Expos President Claude Brochu told the Journal de Montreal that the team will lose "more than" C$13M this year. Brochu made his remarks after a meeting of the club's ownership group. The team "may consider" cutting its payroll next season; it currently has MLB's lowest payroll at "about" C$17M. The team is "expected to draw a major- league-low" 1.4 million spectators this season, including 300,000 on promotional give-away tickets. Brochu: "There's no hiding it, we're last in everything. We're last in ticket sales, parking, television, etc" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/26).
GENERAL: The Lightning will donate 10% of all ticket revenue from their home opener October 1, to the Children's Cancer Center in a tribute to Lightning C John Cullen who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma last March (Lightning)....In Seattle, Blaine Newnham wrote that drawing 3 million fans for the season "is a big deal," and that the Mariners "will be close" to 3.2 million. Team President Chuck Armstrong said that the team "will make money" for the first time its 20-year history (SEATTLE TIMES, 9/25).... Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford, on the team's financial state: "The situation isn't quite as bad as the perception. If we draw 10,000, we'll lose about the same as we lost in Hartford last season" (HARTFORD COURANT, 9/26).
There is a "good chance" the NFL Giants will have their smallest September crowd since the team moved to the Meadowlands 21 years ago this Sunday against the Saints, which could mean "about 10,000 no-shows, if not more," according to Bill Pennington of the N.Y. TIMES. Giants co- Owner Wellington Mara: "Nothing sends a more powerful message than empty seats. It's a message that we're not pleasing our patrons" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/26). OTHER NOTES: In Tampa, Bucs officials said "only 57,000 are expected for Sunday's game against Arizona," leading to a local blackout (ST. PETE TIMES, 9/25)....As of late yesterday, "about" 12,000 tickets remained for Sunday's Eagles-Vikings game, which will be blacked out in the Twin Cities area (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/26).....In San Diego, Mayor Susan Golding sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in "an attempt to have the league lift" the Chargers blackout this Sunday. Golding said in a statement: "The NFL created the blackout to encourage people to purchase tickets to sell out home games. However, through the rent credit, the Charges will not lose ticket revenue for unsold general admission tickets. Therefore, the financial requirement needed to lift the blackout has in essence been met." According to an NFL source, Tagliabue said he would review the request (UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/26).