SBD/8/Franchises

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).
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