SBD/23/Franchises

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  • DESPITE ATTENDANCE WOES, OILERS WANT TO STAY IN MEMPHIS

              The Oilers "reaffirmed their two-year commitment to
         Memphis on Monday, despite abysmal attendance" at their 
         first two games at the Liberty Bowl, according to John
         Glennon of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL.  Oilers Exec VP
         Don MacLachlan said that the team has "no plans to pull the
         plug on Memphis" despite speculation the team might choose
         to play at Vanderbilt in '98, as it waits for Nashville's
         stadium to be built by '99.  MacLachlan: "We realize that in
         coming (to Tennessee), there were a lot of things we had to
         accomplish in a very short period of time.  We did have some
         snafus, and some problems coming out of the gate.  But we're
         looking to the future."  To help increase attendance,
         MacLachlan said the team is working with NFLP, "though he
         declined to say whether possible changes being discussed
         involve team colors and nickname" (COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 9/23).
              MORE NEWS: ESPN's Chris Mortensen: "The league
         acknowledges that it's embarrassing, it's not a good
         situation, and they're sending their marketing arm in there
         to roll up its sleeve a little bit and get to work and see
         how they can fix this situation. [Oilers Owner] Bud Adams
         ... is taking a bath."  ESPN's Mitch Albom: "[T]his is the
         fault of owner Bud Adams and the rest of the league.  Did
         they really think carpet-bagging the team to a two-year,
         temporary home would be a popular move? ... Pretty amazing 
         -- a league that fines players for not having their shirts
         tucked in, allows a mess like this" ("PrimeMonday," 9/22).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Cablevision, Edmonton Oilers, ESPN, Franchises, New York Liberty, Walt Disney
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              Pacers President Donnie Walsh, on landing a WNBA team:
         "I am confident we'll be a viable candidate [for expansion]
         when the new arena is complete" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS,
         9/23)....The Nets will hold their '97 training camp in
         Atlantic City (Bergen RECORD, 9/18)....In Toronto, Gary
         Picknell wrote the Bills, who estimate that as much as 10%
         of their fans are from southern Ontario, are "concerned
         about the possibility of a new U.S. law" which would require
         Canadians to fill out visas and exit and entry forms before
         crossing the border.  The law could go into effect next
         September (TORONTO SUN, 9/21). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Buffalo Bills, Franchises, Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets, WNBA, YankeeNets
  • NFL NEWS & NOTES: IS NEW YORK BECOMING THE TUNA'S TOWN?

              NEWSDAY's Joe Gergen writes today on the NFL football
         scene in New York: "Who owned New York?  There wasn't much
         doubt, even when the Giants were stumbling through the Ray
         Handley hangover or Dan Reeves' lame-duck season a year ago. 
         But from the moment Leon Hess introduced Bill Parcells as
         head coach and chief of football operations officer on Feb.
         11, interest in the Jets has grown to the extent that it now
         threatens to overtake the NFL's flagship franchise. ... The
         [Giants'] erosion of support that began under Reeves appears
         to be continuing under [new head coach Jim] Fassel. ... The
         Giants still have a longer waiting list for season tickets,
         deeper roots in the community and one more Super Bowl trophy
         than the Jets. ... By contrast, the Jets offer a vision of
         progress. ... The image of Parcells is everywhere."  Gergen
         concludes that "obviously the [Jets] fans have gotten the
         message" as evidence by the near capacity crowds that
         attended the team's first two home games (NEWSDAY, 9/23).
              NOTE: In DC, Thomas Heath reports that Sunday's
         Jaguars-Redskins game will be listed as a sellout despite
         club seats remaining.  The Redskins have more than 1,500 of
         the club seats -- which cost between $99 and $199 a game --
         left to be sold (WASHINGTON POST, 9/23).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, NFL, Washington Redskins
  • NHL TEAM NOTES: MIGHTY DUCKS OFFERING FANS A "GOAL CARD"

              Mighty Duck fans who sign up for the "Die-Hard Duck
         Frequent Fan Rewards Program" will receive a "Goal Card,"
         according to Tom Hoffarth of the L.A. DAILY NEWS.  Once
         inside The Pond, fans can swipe their "Goal Card" through a
         kiosk machine to receive two points.  An accumulation of 20
         points is good for a Ducks team poster, 44 points can get
         you into a private practice session, 60 points is good for
         two Disneyland tickets and 80 points equals a brunch with
         the team's coaching staff (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 9/21).
              WHAT'S IN A NAME?: The St. Paul NHL expansion team is
         "giving fans an extra week to offer" suggestions on what to
         name the team.  In addition to Gnats and Frozen Ears, fans
         in the "fishing-crazy" state have suggested the Flying
         Walleye, Ninja Muskies and Fighting Smelt.  Other
         suggestions include the Corn Dogs, Ten Thousand Lakers and
         Puckeroos.  Along with the nickname, the team also has to
         decide on what geographical reference to use, either
         Minnesota or St. Paul (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/23).
              NOTES: The Avalanche have a waiting list "of about"
         3,000 fans (HOCKEY NEWS, 9/26)...In Montreal, Pat Hickey
         writes that the Senators "continue to be a tough sell in the
         suburb," as they are "stalled" at 9,400 season-ticket sales
         and have 47 unsold luxury suites (Montreal GAZETTE, 9/23).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Colorado Avalanche, Franchises, Los Angeles Lakers, NHL, Ottawa Senators
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