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  • ANONYMOUS GROUP OPPOSES RAIDERS MOVE TO OAKLAND

         An anonymous group of "concerned East Bay citizens"
    threatened yesterday to obstruct the Raiders' return to Oakland
    with a ballot measure that could "scare off investors and
    collapse an agreement embraced three days ago by elected
    officials," according to Stacey Wells of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE.
    Organized under the banner "Taxpayers for a Vote on the Raiders
    Deal," members "want an independent financial review of taxpayers
    costs and risks" involved in a plan to sell $225M in bonds to
    relocate the team.  The group has hired S.F.-based p.r. firm
    Advocacy Communications to run the campaign and has established a
    toll-free phone number "to recruit members" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE,
    7/14).  Peter Fimrite reports that former Alameda County
    Supervisor Don Perata, a longtime Raiders advocate, said he will
    file documents today demanding that the group file papers with
    the Fair Political Practices Committee which would reveal their
    identities.  Perata: "These guys are hired guns, and they're
    representing some big money San Francisco interests.  We're onto
    them and we are going to force them out" (SAN FRANCISCO
    CHRONICLE, 7/14).  Perata also asked: "Is it [49ers President]
    Carmen Policy?  This is not the first time that people in San
    Francisco have treated Oakland like a colony" (Sandy Kleffman,
    SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 7/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers
  • CLASS A ROCKIES FIRST YEAR IN PORTLAND A BOX-OFFICE SUCCESS

         The Class A Portland Rockies drew 19,658 for their home
    opener, the largest Class A crowd in America this year.  Through
    14 home games, the team has averaged 7,202 fans for a total of
    100,823, which marks the earliest a team in the Northern League
    has passed the 100,000 mark.  This is the team's first year in
    Portland, after 14 years in Bend, OR.  Portland became an open
    market when Joe Buzas took his Triple A team to Salt Lake City
    last year, and Rockies Owner Jack Cain moved the Rockies to Civic
    Stadium.
         THE RIGHT MOVES:  Part of the team's success is attributed
    to S.R.O. Partners, a Portland-based consulting and training firm
    specializing in tickets, sponsorship, and suite sales strategies.
    Tom Leip, VP/Marketing for the Rockies, told THE SPORTS BUSINESS
    DAILY that they took the "ticketing marketing program by SRO and
    ran with it."  Leip said the program was "very aggressive" and
    said his staff of 18-20 full and part-time employees spend their
    entire day selling tickets.  Leip said the marketing program is
    based on ticket sales , "if we sell our tickets, the marketing
    will take care of itself."  If the stands are full, advertisers
    will want to buy signage and sponsorships.  Doug Piper, President
    of S.R.O. Partners, said his company helped the Rockies hire and
    train an outside sales team.  S.R.O. then followed up with
    training sessions, including helping develop a database. They are
    also in discussions on helping with sponsorships next season.
    Dwight Jaynes, columnist for the Portland OREGONIAN, told THE
    DAILY that the team has been "wildly successful."  Jaynes said
    baseball as a whole is not being sold correctly, but "these guys
    had lots of salesman on the streets selling tickets."  Jaynes:
    "People think that you can open the gates on opening night and
    fans either love you or hate you.  But they worked hard. ... The
    Cain's have proven that the off-season is when the work gets
    done, and tickets are sold."  Rockies Owner Jack Cain, to THE
    DAILY: "We are a retail business.  We just have a different
    product to sell."
         COULD PORTLAND BE HOME TO EXPANSION?  When asked if Portland
    was a solid baseball city, Leip said that was "an
    understatement."  Leip: "Portland is as good a baseball market as
    any in the country. It has a population with a large disposable
    income and they will come if is a good show."  The OREGONAIN's
    Jaynes agrees: "[Portland is] a great baseball town, and once it
    wakes up, it could be a great potential major league expansion
    city" (THE DAILY).
    

    Print | Tags: Colorado Rockies, Franchises
  • DEAL WITH THE DEVILS: NJSEA AND NHL TEAM STRIKE LEASE DEAL

         The Devils agreed yesterday to play at Brendan Byrne Arena
    at least through next season, and for 11 more after that if a
    renegotiated lease with promises of new revenues from luxury
    suites and advertising is approved by September, according to the
    N.Y. TIMES.  If the deal is not completed by September 15, the
    NJSEA would reactivate its request for a temporary restraining
    order to keep the team from terminating its current lease
    (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 7/14).  Devils President & GM Lou
    Lamoriello: "The reality is that if the Sports Authority delivers
    what has been promised, the Devils have a 12-year lease and
    commitment to remain in New Jersey.  There are no escapes if the
    Authority keeps its word" (N.Y. POST, 7/14).  In the N.Y. DAILY
    NEWS, Colin Stephenson reports that promised improvements to the
    arena will include 14 new luxury boxes, 1,600 club seats,
    additional advertising space sold inside the arena and the
    construction of restaurants and exclusive "club rooms" for club
    seat patrons (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/14).  Larry Brooks notes that
    the Devils have also moved to prevent another professional
    franchise from relocating to the Meadowlands.  Funding for the
    renovation work will be generated, in part, by selling the naming
    rights to the arena (N.Y. POST, 7/14).       YANKEES LOST IN
    YONKERS?: Larry Brooks notes that the Devils "have done their
    part to see to it that another New York team -- the Yankees --
    cannot now use the Meadowlands to hold this city hostage" (N.Y.
    POST, 7/14).  Yankees Exec VP & General Counsel David Sussman,
    from a prepared statement:  "It appears that the New Jersey
    Sports and Exposition Authority has decided it would prefer to
    have a National Hockey League team over a Major League Baseball
    team playing in the Meadowlands" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 7/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New Jersey Devils, New York Yankees, YankeeNets
  • MAJOR LEAGUE FRANCHISE NOTES

         Hal Bodley reports in today's USA TODAY, that the Expos are
    not for sale and are not moving.  Expos President Claude Brochu:
    "I consider myself a lifer in this game" (USA TODAY,
    7/14)....Bodley also examined the woes of the Giants.  Giants
    President Peter Magowan: "One partner was quoted as saying if the
    Giants don't get more fan support they may have to consider
    leaving.  We have about 27 investors, maybe one or two feel that
    way.  The majority of us are committed to keeping the team here"
    (USA TODAY, 7/14)....Michael McIntyre profiles the success of the
    Indians this year in the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER.  Indians VP/P.R.
    Bob DiBiasio: "This is happening because of the big three: One,
    Jacobs Field.  Two, this is the best team in baseball right now.
    And three, fans are starved for both one and two" (Cleveland
    PLAIN DEALER, 7/13)....According to Nets Treasurer David
    Gerstein, the Nets are not for sale, contrary to rumors that
    investment firm Morgan Stanley is shopping the club for $90M
    (Thomas Hill, N.Y. POST, 7/14)....Gary Picknell reports in the
    TORONTO SUN that Boca Raton Developer Norton Herrick has turned
    his sights away from the Blue Jays and has focused on purchasing
    the Pirates (TORONTO SUN, 7/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Indians, Franchises, Brooklyn Nets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, YankeeNets
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