SBD/20/Franchises

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  • ALL IN THE FAMILY FOR THE MINNESOTA POHLADS

         The sons of Twins Owner Carl Pohlad are, in fact, interested
    in owning the team, diminishing speculation that the Twins would
    be sold, according to this morning's Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.
    Jim Souhan reports that, contrary to public opinion, Pohlad's
    sons -- Bob, Jim and "to a lesser extent," Bill -- have recently
    taken a more active role with the team.  According to some Twins
    execs, Bob Pohlad, in particular, has become a "key figure,"
    taking on increasing responsibility especially in the Twins'
    pursuit of a new stadium.  Though Carl Pohlad denies rumors of a
    possible sale, maintaining, "We're not even thinking about
    anything than a new stadium," Souhan notes other owners have made
    similar claims before selling (STAR-TRIBUNE, 3/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Minnesota Twins
  • BUCS DEAL WITH TAMPA INCHES TOWARD CONCLUSION

         The deal between Bucs Owner Malcolm Glazer and negotiators
    for Tampa and Hillsborough County remains incomplete, but in the
    words of Glazer's son, Bucs VP Joel Glazer, "Things are cool."
    According to this morning's TAMPA TRIBUNE, negotiators have
    reached "tentative agreement" on a new $168M stadium, with
    lawyers for both sides working on the details.  The Tampa Sports
    Authority has scheduled a meeting for Monday to consider and vote
    on the deal, although that could be postponed if there is no
    agreement by Friday (Joe Henderson, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/20).  Two
    major "hang-ups" are facility control and advertising rights
    (Charean Williams, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • COMCAST COMPLETES DEAL FOR FLYERS, SIXERS, TWO ARENAS

         Flyers Owner Ed Snider, fitness entrepreneur Pat Croce and
    the Comcast Corp. announced yesterday the formation of a Comcast-
    Spectacor venture to create a "super-regional sports partnership"
    to own and operate the Flyers, 76ers, the new CoreStates Center
    and the CoreStates Spectrum.  Comcast will hold a 66% ownership
    interest (Comcast).
         DETAILS:  To gain 66% of the teams and arenas, Comcast
    contributed $250M in cash and stocks, and also assumed 66% of
    their combined $180M in debt.  Croce, who is credited with
    getting the deal "in motion," is said to have contributed less
    than $5M to be a part owner in Comcast-Spectacor.  Croce will
    become 76ers President.  Comcast Chair Ralph Roberts and
    President Brian Roberts said they would have nothing to do with
    the day-to-day operations of the teams or arenas.  Outgoing 76ers
    Owner Harold Katz said he received "significantly more" than the
    reported price of $125M for the team.  However, he described his
    decision to sell as a reluctant one (Sokolove, Rozansky & Stark,
    PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/20).  Snider retains 34% of the Flyers
    and each arena, also adding a 34% stake in the 76ers.  Snider
    said he will have "operational control" of all entities, noting
    that Comcast "wouldn't do the deal unless I stayed in" (Gary
    Miles, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/20).
         PHILLIES NEXT?  There are "strong indications that the
    Phillies were edging close to involvement with the Comcast-
    Spectacor venture."  There was no indication the team would be
    sold, but it was possible that Comcast-Spectacor could help with
    the building of a new stadium.  One Comcast exec said, "It's only
    in the context of creating a [sports] channel, cooperative stuff
    with regards to sports rights" (Sokolove, Rozansky & Stark,
    PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/20).
         REAL DEAL:  In the DAILY NEWS, Joseph Daughen reports the
    reality is that it was Snider, not Croce, who drove the deal.
    Snider, described as wanting to "virtually corner the sports and
    entertainment market in the metropolitan Philadelphia area," knew
    he needed the 76ers to do so.  According to sources, because his
    relationship with Katz was "so poor," Snider found Croce's
    interest in the team an "attractive alternative" (PHILADELPHIA
    DAILY NEWS, 3/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, Franchises, Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Phillies
  • DISNEY STILL LURKING IN THE OUTFIELD ON ANGELS SALE?

