SBD/2/Franchises

PAPERS SUING NJSEA OVER FAILURE TO DISCLOSE LEASE TERMS

      The Bergen RECORD and NEWARK STAR-LEDGER are suing the NJ
Sports and Exposition Authority in State Superior Court over the
NJSEA's failure to disclose lease terms for the teams occupying
state facilities, according to Richard Sandomir in today's N.Y.
TIMES.  The papers allege the failure to disclose "violates
public records laws that require disclosure of documents like the
lease."  The NJSEA claims that "allowing the leases to be viewed
by the public would ... dull its competitive edge."  Sandomir
writes, "The 'loss of competitiveness' argument may be logical
when applied to squeezing more profit from the concessions at a
monster truck show than at a circus.  But those are one-day or
multi-day events, not long-term leases.  There is no daily
marketplace competition for sports teams with 20-year leases,
except when a team threatens to move, and that does not happen
every day."  Sandomir argues that the most compelling argument
for full disclosure is to show the public the Devils' demands and
the financial losses the NJSEA may have to suffer to keep them
(N.Y. TIMES, 6/2).
     HELL-OOO?  In his column on ESPN's SportsZone, Keith
Olbermann notes that "virtually daring" Devils' fans to call last
week after he suggested the team has no fan base, ESPN received
only four calls viewers (ESPN SportsZone).
     DOES SPORTSCHANNEL KNOW SOMETHING?:  SportsChannel New York,
which holds rights for both the Devils and Islanders, is not
pursuing contract negotiations with Islanders announcer Jiggs
McDonald until the Devils situation is resolved.   Steve
Cavendish of the NASHVILLE BANNER reports that the sports cable
channel may be waiting to move Devils Broadcaster Mike Emrick to
the Islanders should the Devils make the move to Nashville
(NASHVILLE BANNER, 6/2).
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