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  • FRANCHISE NEWS & NOTES

         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).
    

    Print | Tags: BSkyB, English Premier League, Franchises, Manchester United, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Oakland Raiders
  • MILWAUKEE STADIUM PLAN STILL LACKING THREE SENATE VOTES

         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).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Franchises, Milwaukee Brewers
  • PENNANT FEVER MAY NOT HAVE REACHED WA STATE SENATE

         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).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, Vulcan Ventures
  • THE MAPLE LEAF GARDENS SOAP OPERA CONTINUES

         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).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Toronto Maple Leafs
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