SBD/25/Franchises

COLISEUM PROJECTIONS PAINT A ROSY PICTURE -- ARE THEY LEGIT?

     Under a court order obtained by the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS,
Alameda County and the city of Oakland released financial
documents detailing plans to pay for the Raiders deal.  The
MERCURY NEWS' Witt & Koury report that "even their most
pessimistic projections contain some rosy assumptions about the
deal's potential earning power."  The Coliseum Marketing
Association has sold only 31,000 of 45,000 available PSLs for
this season, and is trying to sell 57,000 for next season.
Although the documents reveal that the county must sell only 80%
of PSLs and club seats to avoid a taxpayer bailout, that is based
on "a long list of optimistic assumptions about events in the
next 16 years that extend far beyond football ticket sales."
East Bay officials project the sale of Coliseum naming rights
will bring in $24M -- to be split between the Raiders and
Coliseum.  However, while that price is consistent with other
such deals, "there's no guarantee of such interest in Oakland,"
especially with the city of San Francisco attempting to sell the
rights to Candlestick Park at the same time.  The MERCURY NEWS
also notes that the deal counts on $1.5M annually from baseball
profits.  The A's have the option to leave Oakland in three
years, which could eliminate that income.  Officials insist the
Coliseum will make a profit on the deal (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS,
8/25).
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