SBD/2/Franchises

FRANCHISE NOTES

     The Mariners' success of last season, seen as key to keeping
the team in Seattle, is profiled by Tom Verducci in the current
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.  OF Jay Buhner: "Do you know what kind of
pressure that is?  Knowing if you don't win, the team's going to
skip town?"  Mariners CEO John Ellis said after they received the
funding for a new ballpark, "I walked into the office and told
people, 'We've lived a day-to-day existence.  Now I want you to
start thinking long-term -- three, five, 10 years down the line.'
I can't tell you what is meant to be able to say that" (SI, 2/5
issue). ....A season-low attendance of 938 watched as the IHL
L.A. Ice Dogs beat the Peoria Rivermen at the Sports Arena (L.A.
TIMES, 2/1)....Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen has suggested a poll
to "avoid taking a costly public ballot on whether Nashville
should build a new home for the Oilers."   Bredesen also said the
Oilers have asked for 26 additional luxury suites at the new
stadium in TN (TENNESSEAN, 1/31). ....FANS, Inc. the civic group
that brought the Rams to St. Louis, "no longer exists."  Former
Sen. Tom Eagleton, who headed FANS, said "there was nothing for
me to do.  We were created to facilitate getting a team.  We
weren't created to operate a team, or to buy a team."  Eagleton
said there are still 250 PSLs for sale and 425 club seats, with
93 luxury boxes sold.  He will now work to build a new convention
hotel in downtown (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/2).
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