SBD/5/Franchises

FRANCHISE NEWS AND NOTES

     The NHL has given the current owners of the Jets a deadline
of August 18 to present a new ownership group for ratification
(Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/1)....The Knicks denied a request by
the Heat to negotiate with Pat Riley concerning their head
coaching vacancy.  The Knicks' tampering case against the Heat
continues (NEWSDAY, 7/1). ....Denver's NHL team will be
introduced to the public tonight at a "Break the Ice Evening"
(ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 7/5)....In St. Louis, Dan O'Neil reports
that the Blues, as an organization, have "changed":  "In the span
of a few months, the boardroom Blues have gravitated toward the
dark side" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 7/3)....In the latest
edition of CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS, reports that the McCaskey's
"may be better served selling a majority stake in the Bears to a
deep-pocketed investor or corporation that can maximize the value
of a major-market [NFL] franchise."  David Snyder writes that the
McCaskey family "does not have the financial muscle and acumen to
remain a long-term player in big-time professional sports"
(CRAIN'S CHICAGO, 7/3 issue)....A group of Gund Arena contractors
wants the Cavaliers to pay more than $9M in outstanding bills
owed by the agency which operates the arena.  The contractors
blame the team for driving Gateway into debt by demanding frills
for which the agency had no money.  By doing so, the contractors
are charging that the Cavs committed fraud (AP/TACOMA NEWS
TRIBUNE, 7/2).
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