SBD/10/Franchises

MOVING RUMORS KEEP FANS FROM MOVING ON PANTHERS TICKETS

     Talk of the Panthers' potential move from South FL may be
keeping fans from attending games, according to Dave Sheinin in
this morning's MIAMI HERALD.  Sheinin reports that the club drew
only 12,087 to its home opener Sunday -- the fourth-lowest crowd
in franchise history.  Team officials say competition from the
Dolphins and the MLB playoffs are partly to blame (MIAMI HERALD,
10/10).  In an interview with the TAMPA TRIBUNE, NHL Commissioner
Gary Bettman admitted that the Panthers' situation is a "serious
problem."  Bettman:  "It's too early to tell what we can do" (Tom
Jones, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/7).  A report in Saturday's MIAMI HERALD
notes Heat Owner Micky Arison says he would be willing to "put
money into" a new arena and "would consider" compromising on the
location, if it meant being a partner with Panthers Owner Wayne
Huizinga (Amy Shipley, MIAMI HERALD, 10/7).
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