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  • ANOTHER SNAFU IN OAKLAND HAS RAIDERS FANS FUMING

         Despite an October 31 letter telling PSL holders the Oakland
    Coliseum box office would open at 9:00am, between 700 and 900
    Raiders' season ticket holders left "disgusted at another
    marketing scheme gone haywire," according to Robert Salladay in
    the OAKLAND TRIBUNE.  Fans were led to believe they could buy
    extra tickets for the Cowboys game and that the box office would
    open at 9:00, one hour before tickets went on sale at 145
    Northern CA BASS outlets.  However, the Coliseum box office did
    not open until 10:00, the same time BASS started.  While 14,000
    tickets were sold, only three fans got tickets at the Coliseum.
    The move was designed to boost PSL sales, but Oakland Football
    Marketing Assoc. chief Ezra Rapport admitted, "It was obvious we
    screwed up" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 11/10).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Franchises, Oakland Raiders
  • ASTROS OWNER MCLANE SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT: NO MLB SUIT

         Astros Owner Drayton McLane said he is examining every
    possible way to keep the team in Houston and flatly denied a
    Houston Chronicle report he was intending to sue MLB and place
    the franchise in bankruptcy.  McLane:  "Never, in my 34 years of
    business, have I ever personally initiated a lawsuit.  That is
    not the way to handle disputes."  He has a press conference
    scheduled for 11:00am CST today to announce his plans for the '96
    season (Astros).
         WHAT'LL HE SAY:  In Houston, John William writes it is still
    "unclear" whether or not McLane will try to move the team to
    Northern VA (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/10).  In DC, Maske & Lipton
    writes McLane will announce he is going to remain in Houston for
    '96, staying on a "one-year trial basis" because he doesn't think
    he has the votes to approve the move (WASHINGTON POST, 11/10).
    That is echoed by broadcast reports in Houston this morning
    (SportsTicker).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Houston Astros, MLB
  • CLEVELAND AREA BUSINESSES CUT THEIR TIES TO THE BROWNS

         McDonald's Restaurants of Northeast Ohio, which represents
    the owners and operators of 257 area McDonald's restaurants, has
    asked Browns Owner Art Modell to remove all McDonald's signs from
    Cleveland Stadium.  The company is also airing an open letter of
    protest on 55 local radio stations.  Spokesperson William Stern
    said a petition will be posted in all of the group's restaurants
    asking the league to leave the name "Browns" in Cleveland.
    Cleveland's Rapid Transit Authority also pulled its $50,000 ad
    campaign, oining pharmacy chain Revco and the Ohio Lottery.  The
    Lottery's Browns ad budget was $350,000.  Also, Papa John's is
    looking for a way to get out of its commitment to advertise on
    Browns' radio broadcasts, and WOIO-TV will pull its three Browns-
    related programs (Mary Ethridge, Akron BEACON JOURNAL, 11/10).
    Coors, which ran a retail sweepstakes, sponsored give-aways and
    advertised with the Browns, will seek to identify "the next best
    alternatives" in the market (Becky Yerak, Cleveland PLAIN DEALER,
    11/9).
         DON'T GIVE UP THE FIGHT:  The U.S. Senate Judiciary
    Committee's subcommittee on antitrust, business rights and
    competition has scheduled a hearing for November 29 on the
    Browns' move (AP/Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/10).  OH Sen. John
    Glenn said he will file the "Fans Rights Act," which would
    require any team looking to move to give the hometown 120 days
    notice so the community could prepare a counter-offer.  Glenn's
    bill would also add a "limited exemption" to antitrust law so the
    NFL could enforce its guidelines for allowing teams to move
    (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 11/9).  Cleveland Mayor Michael White
    said they had uncovered signs that Modell planned to move the
    team to Baltimore, perhaps as early as '84.  White has asked when
    the name "Baltimore Browns" was incorporated (WASHINGTON TIMES,
    11/10).
         THE VOTE:  Yesterday's PLAIN DEALER indicates Bills Owner
    Ralph Wilson and Patriots Owner Robert Kraft have reconsidered
    their initial opposition, and will vote to approve (Cleveland
    PLAIN DEALER, 11/9).  Wilson:  "We're killing ourselves. ... You
    think human nature is any different in the NFL than in baseball"
    (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/10).  Modell, in this week's SI:  "When I lay
    out my losses and my lack of support from the city, they'll see I
    have a far greater justification for moving than any team that's
    tried to move in the NFL.  They'd be insane to vote against me"
    (Peter King, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 11/13 issue).   "Inside the
    NFL's" Gary Myers said, while owners are unhappy with the move,
    Modell was "very persuasive ... to the point that a few owners
    told me they went into that meeting thinking they were going to
    vote against the move, but came out actually feeling sorry for
    Modell" (HBO, 11/9).
    

    Print | Tags: Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Franchises, HBO, McDonalds, New England Patriots, NFL, Sports Illustrated, Time Warner, Wilson Sporting Goods
  • FRANCHISE NOTES: MN ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE TEAM HAS NAME

         The Minnesota "Fighting Pike" will be the name of the newest
    team in the Arena Football League.  Pike President Tom Scallen:
    "This isn't just about high-speed, in-your-face football action,
    it's about saving an entire generation on Minnesota's game fish
    from becoming shore lunch" (Fighting Pike)....Celtics Owner Paul
    Gaston told Boston's WBZ-TV he has not abandoned the idea of
    suing the Wall Street Journal for its report that cocaine
    contributed to the death of Reggie Lewis (BOSTON GLOBE,
    11/9)....COMSAT Entertainment Group, which owns the Nuggets and
    Avalanche, has changed its name to Ascent Entertainment Group
    Inc. (Comsat).
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, Boston Celtics, Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Franchises
  • NAME GAME: BULLETS ANNOUNCE NAME CHANGE FOR '97-98 SEASON

         Bullets Owner Abe Pollin announced yesterday he will change
    the name of the team for the '97-98 season, to coincide with the
    move to the new MCI Center in downtown DC.  The Boston Market
    "Rename the Bullets" contest will be a chance for the fans to
    participate in the process.  Fans will be able to submit name
    suggestions at any of the over 50 DC and Baltimore area Boston
    Market locations.  Prizes include a Grand Prize of a trip for two
    to the Bullets-Magic in Orlando and two season tickets for the
    '96-97 or '97-98 seasons.  Media partners include WRC-TV, The
    Washington Post, HTS, WBDC-TV and WTEM-AM, WHUR-FM, V-103-FM, and
    Heaven 600 AM in Baltimore.  The name change will go hand-in-hand
    with a new Bullets Anti-Violence Campaign running in conjunction
    with the NBA's Stay in School program (Bullets).
         THE FINAL WORD:  After five finalits are selected, fans will
    then be invited to vote via a 1-900 number.  Proceeds from calls
    will go to the anti-violence campaign, according to the
    WASHINGTON POST.  Richard Justice notes that Pollin and his staff
    "retain the right" to pick the final new name, and a timetable
    for the final announcement of a new name will be made sometime
    next year (WASHINGTON POST, 11/10).
    

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, Franchises, NBA, Orlando Magic, RDV Sports
  • THE OILERS: IS THERE AN OUT ON THE NASHVILLE DEAL?

         "It is not too late for Mayor Bob Lanier, County Judge Bob
    Eckels and the Greater Houston Partnership to put something on
    the table in case Oilers Owner Bud Adams get cold feet," writes
    John McClain in the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  McLain notes the deal the
    Oilers will sign with Nashville next week is non-binding, meaning
    Adams could get out of it if Houston or Harris County come up
    with a better deal  (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/10).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Edmonton Oilers, Franchises
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