SBD/29/Franchises

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  • EFFORT TO BRING MLB TO NC GAINS FAMILIAR LOCAL FACE

          John Connaughton, the UNCC economist whose economic impact
    studies assisted in efforts to bring the Hornets and Panthers to
    NC, has been hired by N.C. Baseball Committee Inc. -- the group
    attempting to bring an MLB club to Greensboro, NC, according to
    the CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL.  The organization, which has
    raised over $600,000 since January to pay for consulting fees and
    studies, has also received the help of Jefferson-Pilot Corp. CEO
    David Stonecipher and Wachovia Bank President Walter McDowell.
    The ownership group is headed by Don Beaver, who owns four minor-
    league clubs, as well as a share of the Pirates (Erik Spanberg,
    CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/27).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, MLB, New Orleans Pelicans, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

         Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner, on lagging attendance: "I
    don't know if it's location or New York's just not a baseball
    town anymore" (N.Y. POST, 5/29).... Pirates Owner Kevin McClatchy
    says a new stadium would be seat 35,000-37,000 at a cost of about
    $160M.  McClatchy said the park will be "the smallest new ball
    park in baseball," but with the "best sightlines" (N.Y. TIMES,
    5/28)....Citing the Astros' rising attendance (but still about
    5,000 short of what owner Drayton McLane said he needs to keep
    the team in Houston), the DALLAS MORNING NEWS questions whether
    MLB will let the club leave if the goal is almost met (DALLAS
    MORNING NEWS, 5/28)....Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd. has received a
    merger proposal from MLG Ventures Ltd. aimed at "taking the
    Gardens private" (TORONTO STAR, 5/28).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Houston Astros, MLB, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, YankeeNets
  • NHL OILERS CLOSE IN ON TICKET GOAL AS CAMPAIGN GETS TOUGH

         The bid to reach 13,000 season ticket sales in Edmonton by
    Friday to qualify for an NHL subsidy shows the Oilers at 11,600 -
    - "and the team seems likely to make the cut," according to Neil
    Campbell of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.  The NHL has promised up to
    $7M a year in aid to help meet the cost of doing business in a
    small market; the Oilers had only 6,200 season ticket subscribers
    six months ago.  But as the deadline approaches, "tensions are
    mounting and businesses are being pitted against each other. ...
    Those who do not wish to buy tickets feel they have been
    intimidated, even threatened."  Campbell writes no previous
    ticket campaign in Canada had "either the aggressiveness or
    emotion" of the Oilers', organized by a group of volunteers
    called Friends of the Oilers.  The volunteers took up the drive
    to deflect focus away from controversial owner, Peter
    Pocklington.  Friends has singled out several companies which
    have not bought tickets, including Canadian Airlines.  Friends
    Co-Chair Cal Nichols said several of his associates have switched
    their business to Air Canada.  But Canadian Airlines spokesperson
    Diana Ward said they have been talking to the Oilers about some
    kind of sponsorship, and they "will continue to do so" (Toronto
    GLOBE & MAIL, 5/29).
    

    Print | Tags: Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, NHL
  • PITINO OFFERED EVERYTHING BUT THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE

         Kentucky coach Rick Pitino was offered a five-year contract
    worth $30M to become coach, GM and part owner of the Nets,
    according to the N.Y. TIMES.  Pitino would likely receive $20M in
    salary and an ownership stake worth close to $10M (5-10%) with an
    option to purchase more (Selena Roberts N.Y. TIMES, 5/26).  Nets
    President Michael Rowe hopes to have an answer by today.
    However, several sources said Pitino might wait to see if the
    Magic show any interest.  But the "consensus" seems to be Pitino
    is leaning toward the Nets because of the nature of the deal
    (Selena Roberts, N.Y. TIMES, 5/29).  The Nets have "assured"
    Pitino he would have complete operational control of the team and
    that a new practice facility would be either built or purchased.
    In another "perk," the Nets would make mortgage payments for up
    to 18 months on Pitino's home in KY, while providing moving
    expenses and a home in NJ (Fred Kerber, N.Y. POST, 5/25).  One
    potential holdup could be questions surrounding the Nets current
    ownership as Pitino would like Nets Chair Henry Taub to remain in
    charge and for owners Alan Aufzien, Don Unger and Bernie Mann
    (who own 32.5% of the franchise) to be bought out.  However, an
    expected buyout has yet to come to fruition (Ian O'Connor, N.Y.
    DAILY NEWS, 5/27).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic, RDV Sports, YankeeNets
  • RAVENS SET TO BECOME THE NEW PURPLE PEOPLE EATERS?

         The Ravens have "tentatively" selected a uniform design that
    incorporates purple and white jerseys, black helmets and black
    pants, according to the Baltimore SUN.  Jon Morgan reports the
    helmet will have a shield-like logo on the side and two
    "distinctive" patches -- one featuring a streaking raven landing
    claw first on a football and the other containing the colors of
    the MD state flag -- are being considered for the front pocket
    and hip areas.  The final design, which still needs the approval
    of owner Art Modell, will be unveiled June 5 (Baltimore SUN,
    5/25).
         NOT SO FAST: The Ravens PSL policy is criticized by the
    SUN's Vito Stellino and John Steadman.  Stellino writes the
    "convoluted, two-step selling process is only going to confuse
    the fans," as fans buying tickets won't know what the final PSL
    fee will be.  Steadman compares PSLs to "white-collar crime"
    (Baltimore SUN, 5/26).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Ravens, Franchises
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