         Former MLB Commissioner and Angels suitor Peter Ueberroth
    told the L.A. TIMES the Walt Disney Co. is still in discussions
    about buying the Angels despite the fact the company's exclusive
    rights to buy the team have ended.  Ueberroth, who heads a group
    interested in buying the team, said they have been "made aware
    that (the Angels, Disney, and Anaheim) are continuing
    discussions, and we're choosing not to step forward until these
    discussion have concluded."  But Disney Sports Enterprises
    spokesperson Bill Robertson was "adamant" that talks between
    Disney and the city had ended.  Anaheim City Manager James Ruth
    said city officials met for over three hours yesterday, and,
    while they were "not negotiating with anybody," he did not "rule
    out the possibility that talks with Disney might be revived"
    (Hernandez & DiGiovanna, L.A. TIMES, 3/20).  Tony Tavares, Disney
    Sports Enterprises President, said talks on the Angels were
    "over" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 3/19).
    

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Anaheim Sports, ESPN, Franchises, MLB, Walt Disney
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

         Northwest Sports Enterprises Ltd. -- the Canucks publicly-
    traded owner -- has been relieved of its obligation of a C$98M
    construction loan by the Orca Bay Arena Ltd. Partnership.
    However, Northwest is finalizing a C$10M agreement from the
    Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce to cover salaries and
    operating expenses (FINANCIAL POST, 3/20)....The Marlins still
    have 14,000 tickets remaining for their opening day matchup
    against the Pirates.  Team officials are "surprised" at the low
    sales numbers (MIAMI HERALD, 3/20)....The agent for Bullets star
    Chris Webber is upset that the team charges players for getting
    their own hotel rooms on the road.  The Bullets and Sixers are
    the only NBA teams that pass the extra charge of individual rooms
    along to the players (WASHINGTON TIMES, 3/20)....The Devil Rays
    have made an offer to take over the White Sox spring training
    camp in Sarasota if Chicago moves to another location, as
    expected (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/20)....Eaton Corp. has pledged
    up to $1M to support Cleveland's efforts to land an NFL team
    (Eaton Corp.)....The Alouettes' new logo will be a "vicious-
    looking" bird that appears "mean, fast and rugged," according to
    Owner Jim Speros.  Colors will be red, white, blue, silver and
    black (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/19).
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago White Sox, Comcast-Spectacor, Miami Marlins, Franchises, NBA, NFL, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Philadelphia 76ers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays, Vancouver Canucks
  • SEATTLE BUSINESS LEADERS MEET IN SHOW OF SUPPORT FOR 'HAWKS

         Thirty of Seattle's top business leaders met yesterday to
    "rally round the Seahawks" and convince the NFL that "locals
    would support remodeling the Kingdome as part of a deal to bring
    the football team home," according to Boren & Farnsworth of the
    SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER.  Former co-Owner John Nordstrom, who
    called the meeting, said he did not ask anyone to commit to
    anything, but "as we move through the next week to 10 days,
    things are going to change."  NFL VP Communications Joe Browne
    said the league is interested in seeing support for a $125M
    remodeling of the Kingdome (SEATTLE P-I, 3/20).  USA TODAY's
    Gordon Forbes writes the NFL's case to keep the Seahawks in
    Seattle seems "hopeless."  The league's negotiating team
    "concedes" if Seahawks Owner Ken Behring's claim of an unsafe
    Kingdome stands in court, "the Seahawks are gone" (USA TODAY,
    3/20).  ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports Behring is "clearly
    daring" NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to impose the maximum
    $500,000 fine on him for continuing to practice in Southern CA.
    Behring's attorney, Ron Olson, told NFL committees last week at
    the owner's meetings that the team "intends to leave Seattle,"
    even if the court holds them in contempt for breaking their
    Kingdome lease ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 3/19).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Franchises, NFL, Seattle Seahawks, Vulcan Ventures, Walt Disney
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