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  • FRANCHISE NOTES: J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS

         N.Y. Jets Owner Leon Hess was asked after Sunday's loss if
    he has thought about selling the team.  Hess:  "Not at all.  This
    is one of the few pleasures I get out of life, win or lose" (N.Y.
    DAILY NEWS, 11/21).  Last night, the Jets were the butt of a Jay
    Leno joke.  Leno was relating Beatles' songs to events or people
    of today.  After "I'm a loser," a picture of a Jets helmet was
    flashed ("Tonight," NBC, 11/20)....Molson Cos. Ltd., owners of
    the Canadiens, the Montreal Forum and Molstar Communications, has
    replaced Bruce Pope as brewery president, with John Barnett, the
    brewer's top U.S. exec.  The GLOBE & MAIL's Marina Strauss
    reports, "The shuffle was seen by some industry observers as a
    possible prelude to a larger shakeup at both the brewer and
    parent Molson Cos." (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/21)....ESPN reported the
    agent for Patriots CB Maurice Hurst would file a grievance
    against the team for releasing his client.  Doug Sunseri contends
    the team should not be allowed to release Hurst because he was
    injured.  He further contends that, at the request of the team,
    Hurst had been playing the entire season with a bulging disc in
    his neck ("SportsCenter," 11/21)....While Dodgers Owner Peter
    O'Malley is willing to build an NFL stadium near Dodger Stadium
    and Disney would like to do some "venture" with the NFL, John
    Clayton of the Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE writes, "Los Angeles is
    nothing like Baltimore and Nashville."  Noting the lack of
    stadium construction in L.A., Clayton writes, "If you don't sell
    PSLs, you don't get the franchise."  Until such a campaign is in
    place, no team, including the Seahawks, will move there (Tacoma
    NEWS TRIBUNE, 11/20)....Average attendance for the Blues is down
    2,253 from last season (ST. LOUIS POST- DISPATCH, 11/19)....Tom
    Enlund writes that the Bucks' payroll is $19.5M this season,
    significantly below the NBA's $23M salary cap (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
    SENTINEL, 11/18).....For the fourth time since '91, the Braves
    have announced they will raise ticket prices for next season
    (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/18)....The Panthers will edge the
    Lightning by just 200 miles as the NHL's most traveled team.
    Both teams are in the 51,000-mile range.  The Panthers' travel
    budget is about $1M this year (MIAMI HERALD, 11/20)....Last night
    was the Blazers' first non-sellout since April '77.  The team has
    moved from the 12,800-seat Memorial Coliseum into the 21,300-seat
    Rose Garden (L.A. TIMES, 11/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, ESPN, Franchises, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Bucks, Montreal Canadiens, NBA, NBC, New England Patriots, New York Jets, News Corp./Fox, NFL, NHL, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Time Warner, Vulcan Ventures, Walt Disney
  • NO LAST-DITCH EFFORTS EXPECTED TO KEEP OILERS IN HOUSTON

         A committee studying the need for new sports venues in
    Houston "is not likely to put together a last-ditch effort to
    keep the Houston Oilers in town," according to group chairman
    Pete Coneway.  This morning's HOUSTON CHRONICLE reports that
    Coneway said the group, appointed by Houston Mayor Bob Lanier and
    Harris County Judge Robert Eckels, "is looking at longer-term
    issues than the Oilers."  Coneway, a managing partner at Goldman
    Sachs:  "We were not formed to negotiate with [Oilers Owner] Bud
    Adams."  Meanwhile, the Nashville Metro Council should approve
    the non-binding contract today (John Williams, HOUSTON CHRONICLE,
    11/21).
         ON THE TENNESSEE TRAIL:  The WALL STREET JOURNAL's John
    Helyar examines the Oilers' move, writing, it shows "how
    differently two cities at different points in their life cycles
    can value a sports team."  Agent Leigh Steinberg says the "deck
    is stacked against the more mature cities that have long hosted
    and supported NFL teams."  Steinberg:  "This process is pitting
    major urban areas with overwhelming budget constraints against
    smaller entrepreneurial cities willing to pay fabulous sums for
    the sake of their economic climate.  The net effect of all this
    is to downsize the NFL."  Gaylord Entertainment COO Richard
    Evans, head of the Nashville Sports Council, is seen along with
    Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen as driving the city's sports cause.
    Evans:  "We're out to make the NHL and NBA aware that we're dead
    serious about bringing a sports team to Nashville."  In fact,
    Oilers Exec VP Mike McClure said it was Nashville's wooing of the
    Devils that "caught [his] eye" in seeking a new home for the
    Oilers.  Vanderbilt Law's John Costonis:  "Nashville can't be
    Atlanta, but it would sure like to be on par with Charlotte"
    (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, NBA, New Jersey Devils, NFL, NHL, YankeeNets
  • TESTIMONY BEGINS IN CLEVELAND'S CASE TO KEEP BROWNS

         Lawyers for the city of Cleveland argued yesterday that the
    Browns are "legally obligated to remain in town through 1998,"
    according to this morning's Baltimore SUN.  In opening statements
    before Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Kenneth
    Callahan, the city displayed "poster-size blowups" of the team's
    Cleveland Stadium lease.  But Browns attorney Dennis Kelly argued
    the lease was with the Art Modell-owned Cleveland Stadium Corp.,
    not the city.  The SUN's Jon Morgan notes the case "could delay
    but not stop the Browns' intended move" (Baltimore SUN, 11/21).
    Robert Weber, another attorney representing the Browns, said even
    if the team is forced to play in Cleveland, they will leave.
    Weber:  "What's done is done" (USA TODAY, 11/21).  The judge
    extended his order barring the Browns from leaving until the end
    of the hearing (WASHINGTON POST, 11/21).
         BALTIMORE'S CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM:  "Thousands" of fans of the
    CFL Champion Stallions gathered at Baltimore's Inner Harbor
    yesterday to greet the team.  Stallions Owner Jim Speros was
    cheered when he said, "We're Baltimore's team, and we want to be
    Baltimore's team" (Drake Whitam, Baltimore SUN, 11/21).  But a
    SUN editorial previewing today's meeting between Speros and MD
    Gov. Parris Glendening, refers to the "gypsy-like" CFL.  The SUN
    states:  "The CFL Stallions represented Baltimore well, but given
    the business realities of professional sports these days, it may
    be time to seek greener pastures" (Baltimore SUN, 11/21).
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Cleveland Browns, Franchises
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