coliseum yesterday
    "examining the details" of the $85M proposal by Oakland to
    upgrade the facility for football, according to this morning's
    OAKLAND TRIBUNE.  David Li and Dave Newhouse report that the plan
    would increase football seating to 65,000 and require the team to
    sign a 16-year lease.  Raiders Owner Al Davis was not among the
    Raiders contingent.  Coliseum President George Vukasin: "The
    officials are here just to get a better focus on what's happening
    here" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 5/31).  In San Francisco, columnist Art
    Spander advises in dealing with Davis:  "Rule No. 1:  Al Davis
    would dare to do anything, not that this means he would be
    leaning toward Oakland over the 'mortal lock' in Southern
    California.  Rule No. 2:  When you think you know everything,
    refer to Rule No. 1" (S.F. EXAMINER, 5/30).
         OAKLAND BELIEVERS: BOSTON GLOBE columnist Will McDonough
    thinks the chances are "60-40" that Davis will leave L.A. and
    return to Oakland.  McDonough believes that the $20M a year Davis
    stands to make in Oakland, or possibly Baltimore -- before
    Hollywood Park is built -- will pull the Raiders out of L.A.
    ESPN's Chris Mortensen:  "I think the Oakland move is more of an
    option than people think.  At the league meetings I was told that
    Oakland has a very sweet offer."  However, Mortensen says, "in
    the end," he believes Davis will stay (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY,
    5/31). In Seattle, where Seahawks Owner Ken Behring reportedly is
    interested in joining Davis in L.A., columnist Art Thiel agrees
    Davis could leavel: "If he finds a city as shameless as St. Louis
    -- Oakland, Baltimore, San Antonio, Memphis and Toronto would
    make that list -- he will leave and create a second void that
    would have owners selling their children wholesale to get to
    L.A." (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 5/31).
         NOBODY WALKS ON L.A.?  The Raiders' potential deal at and
    Hollywood Park leads this week's "Scorecard" in SI.  "In its
    desperation to retain at least one franchise in the nation's
    second-largest TV market," SI states, "the NFL is buying into a
    fantasy that owes a lot more to 'Field of Dreams' than to what
    passes for real life, even in Los Angeles."  The magazine
    proposes that building a winner is more important in L.A. than a
    nice stadium (SI, 6/5 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Franchises, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, Sports Illustrated, Vulcan Ventures, Walt Disney
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