SBD/8/Franchises

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  • CANADIAN NEWS & NOTES: RIVALRY DEVELOPING IN TORONTO

         Noting the Maple Leafs are "facing real live competition in
    the [Toronto] sports marketplace" for the first time, Stephen
    Brunt of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL writes the Raptors and Leafs
    are "jockeying" for fan support "right in front of the paying
    public."  Brunt credits Raptors Exec VP Isiah Thomas for his
    "boldness" and "creativity" in not making "expansion excuses"
    last season and buying the franchise more "fan patience."  Brunt:
    "The Raptors are trying to get better, fast, which might make
    things just a little bit uncomfortable for a hockey team that at
    this moment seems on the verge of entering yet another ownership-
    driven dark ages" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/8).
         REMEMBER, COTTON SHRINKS:  A "rumor" that the Leafs plan to
    "overhaul" their logo and sweater in two years when they hope to
    move into a new arena was denied by Leafs Dir of Business
    Ops/Communications Bob Stellick, according to Lance Hornby of the
    TORONTO SUN.  Hornby writes the "classic" Leaf currently featured
    on the shoulder patch could become the "dominant crest," with the
    new team logo moved to the shoulder.  The change could also see
    the color black added to the current blue and white.  The Leafs'
    Stellick said, "Not true.  We're told by the league our sweater
    is already in the top four or five sellers. ... We have a sweater
    that's never gone out of style and we're happy with it" (TORONTO
    STAR, 10/8).
         EXTINCT IN HALIFAX? The Raptors are "threatening" not to
    play any more pre-season games in Halifax because of "sluggish"
    ticket sales for Friday's game with the Hawks, according to Bill
    Harris of the TORONTO SUN.  Harris adds ticket sales are also
    "very slow" for pre-season contests against the Knicks in Ottawa
    and the Heat in Buffalo.  Raptors VP/Events & Operations Brian
    Cooper, on sales:  "We're perplexed.  It's one of the hotbeds of
    basketball in Canada."  Only 7,000 tickets have been sold for the
    Knicks game and "whispers" suggest the Heat matchup is in the
    "worst shape of all" (TORONTO SUN, 10/8).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Cablevision, Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Time Warner, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

         Oilers DB Cris Dishman has filed a grievance against the
    Oilers in conjunction with the NFLPA over the team's method of
    paying its players.  Dishman and the NFLPA want to force the
    Oilers to pay players over the 17-week regular season rather than
    the current policy of paying 1/3 of the salary over the season,
    1/3 before April and 1/3 in May.  The grievance is scheduled to
    be heard by an arbitrator in Houston next week (HOUSTON
    CHRONICLE, 10/8)....The block on Chicago Avenue between 4th and
    5th Streets in front of the Metrodome Plaza was officially
    renamed Kirby Puckett Place.  The Twins offices are not located
    at 34 Kirby Puckett Place (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE,
    10/8)....Twins Owner Carl Pohlad said he is not interested in
    selling the club and has not been approached by either Clark
    Griffith or Vance Opperman, who both have expressed interest.
    Pohlad:  "The club is not for sale.  Opperman hasn't talked to
    me" (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 10/6)....NFL Dir of Communications
    Greg Aiello said Bears LB Bryan Cox will receive a fine of "at
    least $10,000" for making an obscene gesture at an official
    during Sunday's loss to Green Bay.  Aiello: "Abuse of game
    officials is against our rules, both physical contact and extreme
    verbal abuse (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/8).
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bears, Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, Minnesota Twins, NFL
  • RED BIRDS STILL IN THE RED BUT LOOK TO GAIN FROM PLAYOFF RUN

         Despite reaching the NLCS for the first time since '87, the
    Cardinals will still lose money this year under the direction of
    its first year owners, according to Josh Gotthelf of the ST.
    LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL.  Fred Hanser, Chair of the group which
    purchased the club from Anheuser-Busch in March, said being in
    the playoffs "could help," but probably "won't have a big impact
    on the team's bottom line."  In their sweep of the Padres, the
    club received "about" 7.5% of the ticket revenue, which was
    around $50,000-$75,000 a game for each team.  Cardinals President
    Mark Lamping, asked if the organization would lose less than the
    $12M it claimed to lose in '95: "I don't think it would be fair
    to say that."  However, Lamping adds, the "real benefits" of
    being in the playoffs will be "felt next year, not this year."
    The reconfiguration of Busch Stadium to include more high-end
    seats will generate about "about" $3M a year in additional ticket
    revenue.  Club owners will reportedly discuss "further
    renovations," which could include adding more luxury seats close
    to the field and removing a portion of the upper deck, during
    this off-season.  The team has taken "several steps toward
    making" it profitable in the future by reaching new radio/TV
    deals and increasing stadium signage, including a deal with The
    Gap, estimated at $100,000 a year, for "Gap" signs in the
    outfield (ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/7 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Franchises, San Diego Padres
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