SBD/12/Franchises

BYRNE ARENA NAMING RIGHTS MAY KEEP DEVILS IN JERSEY

     Sources said the Devils and the NJSEA are discussing the
possibility of selling naming rights for Byrne Arena as a way to
pay for renovations sought by the team, according to the Bergen
RECORD.  The Devils want more luxury suites and new, high-priced
club seating in the arena.  Six hours after a "marathon"
negotiating session broke up early Tuesday morning, a NJ Superior
Court judge gave the Devils and NJSEA two more days to work out a
deal before hearing arguments in NJSEA's request for a temporary
restraining order to prevent the Devils from breaking their lease
(Hirsch & Fitzgerald, Bergen RECORD, 7/12).  Devils Lawyer Alan
Berman: "I think it's close. ...Both sides are equally
encouraged" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 7/12).  A report in
the N.Y. POST indicates that Devils Owner John McMullen, unable
to gain management rights to the arena from NJSEA CEO Bob Mulcahy
and Chair Michael Francis, is seeking input and possible final
approval on that issue from the NJSEA membership (Larry Brooks,
N.Y. POST, 7/12).
     CAPITOL FAUX PAS: Larry Brooks writes in the N.Y. POST,
"There's no kind way to describe it.  Monday's reception at the
White House, which 16 of the team's 25 players and none of its
four coaches bothered to attend, was at best an embarrassment and
at worst a scandal" (N.Y. POST, 7/12).
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