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  • BETTMAN "FRUSTRATED" AS NASHVILLE STALKS HUIZENGA'S PANTHERS

         NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in Miami this week
    weighing the chances for a new arena for the Panthers.  According
    to the MIAMI HERALD's David Neal, it was "more of a fact-finding
    mission" than a "last-ditch" attempt to keep the team in South
    FL.  Bettman met with commissioners from both Dade and Broward
    Counties and reports that both expressed a desire to build an
    arena and keep the team.  But, Bettman added, "In terms of being
    able to say to me, 'Here's where the money is coming from, here's
    where the building will be built, just give me a couple of weeks
    to work out the details,' they couldn't do that."  Bettman will
    appraise the NHL's Board of Governors on the Panthers' situation
    at their December 14-15 meeting in West Palm Beach (MIAMI HERALD,
    11/30).  The TENNESSEAN's Jeff Legwold calls Nashville, via
    Gaylord Entertainment, the "leading candidate" to obtain the team
    if it moves or is sold.  Panthers President Bill Torrey said he
    has had no discussions with anyone from Nashville or Gaylord, but
    added, "If you have an arena it's not like anyone needs a spy
    satellite or anything to see the cities where they are
    available."  Torrey said Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga talks with
    FL officials "on a daily basis" (TENNESEAN, 11/29).  Bettman:
    "We're not looking for a situation where the Nashville offer has
    to be matched.  We're looking for a deal in which it works here"
    (David Neal, MIAMI HERALD, 11/30).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NHL
  • COMSAT SPORTS DIVISION FLOATS THREAT OF TWO-TEAM RELOCATION

         Ascent Entertainment Group Inc., a division of Comsat
    formerly known as Comsat Entertainment, stated in its initial
    public offering that "if the company decides it's unfeasible" to
    build the $135M Pepsi Center in Denver, "it could move the venue"
    -- and Nuggets and Avlanache -- out of the city or state.  In the
    current DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL, Paula Moore reports while
    sources say moves of the teams are "not imminent or even actively
    being considered right now," Ascent's statement "is a
    demonstration to prospective shareholders that it has considered
    all its alternatives on the Pepsi Center issue."  Although the
    teams have leases with the city and county of Denver at McNichols
    Arena through 2008, Ascent has told the city its teams won't play
    in an "aging, unprofitable" McNichols Arena in '98.  Moore
    writes, "One reason Ascent wants to beat a path out of McNichols
    is that it expects the Avalanche to lose money as long as it
    plays there."  Moore adds the Nuggets are profitable, but "not
    that profitable."  Comsat wants the Pepsi Center in Denver's
    Lower Platte Valley to be ready by the '98-99 and is offering 20%
    of its assets in the IPO.  Plans were to begin construction this
    year, but a rift with former partner (now current Kings part-
    owner) Phil Anschutz ended those plans.  Ascent now "is crawling
    toward" purchasing a site in the Central Platte Valley near
    downtown and Coors Field (DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/24-30
    issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Franchises, PepsiCo
  • FRANCHISE NOTES: JETS OWNER TO TALK WITH ST. PAUL MAYOR

         In Minneapolis, Jay Weiner notes Jets buyer Richard Burke
    plans to talk with St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman about the future
    of the NHL franchise today, as Burke denied he and partner Steven
    Gluckstern are close to a deal to move the team to Phoenix
    (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/1)....The MLB Rangers announced
    some of their tickets for next season will be cheaper.  Terrace
    Club Box seats will be $15, down from $18 of last season.  The
    team is also offering a $100 discount over single-game prices for
    full-season ticket purchasers (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM,
    11/29)....The NFL has pushed back the due date for the Rams'
    payment of their $20M relocation fee.  The deadline, already
    extended from November 22, is now December 7 (ST. LOUIS POST-
    DISPATCH, 12/1)....Blue Jays GM Gord Ash said the team will leave
    its Dunedin spring training site if they don't get more space.
    Dunedin City Manager John Lawrence said the city will work to try
    an accommodate the team (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/1)....The Broncos have
    instituted a new policy in an attempt to end the selling of
    season tickets by ticket holders.  The new policy, which starts
    January 16, will require proof of both parties' relationship, or
    for corporate tickets, proof of a buyout or merger
    (AP/Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Denver Broncos, Franchises, New York Jets, NFL, NHL, Southwest Sports Group, St. Louis Rams, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays
  • RAIDERS MARKETING GROUP HIRES FORMER A'S EXECUTIVE

         Oakland Football Marketing Association (OFMA) officials
    announced yesterday that Ray Krise has been appointed COO.  Krise
    will oversee all ticket functions including PSL sales, single
    game ticket sales and customer service.  Krise was previously a
    VP of Administration and Personnel for the A's and took over the
    A's ticket operations in '81.  Krise participated in the design
    and implementation of the A's customer service and rebate efforts
    during last year's baseball strike (OFMA).  Peter Fimrite writes
    in the S.F. CHRONICLE that Krise has promised to "do what nobody
    else has been able to do consistently or smoothly -- sell
    tickets."  Fimrite notes that Krise is the third "ticket guru" to
    join the Raiders since their move back to Oakland and, so far,
    nobody has been able to "end the confusion, ticket delivery
    problems, phone glitches and faulty decision-making that has
    turned the marketing operation into a public relations disaster"
    (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders
  • STARS OWNER STILL TALKING TO POTENTIAL LOCAL INVESTORS

         Stars Owner Norm Green said yesterday he is still talking to
    potential buyers for the team, even though he has an offer of
    more than $82M, according to the DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  After five
    months of negotiations, a group headed by Dallas businessman John
    Spano submitted a proposal to Green Tuesday that included an
    $82.3M offer to buy the team.  Green, however, said he is still
    talking with other potential buyers, including Dallas financier
    Thomas Hicks.  Mavs Owners Donald Carter has promised to bail the
    team out -- but only as a last resort, and only at his price.
    Green denies reports NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is pressuring
    him to sell the team, but said a deal could come next week.
    Green also described his main creditor, Alberta Treasury
    Branches, as "cooperative, not adversarial," and he said the sale
    of the team will clear his problems with the bank and other
    creditors (Richard Alm, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Stars, Franchises, NHL, Southwest Sports Group
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