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Over 8,700 fans welcomed the new NHL team to Colorado at a "Break the Ice" party. CO Gov. Roy Romer, who declared yesterday "Break the Ice Day" in the state, introduced team captain Joe Sakic as Joe "Kasic." Team Exec VP Shawn Hunter said they have received deposits for 12,000 season tickets, their cutoff point, but will continue to accept deposits in case of cancellations (Adrian Dater, DENVER POST, 7/6). GOING THE WAY OF THE GREAT SALT LAKE? The IHL Denver Grizzlies will reportedly move to Salt Lake City, according to Adrian Dater in this morning's DENVER POST. Grizzlies workers were told by team President Bernie Mullen yesterday that a move to Salt Lake "appears imminent." Owner David Elmore is in Salt Lake today and tomorrow, and sources report a press conference may be held as early as tomorrow. Although Salt Lake was Elmore's first choice, he has "had some sticky negotiations" with Delta Center/Jazz Owner Larry Miller over the length of a Grizzlies lease. Sources in Denver say Miller "will relent" on his five- year demand because he wants hockey back in Utah (DENVER POST, 7/6).
The Oakland City Council gave its first vote on the Raiders deal "swift and sure" approval by a 6-0 margin and without any opposition, writes Sandy Kleffman in this morning's SN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The meeting was the first public hearing on the plan and stood "in sharp contrast" to a hearing in '90 when the council was debating "hefty revenue guarantees" to lure them back. City officials eventually withdrew that plan "in the face of taxpayer revolt and a referendum drive" (S.J. MERCURY NEWS, 7/6). LAND-MINES AHEAD? Peter Fimrite reports in this morning's S.F. CHRONICLE that league sources say there is "little chance" the Raiders' move will be blocked. "There is, however, one influential barrier to the deal: the 49ers management." Fimrite also reports that Giants Owner Wellington Mara is expected to join the 49ers "in either trying to block the move or demand reparations." However, "rejection of the Raiders deal could severely hamper" negotiating leverage for teams such as the Browns, Cards, Oilers and Skins, who are looking for new stadiums. Davis "has assured" local officials he will "handle the politics" of the NFL when owners meet July 14 (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/6). DAVIS GOES PUBLIC: Davis has scheduled a homecoming appearance in Oakland today at a public meeting with Oakland and Alameda County officials (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 7/6). LOYALTY DEFINED: The Raiders announced yesterday that they have revised their policy of no priorities for their new season ticket holders and will give priority to the approximately 500 of season ticket holders who stuck with the team through their move to L.A. (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/6).