SBD/17/Franchises

TAVARES DEFENDS EDISON DEAL AS NECESSARY IN LIGHT OF LOSSES

          Anaheim Sports President Tony Tavares said that the
     Walt Disney Co. "expects to lose at least" $25M in its first
     two seasons operating the Angels and "could spend" another
     $90M to renovate Anaheim Stadium, according to Shaikin &
     Weyler of the L.A. TIMES.  Tavares said the Angels lost $12M
     in '96, and he "anticipates a larger loss this season,
     primarily because of lower attendance."  The Angels are on
     pace to draw 1.8 million, their "lowest figure for a
     nonstrike season" since '78.  Tavares added that the $100M
     stadium renovation project is also over budget by about 10%.
     Disney is responsible for cost overruns on the renovation. 
     Noting the team's financial situation, Tavares said that he
     was "disappointed to receive letters from fans critical of
     Disney" for selling naming rights to Edison Int'l.  Tavares:
     "How does it harm you as a fan?  It doesn't.  We've got to
     try to tap every source of revenue we can to keep these
     seats affordable" (L.A. TIMES, 9/16).

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