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With 10,000 tickets still available for the Raiders Sunday game with Seattle, the NFL extended its blackout deadline from Thursday at 4pm EDT to Friday at 9pm EDT. The extension is due to ongoing construction at the Coliseum, as the stadium's seating capacity has yet to be determined. In addition, the league will sometimes grant an extension for games that follow a week which includes a holiday (Oakland Football Marketing Association)....Manchester United, Britain's most profitable soccer team, announced a near doubling of pre-tax profits. The club attributed the additional profits to increased television revenues. Manchester is part of the Premier League, which is televised by News Corp.'s BSkyB (Tim Burt, FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/4).
The Brewers stadium funding plan did not come to a vote in the Senate Tuesday because "the votes were not there," according to the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. WI Gov. Tommy Thompson said yesterday the package is three votes short of the 17 needed. The JOURNAL SENTINEL's Michael Bauman writes Thompson was "not a happy governor" as he said, "The Brewers don't have much more time or patience." Thompson also added: "Bud (Selig) is not going to tell you that he is going to leave, but you've all seen the balance sheet" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/4). D-DAY? Amy Rinard reports that Thompson said Thursday is "D-Day" for the Brewers and a "miracle" is needed to pass the financing deal and keep the Brewers in Milwaukee. Senator Rodney Moen, Democratic caucus chair, said if the stadium site were moved downtown, "a majority" of Democrats would support. But as it stands, a majority will vote "no." Thompson is said to have backing of 10 Republicans and four Democrats. Still, Senate Majority Leader Michael Ellis, the Legislature's most outspoken opponent of the measure, insists: "I bet when it is all said and done, the governor will get his votes" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/4).
Supporters of state funding for a new stadium to keep the Mariners in Seattle received "a dose of reality" yesterday, as it appears that "finding the requisite 50 votes" in the WA House "appeared problematic," according to this morning's SEATTLE POST- INTELLIGENCER. Paulson & Bruscas report that House Speaker Clyde Ballard "suggested that lawmakers would have to work every day for the next week to reach a consensus." WA Gov. Mike Lowry said a special session could be called within a week, and said he still supports splitting the cost of the proposed $285M stadium three ways. The Mariners would contribute $45M, with the state and King County splitting the remaining $240M. The Senate appears "generally inclined" to help the Mariners (SEATTLE POST- INTELLIGENCER, 10/4). WADING THROUGH POLITICAL BOGS: "One issue that could doom a special session" is expected to be resolved today when WA Attorney General Christine Gregoire is scheduled to issue an opinion on whether Republicans will be able to try during January's regular session to override tax cut vetoes by Lowry in the last session. Republican lawmakers say they will "insist on making such an attempt" if Gregoire rules that it can only be done in the special session. Democrats said "they will refuse to come into special session" if that is the case (SEATTLE POST- INTELLIGENCER, 10/4). AND WHAT ABOUT THE KINGDOME? House Speaker Ballard said yesterday that the Legislature "will deal only with the baseball stadium in a special session." King County is seeking $70M for past repairs to the dome, and an additional $100M to improve the facility for the Seahawks. That funding was tied into the stadium referendum that narrowly lost September 19 (SEATTLE POST- INTELLIGENCER, 10/4).
In a pre-trial hearing concerning the takeover of Maple Leaf Gardens after the death of Leafs Owner Howard Ballard, executor and current Maple Leafs CEO Steve Stavro admitted that he "initiated a pact" with two others to work together for a takeover. However, executors say Stavro did not have any intent to take control before Ballard died, and refute allegations by the Ontario Attorney General that Stavro was working in his own interests and not those of the estate. (Tony Van Alphen, TORONTO STAR, 10/4). Meanwhile, the Ontario Attorney General's office continues in efforts to obtain an internal report obtained by a partner of Stavro's which led to a lowering of the purchase price of MLG from Ballard's estate. The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, which partnered with Stavro in the purchase of MLG, is accused by the court of receiving an internal report showing "booming prospects for broadcasting revenues." Appraisers of the company did not have access to that report. The Ontario Attorney General, along with the province's public trustee, want Ballard's former 60.3% share in MLG returned to the estate and then resold at a public auction because of the alleged improprieties (TORONTO STAR, 10/4).