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  • FRANCHISE NOTES: IHL APPROVES ICE DOGS SALE

         The IHL Board of Governors announced Wednesday they have
    approved the sale of the Ice Dogs to TV Producer Barry Kemp
    (IHL)....A federal judge Wednesday approved the settlement of a
    lawsuit against the Cubs filed by longstanding Cubs fans who use
    wheelchairs.  The Cubs have agreed to take several steps to
    improve accessibility for the handicapped to Wrigley Field
    (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/4).
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago Cubs, Franchises
  • HUIZENGA REJECTS LOCAL BID TO KEEP PANTHERS IN FLORIDA

         Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga rejected a $75M offer for the
    team by an investment group led by personal injury attorney James
    Shapiro, according to this morning's FT. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL.
    Huizenga, who said the bid was $10M too low:  "We're always
    looking to talk with anyone who makes a serious offer.  This was
    not a serious offer."  Huizenga said the group did not have the
    cash available and that they wanted 60 days to raise the bulk of
    it.  Shapiro is the nephew of Bucs Owner Malcolm Glazer.  Bucs
    spokesperson Chip Namias said the Glazers had no role in the bid
    for the Panthers.  The only other name released from Shapiro's
    group was Hollywood attorney Fred Chikovsky, who defended their
    finances but said Huizenga's decision not to make a counter-offer
    ended their pursuit of the team.  Huizenga is seeking $85-90M
    from a South FL buyer.  Huizenga has offered to make a $25M
    donation to the construction of a local arena provided that
    Broward County officials meet several conditions by February 1.
    After that date, Huizenga is expected to entertain offers from
    out-of-state buyers (David Nitkin, Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL,
    1/4).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • MCCLATCHY STILL FACES HURDLES IN BUYING PIRATES

         While media heir Kevin McClatchy has received tentative
    approval from MLB's ownership committee and the Pirates board of
    directors to buy the team, NL President Len Coleman said
    yesterday the sale "is no slam dunk."  Coleman told USA TODAY
    that "financial stability" is the key and that he hopes to move
    the sale forward, but he saw the Three Rivers Stadium lease with
    the city and an unpaid $6M loan are two key issues holding up the
    deal.  MLB would like to see more stadium lease concessions from
    the city.  In addition, the team is saddled with a $6M unpaid
    loan which originated with the Galbreath family, previous owners
    of the team.  McClatchy said he is working on the loan, but "the
    real question is how much of it has to be paid back."  Acting MLB
    Commissioner Bud Selig was unsure if the sale would be voted on
    at the next owners meetings (Hal Bodley, USA TODAY, 1/4).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Franchises, MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • STALLIONS TO HEAR HOUSTON OFFER; SPEROS CLOSE TO A DECISION

         Stallions Owner Jim Speros will in Houston tomorrow for a
    meeting with Astrodome management, city officials and local
    businessmen about a deal to bring the team there next season,
    according to the Baltimore SUN.  Speros said a decision is near,
    adding, "Houston has shown quite a bit of interest."  The
    Stallions' season-ticket drive in Baltimore, which aimed for
    20,000 season-tickets to be sold, has sold only 12,000 as of
    Tuesday.  The drive was scheduled to end tomorrow, but Speros has
    extended it until Monday.  Speros, who also expects offers from
    Richmond and PA's Lehigh Valley, said a final decision will not
    be made until next week.  Speros noted there is still a chance
    the team will stay in Baltimore, but he added Houston has an
    advantage over Richmond and PA in that it has a 59,969-seat
    facility ready for play (Kevin Eck, Baltimore SUN, 1/4).  In
    other CFL news, VA Gov. George Allen said the state may use
    economic development funds to assist the Pirates' move from
    Shreveport to Norfolk (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 1/3).
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Franchises, Pittsburgh Pirates
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