SBD/3/Franchises

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  • BAY-AREA TEAM NEWS: A'S OWNERS COMMITTED TO OAKLAND

         A's Co-Owner Steve Schott talked with S.F. CHRONICLE
    columnist Glenn Dickey about the recent reports of a split with
    co-Owner Ken Hoffman and speculation the team would move to
    Sacramento.  Schott:  "We bought this team because we were asked
    to do it to keep it in Oakland.  If I'd known it would be like
    this, I'm not sure I'd have done it."  Schott said they would
    continue to try and "make it work at the Coliseum," but added if
    they had to look at relocation, Sacramento in not an option
    because "there just isn't the population there."   Schott:  "The
    Bay Area has the population and the corporations that you need
    for economic support."  Scott is getting more involved in the
    business side of the team and traveled with the team on the last
    road to get ideas to stimulate attendance (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/3).
         49ERS MONEY MAN:  The 49ers recent hiring of William Duffy
    as the team's CFO & VP of Business Ops is a "significant move"
    for an organization that "prides itself for running a tight and
    successful ship."  Duffy replaces Keith Simons, who will become
    Dir of Stadium Development. Duffy previously worked for the NFL's
    Management Council and is "dubbed a cap master" (Timothy Smith,
    N.Y. TIMES, 6/2).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco 49ers
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

         A $40M lien on Paul Brown's estate and ownership of the
    Bengals are "at stake" when Mike Brown goes to court against the
    IRS in Chicago.  The IRS believes the stock option of team VP
    John Sawyer and Brown in '83 "was a sham that was used to pass
    ownership to Brown's sons to avoid estate taxes."  If Brown is
    forced to repay the government, he might have to sell the team
    (Mult., 6/3)....ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS business writer Don Knox
    speculates on the future stock prospects of Ascent Entertainment,
    noting while the  Avalanche are hot, Ascent plans to spend a lot
    of cash over the next few years 'upgrading" Spectravision,
    building the Pepsi Center and on a Harrison Ford movie (ROCKY
    MOUNTAIN NEWS, 6/2)...Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner denied a
    N.Y. TIMES report that team doctors knew about David Cone's
    medical condition before he returned to pitch on May 2.
    According to the TIMES, Cone was at "significant risk" and could
    have lost his right arm had his aneurysm burst (NEWSDAY,
    6/3)....The Vikings have sold 38,000 season tickets for '96-97.
    They sold 45,000 last year (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE,
    6/2)....Oilers Owner Bud Adams is interested in backing an MLS
    team for Nashville, and MLS Exec VP Randy Bernstein said the
    league "certainly would look at Nashville two, three years down
    the road" (TENNESSEAN, 5/31)....The IHL Spiders, who filed for
    Chapter 11 in San Francisco, have held preliminary talks to move
    to Nashville for '96-97.  An announcement could come this week
    (TENNESSEAN, 5/31).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Cincinnati Bengals, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, Minnesota Vikings, MLS, New York Yankees, PepsiCo, YankeeNets
  • HOUSTON EYES THE NFL FUTURE AND IT'S A SMALL MARKET TEAM?

         An unnamed source said that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue
    told the city of Houston that the best way to get another team
    would be to build a new stadium to attract a small market
    franchise, according to John McClain of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.
    McClain writes, "This is the first time anyone involved in the
    talks has admitted that expansion might be out of the question."
    Sources tell McClain there are several local bidders besides
    Padres Owner John Moores who want a franchise, and that a couple
    of the parties are looking around the league for potential fits.
    There "are rumblings the Saints can be had for the right price"
    along with the Cardinals and the Bucs (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/2).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New Orleans Saints, NFL, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • NBA MARKET MOVES: ANAHEIM CLIPPERS?; NORFOLK TO TAKE A SHOT

         The Clippers are reportedly in "serious negotiations" with
    Ogden Entertainment Services to move the team to The Arrowhead
    Pond in Anaheim, according to Baker & Hernandez of the L.A.
    TIMES.  It is believed the Clippers are negotiating to hire Ogden
    to "smooth the move to the Pond and to assist in the operation of
    the franchise."  The Clippers' lease at the L.A. Sports Arena
    includes a clause allowing them to leave at the end of each
    season (L.A. TIMES, 6/2).  The Anaheim City Council will meet
    Tuesday to discuss proposals to lure the team to the area.  They
    include tax incentives and handing over money which would have
    been used to retire arena debt.  According to The Pond lease
    agreement, the city must contribute $1.5M a year for five years
    "toward the building's mortgage beginning this summer if no NBA
    team is found and certain financial hurdles are not met."
    Arrival of the Clippers or any other team would "take the city
    off the hook for that money.  However, the city could end up
    handing it over under the proposals the council will consider"
    (Barbara Kingsley, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 6/2).
         NORFOLK GETS BOOST:  Norfolk VA's Economic Development
    Department said the city's chances of obtaining an NBA team
    received a boost from top NBA officials who feel the city has a
    "good chance."  NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik said, while
    the NBA has made no commitment, Norfolk "is the kind of market
    that could support and NBA team on the model of a Charlotte, an
    Orlando, or a Portland."  The league said a final proposal would
    need an ownership group that could pay more than $125M and a
    commitment for a 20,000-seat arena.  Hampton Roads, VA, is the
    largest metropolitan area in the U.S. without a major sports
    franchise (Norolfk VIRGINIAN-PILOT, 6/2).  The city will turn
    over the campaign for a team to the Hampton Roads Partnership, a
    coalition of 53 business and civic leaders (WASHINGTON POST,
    6/3).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA
  • REAL GOOD NEWS IN EDMONTON: GROCER RINGS UP TICKET SALES

         The Edmonton Oilers successful met the season-ticket sales
    requirement imposed by the NHL to qualify for a league subsidy
    when Real Canadian Superstores put the team over the 13,000
    minimum, according to the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.  The team now
    qualifies for a $7M NHL assistance package for small-market
    teams, seen as imperative toward keeping the team in Edmonton.
    The grocery chain bought 1,000 tickets costing in excess of
    C$800,000 and put the season-ticket sales at 13,482 for '96-97.
    That, combined with the sale of rinkboard ads and the purchase of
    95% of the club's luxury boxes, meets the NHL's conditions.  A
    spokesperson for Superstores said the deal, signed on Thursday,
    was a commitment to purchase at least 1,000 tickets and a pledge
    to buy "even more if the team was more than 1,000 short of its
    goal."  The tickets will be resold to shoppers.  Local Businesses
    that purchased plans will be included in a special directory
    prepared for distribution to all Edmonton households.  The team
    also unveiled new colors, replacing the orange trim with copper
    and featuring a much a darker blue (Brian Laghi, Toronto GLOBE &
    MAIL, 6/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, NHL
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