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  • "COLTS," "BOMBERS" OUT IN BALTIMORE; "AMERICANS" PROSPERING?

         Regardless of the results of an meeting today between
    Baltimore NFL and NFLP officials to review polling and focus
    group research on possible names, "Colts and Bombers are likely
    to be ruled out," according to the Baltimore SUN.  Vito Stellino
    reports Colts VP & GM Jimmy Irsay "simply has put too high a
    price" on the Colts name ($25-50M), while "Bombers" presents too
    many negative connotations.  "Steamers" was also ruled out after
    it did not test well.  Names still on the list:  Marauders,
    Mustangs, Ravens, Railers and Americans.  Team officials favor
    the Americans, but they are "waiting to see how it does in the
    poll."  Meanwhile, team officials are "likely" to hire Max
    Muhleman to conduct their PSL campaign.  Muhleman, who headed PSL
    drives in Charlotte, St. Louis and Nashville, will meet with
    Baltimore execs today (Baltimore SUN, 3/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Ravens, Franchises, Indianapolis Colts, NFL
  • ANGELS LOCKED OUT OF MAGIC KINGDOM AS DISNEY DEAL DISSOLVES

         Walt Disney Co. has abandoned its plan to purchase a
    controlling interest in the Angels, walking away from
    negotiations with the city of Anaheim over the renovation of
    Anaheim Stadium, according to this morning's L.A. TIMES.  Both
    sides confirmed yesterday "they had reached an impasse."  Disney
    Sports Enterprises President Tony Tavares: "This deal is over.
    The negotiations have ended."  The "surprise announcement," which
    came as final details were being worked out, "stunned city
    leaders."  The announcement forces owners Gene and Jackie Autry
    to find a new buyer for the club.  However, acting MLB
    Commissioner Bud Selig said the "deal might not be dead."
    Anaheim City Manager James Ruth said several issues caused the
    breakdown, with the two biggest stumbling blocks being Anaheim's
    desire to bring the NFL back and its proposal to build a
    "Sportstown Anaheim."  City officials had hoped to anchor
    Sportstown with the renovated stadium.  Disney set a March 17
    deadline to reach an accord on renovating Anaheim Stadium into a
    baseball-only facility -- contingent on its January bid to
    purchase the team.  But Disney officials said they were not
    comfortable extending that deadline (Greg Hernandez, L.A. TIMES,
    3/14).
         NEXT?  Former MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth said he is
    "ready to go" in an attempt to purchase the Angels. A Ueberroth-
    led group failed in a previous attempt to buy the team (L.A.
    TIMES, 3/14).  The team's Big A lease ends in 2001, and the
    Autrys contend it is "one of the worst in baseball" with little
    stadium revenue going to the team (L.A. TIMES, 3/14).  This
    morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL reports Seahawks Owner Ken Behring
    is among the parties interested in purchasing the Angels.  A
    Behring spokesperson confirmed he has approached the city about
    putting a group together (Thomas King, WALL STREET JOURNAL,
    3/14).  In Toronto, William Houston reports O's GM Pat Gillick
    tried to put together an ownership group for the Angels before
    Disney entered, but it is mentioned whether Gillick would still
    be interested in the club (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/14).
         WHO'S TO BLAME?  In L.A., Mike Penner writes, "After 41
    years of Disney telling the city of Anaheim to jump and  Anaheim
    asking 'How high?' the city finally came up with a different
    response Wednesday, and it involved someone else going out and
    taking a flying leap."  Penner notes Disney didn't want "any
    part" of Sportstown, and that the 12,000 parking spaces that
    would be eliminated from Anaheim Stadium under such a project
    were unacceptable (L.A. TIMES, 3/14).
         WOULD THE NBA BE A BETTER FIT?  Penner also writes, "The NBA
    -- even the Clippers -- intrigues The Mouse.  Fewer salaries,
    controlled environment, cartoon uniforms, more stoppages of play
    for crazed mascots to scare small children -- it's Disney's kind
    of place" (L.A. TIMES, 3/14).
    

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Anaheim Sports, Anheuser Busch, Franchises, Los Angeles Clippers, MLB, NBA, NFL, Seattle Seahawks, Vulcan Ventures, Walt Disney
  • BUCS TOLD TO WORK OUT DEAL WITH TAMPA BY APRIL

         Bucs Owner Malcolm Glazer has been "advised strongly" by the
    NFL to continue negotiations with Tampa and "hammer out" an
    agreement for a new $168M stadium, according to this morning's
    TAMPA TRIBUNE.  Yasinskas & Pugliese report the league wants a
    Bucs deal completed before it formally addresses the proposed
    relocations of the Seahawks and Oilers at a special meeting in
    April.  One NFL owner:  "Believe me, there is a lot of pressure
    being applied on Glazer.  Everything that can be done is being
    done.  The commissioner doesn't want that situation getting out
    of hand like some of the others" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, NFL, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Vulcan Ventures
  • HUIZENGA WILL SIGN LETTER OF INTENT TO BE IN BROWARD

         Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga will sign a letter of intent
    to have his team stay in South FL and play in Broward County, but
    it "may not free him" from Broward's March 28 deadline to find a
    buyer.  Broward County Administrator Jack Osterholt still wants a
    buyer by March 28, as the NHL originally agreed to.  If Huizenga
    were to take longer to identify a buyer, the "whole deal could
    fall through."  And if he doesn't meet the March 28 deadline, the
    Heat become the primary tenant of a new arena, and Huizenga would
    have to negotiate with them (Karen Rafinski, MIAMI HERALD, 3/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Miami Heat, NHL
  • OILERS LIKELY TO STAY IN HOUSTON UNTIL '98

         Oilers Exec VP Mike McClure said yesterday the team will
    "likely" play the next two years in Houston, not TN. The team
    awaits final NFL approval to move the franchise to Nashville,
    where they will play in a new stadium in '99.  In the meantime,
    the team was eyeing Memphis' Liberty Bowl (Rick Gosselin, DALLAS
    MORNING NEWS, 3/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, New York Liberty, NFL
  • THE WHALERS LAST STAND?

         A marketing effort which would include a major initiative to
    sell season tickets throughout CT may "ultimately decide" the
    fate of the Whalers, according to the HARTFORD COURANT.  CT Lt.
    Gov Jodi Rell will help coordinate the campaign, which has an
    "unofficial" goal of doubling the team's season ticket base to
    10,000.  Rell:  "I don't want to say it's do or die time here,
    but we are at a crossroads" (Swift & Arace, HARTFORD COURANT,
    3/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises
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