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"In addition to new uniforms, a new logo, and new colors," the Bullets will apparently be getting a new name, according to Richard Justice of the WASHINGTON POST. Sources said yesterday that Owner Abe Pollin has decided that when the Bullets leave USAir Arena after the '96-97 season for the proposed downtown MCI Center, "they'll no longer be the Bullets." Justice reports that Pollin will allow fans to select the new name later this year in a name-the-team contest, reportedly to be sponsored by Boston Market. The Washington Post is also discussing a possible promotional role in the endeavor (WASHINGTON POST, 8/22).
The Twins, with the worst record in the major leagues, are not faring much better off the field. The team's gross ticket receipts are down 42.6% and concession income is down $892,913 from last year, according to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis STAR- TRIBUNE. Hartman writes that Owner Carl Pohlad "could lose in excess" of $10M this year (STAR-TRIBUNE, 8/22)....The Jaguars' home debut last Friday is the subject of an article in this morning's N.Y. TIMES. Mireya Navarro writes that the team's arrival brings "a new image for this city of Southern roots and cosmopolitan dreams" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/22)....In an op/ed piece in Sunday's HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Allen Sanderson, an economics professor at the Univ. of Chicago, analyzes the "Games Oilers Play." Sanderson equates professional sports team owners' desire for a new stadium with his own automobile situation: "I currently drive a Honda Accord ... It must serve multiple purposes for me -- sporty driving, off-road exploring, transporting several children and their possessions and for more elegant social occasions. My modest fantasy would be to own four separate cars for these purposes ... Does my Honda serve all those functions perfectly well? Of course not, but until I become very wealthy or find someone to bankroll my wants, it just has to do. Sports team owners are in the same situation. Cities and their taxpayers would be much better served financially if teams shared facilities" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/20).
The Raiders "are preparing to blitz the Bay Area with perhaps the most pervasive advertising campaign ever run for a pro football team," according to Peter Fimrite of the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE. Max Muhleman, who has been brought in to take over the team's marketing efforts, said the ads will "emphasize the planned renovations" to the Coliseum for the '96 season (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 8/22). In Oakland, Judy Ronningen reports that the new marketing blitz will "focus on the area of weakest sales": the club seats that require annual fees as high as $1,600 per season. Muhleman Marketing VP Tamera Green said the revised effort will emphasize the "perks" of the club seats, such as "free close-in parking, waiter service at the seats, and better chairs" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 8/22). JUDGE RULES FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS PUBLIC: In a suit brought by the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, an Alameda County judge yesterday ordered public officials to release key financial documents in the Raiders deal, saying the information may not be kept from the public. The papers must be given to the newspaper by Thursday morning unless an appeals court orders a stay (Dan Stober, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/22).