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  • AS SEAHAWKS SAGA DRAGS ON, BEHRINGS PARTY IN ANAHEIM

         A plan to return the Seahawks to Seattle -- at least on a
    temporary basis -- "fell apart yesterday afternoon" as Owner Ken
    Behring "apparently backed out."  This morning's SEATTLE P-I
    reports that local officials thought they were close to a deal to
    return the team to its Kirkland, WA, training facility, but the
    deal faltered.  Both NFL Dir of Communications Greg Aiello and
    Behring's attorneys were "vague" as to whether any progress had
    been made on returning off-season workouts to WA (Boren &
    Farnsworth, SEATTLE P-I, 3/21).  In yesterday afternoon's SEATTLE
    TIMES, team President David Behring said he didn't expect to
    travel to New York to meet with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue
    about the decision to hold off-season workouts in Anaheim.  Local
    officials and the media believe that may mean the team is close
    to returning to WA to avoid a possible $500,000 fine from the
    league (Smith & Almond, SEATTLE TIMES, 3/20).     PARTY-TIME,
    CALIFORNIA-STYLE:  Ken and David Behring met with Anaheim and
    Orange County political and business officials on Wednesday and
    will be the guests of honor at a "grand fete" in Newport Beach,
    where about 200 people are expected to attend (ORANGE COUNTY
    REGISTER, 3/21).
         THE PAUL ALLEN ANGLE:  Susan Pierson, a spokesperson for
    Microsoft co-Founder Paul Allen, denied rumors Allen was losing
    interest in purchasing the Seahawks.  Pierson, who said Allen,
    also owner of the Blazers, was out of town on business:  "He's
    the fourth wealthiest man in the world.  He has 30-odd other
    businesses.  He has other things to do than think about this all
    day" (SEATTLE P-I, 3/21).  The Kingdome concession contract
    "could be a factor in enticing Allen."  Allen owns the concession
    company that services Portland's Rose Garden.  Ogden
    Entertainment's contract with the Kingdome expires after the '96
    season (SEATTLE TIMES, 3/20).
         MORE STICKS IN THE SPOKES:  Seahawks DE Cortez Kennedy
    brought the NFLPA into the matter, filing a grievance protesting
    the lack of workout facilities in WA.  As part of his contract,
    Kennedy is scheduled to earn $200,000 for participating in off-
    season conditioning, but he contends the contract stipulates
    workouts occur in Kirkland.  The agent for Seahawk Sam Adams says
    he may also file a grievance, if the team doesn't cover losses
    due to higher CA taxes (Clare Farnsworth, SEATTLE POST-
    INTELLIGENCER, 3/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Microsoft, NFL, Seattle Seahawks, Vulcan Ventures
  • ASTROS CALL ON CITY HALL TO HELP WITH NEW TV ADS

         The Astros have introduced two more TV spots to their '96
    season-ticket ad campaign.  Houston Mayor Bob Lanier and his wife
    Elyse are featured in one and Dr. Red Duke of the Univ. of Texas
    Health Science Center stars in the other.  The first depicts Mrs.
    Lanier studying the MLB rule book, while the Mayor tells how she
    called the NBA league office during the playoffs to complain
    about officiating against the Rockets.  Lanier:  "If I were an
    umpire, I'd think twice before making a close call against the
    Astros in Houston."  In the second spot, Dr. Duke informs people
    the best way to protect one's self from the Houston summer sun is
    to don an Astros cap and attend a game inside the Astrodome.  The
    two spots join past ads starring President and Mrs. Bush, Bum
    Phillips and Clyde Drexler.  The campaign was written and
    produced by Coudal Partners (Astros)....Randalls Food Markets
    will sell 5,000 upper deck tickets for $3 each.  The Astros also
    announced Dow Chemical has pledged more than 5,000 ticket coupons
    to 1,300 students who attend the '96 Science Engineering Fair.
    It appears the Astros will miss their goal of 17,200 season-
    tickets sold by opening day by around 4,000 (John Williams,
    HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, MLB, NBA
  • BUCS STADIUM ISSUE CLOSE AS CONTROL ISSUE REPORTEDLY SETTLED

         Tampa officials have reportedly agreed to give the Bucs
    control over operation and maintenance of a planned $168M new
    stadium, according to today's TAMPA TRIBUNE.  The Tampa Stadium
    Authority's role in a new stadium "may be substantially reduced"
    pending further approval from the Tampa City Council and the
    Hillsborough County Commission.  This issue was seen as the "last
    major hang-up" to a new stadium deal.  Tampa Mayor Dick Greco
    said "no major issues remain unresolved between city and county
    officials and the Bucs."  Some officials fear Bucs control of a
    new stadium "could hurt" efforts to attract other tenants.  The
    Bucs also have asked for all revenue from advertising at the
    stadium for all events (Joe Henderson, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

