It will be "some time" yet before the AAA Edmonton Trappers' new ball park has a name, according to Robin Brownlee of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. Reg Berry of Pocklington Sports Marketing, on the sale of naming rights to the park: "We have absolutely nothing now. ... The proposals are out and we're waiting to hear if we can advance to the next step with anybody." Brownlee reports the Trappers are looking for a possible 10-year deal at $250,000 per year, although those are "unconfirmed figures." According to Ford spokesperson Jim Hartford, that company is contemplating an offer but has made no decision (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 5/27). MORE NAMING RIGHTS NEWS: The City of Buffalo is sending out requests for proposals for the naming rights to the downtown stadium (formerly known as Pilot Field). The minimum bid request is $300,000. The city is working in conjunction with the AAA Bisons to offer a benefits package that has an estimated value of $600,000. Highlights: signage inside and outside and various p.r. oportunities such as on-air game announcements and a 30- second radio spot on each broadcast (Bisons). According to Steve Banko, aide to Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello, the city "has been very encouraged by the interest" in the stadium. Companies reportedly interested: Molson Distributors, USA, and local companies, Pratton & Lambert Paint, Key Bank of New York, M & T Bank, Tops Markets, and Channel 7 (THE DAILY). NO CLOWNING AROUND: In keeping with their celebration of their Sunset Season (a look back at the 65-year history of baseball at Bush Stadium), the AAA Indianapolis Indians will wear replica uniforms of the 1954 Negro League Indianapolis Clowns during their June 4 game against the Bisons. The game will serve as a fundraiser for the Crispus Attucks Museum. Also, the first 2,500 fans at the game will recieve an Indianapolis Clowns replica cap, courtesy of Pepsi and other area companies (Indians).
John Labatt Ltd. officials said yesterday "publicly and privately" that they are expecting to receive a rival bid to Onex's C$2.3B offer, according to this morning's FINANCIAL POST. Denmark's Carlsberg is seen as "the most likely prospective bidder" (FINANCIAL POST, 6/1). The restructuring of TSN, Labatt's sports cable broadcast property, to create a C$150M tax liability for an unwelcome investor was called as an "incentive" for a rival to outbid Onex by Labatt spokesperson Paul Smith. One Onex official told the GLOBE & MAIL that the company had already accounted for the C$150M as a windfall in their bid for Labatt's and that the possible loss of those funds "would lower Labatt's value and the bid price" (Marina Strauss, GLOBE & MAIL, 6/1)
Reports in New York and Atlanta this morning chronicle the large number of empty seats the Braves and Mets have seen this season. However, in Cleveland, the Indians are still reaping benefits of the two-year-old ballpark: BRAVES: Columnist Tim Tucker reports that the Braves, "aside from season tickets, have sold less than 2,000 seats for today's opener of a 10-game homestand," and the team has sold less than 5,000 for all but two of the ten games. Tucker notes the Braves have sold 78% through season ticket sales and that the rate generally has ranged from 25-50%. Last season, the Braves averaged 46,168. Tucker: "It all makes you wonder anew: What are Don Fehr and Bud Selig doing? Why are they not meeting, trying every day to find a way out of this mess?" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/1). METS: N.Y. POST columnist Wallace Matthews: "If there is still any doubt that baseball and its fans are in the midst of a lover's quarrel, yesterday's game wiped it out for good," as 13,794 attended yesterday's Padres game "on an afternoon baseball was invented for." Matthews describes the number of fans left in the 10th inning as "a handful" that "dwindled from what could best be called a 'gathering' when the game began" (N.Y. POST, 6/1). While the Mets paid attendance is up this year, actual attendance is down 3%. "Meaning each night, 31 percent of the crowd is dressed as empty chairs. Last year, 28 percent of the announced crowd never attended" (Anthony Gargano, N.Y. POST, 6/1). INDIANS: In Cleveland, the Indians have sold over 2,233,771 tickets for the '95 season, guaranteeing them at least the second highest mark in club history. Through 11 home dates, the team is averaging 34,011 a game (Indians).