SBD/23/Franchises

COUNTY, STATE TO SUSPEND LAWSUITS AGAINST SEAHAWKS

     The state of WA and King County said they would suspend
their lawsuits against the Seahawks in order to allow Paul Allen
a chance to buy the team, but both governments said the suits
would not be dismissed in case a Ken Behring-to-Allen sale falls
through.  The SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER reports King County
prosecutor Norm Maleng said the county would suspend its lawsuit
only if Behring and Allen extend the existing court order
preventing any owner from moving. On Saturday, Allen announced he
had bought an option to purchase the franchise with the
stipulation that all suits against Behring and the team be
suspended and eventually dropped.  Maleng added that they "are
days away" from an actual court approval to put the suits on hold
(Rebecca Boren, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 4/23).
     TICKETS SOARING:  Though the Seahawks will stay put next
season, ticket prices will not.  The P-I's Clare Farnsworth
reports '96 prices will rise above the current four price
categories -- $19, $28, $32 and $38.  The team is  25th in the
NFL in ticket prices and claims a need to keep pace with rising
player costs.  The hike coincides with thousands of phone calls
about ticket sales that "poured in" following Allen's
announcement.  Receptionist Ingrid Hatfield:  "It was like the
flood gates just opened."  Tickets go on sale after the NFL
announces home schedules in the next two weeks (SEATTLE POST-
INTELLIGENCER, 4/23).
     PORTLAND'S NHL HOPES ICED?  Now that Allen "is off with his
own private punt, pass and kick competition in Seattle, the
Blazers don't seem very interested in rolling dice on ice,"
according to Dwight Jaynes of the OREGONIAN.  Portland's chances
for an NHL franchise are further diminished by the Allen-funded
Rose Garden, which initially seemed like "a terrific deal for the
city."  Jaynes writes, "If the city had built the new arena, it
would be able to solicit its own team" (OREGONIAN, 4/22).
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