         In a move necessitated by ongoing renovations of the
    Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the final game of the '96 Bay
    Bridge Series will be played at 3Com Park on March 30
    (Giants)....The Blazers have promoted Erin Hubert to VP of
    Sponsor Sales and Services and Sharon Higdon to VP of  Marketing.
    The Blazers are also looking for someone to handle ticket sales
    (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/20).
         YOU, SIR, ARE A CAD:  Angus Charles Drogo Montagu, 12th Duke
    of Manchester, was pronounced guilty of trying to defraud the
    Lightning and two area banks out of more than $12M.  He will be
    sentenced on June 6 (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Tampa Bay Lightning
  • LIKE LITTLE ANGELS -- DISNEY, ANAHEIM, TEAM KEEPING QUIET

         While officials from Disney continue to insist that their
    deal to buy controlling interest of the Angels is dead, Anaheim
    city officials voted Tuesday to refuse to comment on the deal.
    Teri Sforza reports the team has delayed any sale negotiations
    with other parties "until Disney's star falls completely out of
    the sky."  Meanwhile, it is believed that if negotiations with
    other possible buyers should begin, Peter Ueberroth will get the
    "first crack" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/21).  Ueberroth
    commented Tuesday that negotiations are "ongoing" between Anaheim
    and Disney, but Angels President Richard Brown said he was
    unaware of such talks.  Brown: "I assume he knows something I
    don't know, but I've been several steps removed from the
    negotiations" (Ross Newhan, L.A. TIMES, 3/21).
    

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Anaheim Sports, Franchises, Walt Disney
  • NEW YORK POST REPORTS MCMULLEN OFFER FOR NETS

         Devils Owner John McMullen has presented an offer to buy the
    Nets for $90M, according to this morning's N.Y. POST.  Should
    Nets ownership accept, one plan would be to lure Kentucky coach
    Rick Pitino.  Devils President & GM Lou Lamoriello was AD at
    Providence when Pitino coached there.  Under one scenario,
    Lamoriello would become President of both teams.  But it is also
    thought McMullen could move the team to Nashville.  According to
    one Devils source, the offer was presented Friday, with another
    source saying Nets ownership is "enthusiastic" -- more so than at
    any other offer received in 15 years.  Nets Majority Owner David
    Gerstein would neither confirm nor deny an offer.  Gerstein, Alan
    Aufzein and Jerry Cohen control 66% of the team.  Aufzein and
    Cohen are said to be "pro-sale," while Gerstein was "initially
    opposed" (Kerber & Brooks, N.Y. POST, 3/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New Jersey Devils, Brooklyn Nets, YankeeNets
  • PHILADELPHIA LAUDS THE ARRIVAL OF NEW SPORTS OWNERS

         A sampling of reaction in Philadelphia on Comcast's purchase
    of the 76ers, Flyers, and the two arenas:
         An editorial in today's PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS:  "There
    probably should be some concerns about the nation's teams
    controlled by fewer and fewer (and richer and more powerful)
    owners ... But what is is, and what was wasn't always so rosy as
    we recall" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 3/21).  An INQURIER editorial bids
    a not-so-fond-farewell to 76ers Owner Harold Katz, and says,
    "It's nice to see Philadelphia sports catching the rising wave
    for once."  Despite the risks that "corporations of media power
    always creates losers and risks for consumers ... this new show
    will be more intriguing than the tired acts that have bombed at
    the Spectrum of late" (PHILADELPHIA INQURIER, 3/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, Franchises, Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Flyers
  • SPURS BUCK TREND AND CHARTER SERVICE; LOOK FOR NEW SERVICE

         The Spurs have cut ties with Tucson-based charter company
    Viscount Inc., which had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
    protection, according to the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS.  Gregg
    Popovich, Spurs VP/Basketball Ops, said he hoped to have another
    permanent charter by April 1.  There has been speculation the
    team's monetary problems caused the end of the deal, Popovich
    denied that, adding, "We've had no problems making our payments
    on time ... We've had problems with the charter company's service
    (Glenn Rogers, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 3/21).  Sources say
    Viscount wanted the Spurs to pay $300,000 more for the remainder
    of the year, on top of the $500,000 they had already paid (Kevin
    O'Keefe, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 3/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, San Antonio Spurs
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