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  • DAVID GLASS WON'T BID FOR ROYALS; BOARD WILL SPEED UP SALE

              The Royals' Board of Directors voted Monday to "speed
         up the sale" of the team, though no auction date has been
         set, according to Charles Crumpley of the K.C. STAR.  Royals
         CEO David Glass, the "presumed front-runner to buy the team,
         said he would not bid for it."  Glass: "I have no interest
         in bidding on the team.  I don't think it would be in my
         best interest."  The three "publicly identified potential
         buyers" for the team include local business exec Frank Oddo,
         a group led by K.C. banker Jerry Green and a third group led
         by George Brett (K.C. STAR, 9/30).  In K.C., columnist Jason
         Whitlock writes that although he is a local favorite, "Brett
         shouldn't be allowed to win the ownership war for the Royals
         easily.  No way. ... Before they make that recommendation,
         Brett and his investors should be forced to articulate a
         compelling argument about why they're qualified to lead this
         troubled franchise" (K.C. STAR, 9/30).
    
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Kansas City Royals
  • DETROIT ROCK CITY: LIONS STILL EXPERIENCE VIOLENCE AT GAMES

              "Increased fan violence at Lions football games is
         being blamed on heavy drinking during tailgate parties in
         the Silverdome parking lot -- an illegal practice apparently
         condoned by Lions and Silverdome officials, as well as
         police," according to Ron French of the DETROIT NEWS.  In
         the latest incident, a fan remains in serious condition at a
         Pontiac, MI, hospital "in what appears to have been a
         drunken brawl" during Sunday's game.  While police, stadium
         and concession officials meet before and during games to
         decide when to cut off beer sales, French writes that
         officials "have done little to contain the drinking that
         occurs before the games in the stadium parking lot."  A city
         ordinance forbids open containers of alcohol on the grounds
         of the Silverdome.  Lions VP Bill Keenist said security of
         the parking lot is the responsibility of the Stadium
         Authority.  Keenist: "We see tailgating as part of the lore
         of professional football. ... Our position is, we want to do
         whatever we can so that our fans have a safe enjoyable time"
         (DETROIT NEWS, 9/30).  Silverdome and Lions officials say
         Sunday's fight, "while serious, was isolated between two
         people among nearly 80,000, including several thousand Green
         Bay fans" (Brian Murphy, DETROIT FREE PRESS, 9/30).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Detroit Lions, Franchises, General Motors
  • EXPOS' "SUBSTANTIAL" LOSSES FORCE THEM TO TIGHTEN BELT AGAIN

              With a third "substantial loss in four years, members
         of the Expos' ownership consortium might soon have to dig
         into their pockets," according to Ian MacDonald of the
         Montreal GAZETTE.  Expos President Claude Brochu said the
         club will finish with a C$13M shortfall this year after
         losing between C$6-7M in '96.  Brochu said that the club
         received between C$9-10M in revenue sharing last year, "and
         it expects a little more this year."  The Expos are also
         receiving an annual sum of C$4-5M from the expansion teams.
         Brochu: "[Revenue sharing] simply is not sufficient to cover
         expenses. ...[W]e'll know where we stand in all of this next
         spring.  If there is enough interest in license sales and
         corporate boxes for us to go ahead with the [new] stadium
         planning, that's the way we'll go.  If there is not, we will
         sell" (Montreal GAZETTE, 9/30).  Brochu added that ticket
         prices will increase to '96 levels, after this year's
         experiment with cut-rate prices, which was, in Brochu's
         words, "a miserable failure" (GAZETTE, 9/29).  
              BALLPARK UPDATE: Brochu said that all 1,300 of the most
         expensive C$10,000 seat licenses for a new ballpark have
         either sold or "will be sold" (Montreal GAZETTE, 9/29).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              In Phoenix, Jim Gintonio writes the "major gift the
         Coyotes have brought to the Valley appears to be at the
         grass-roots level," as more than 1,100 players are involved
         in the two valley youth hockey leagues, and those kids "play
         a big role in keeping sporting goods stores scrambling to
         keep up with the demand for [Coyotes] paraphernalia" (AZ
         REPUBLIC, 9/30)....The Warriors have lowered ticket prices
         in the upper bowl of the Oakland Coliseum Arena.  Side
         balcony seats, originally $45, are now $27.  The $35 center
         balcony seats are now $22, and the end balcony seats at
         $12.50, are now $9 (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/30).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Coyotes
  • JOCKEYING FOR POSITION FOR BROWNS OWNERSHIP IN CLEVELAND

              With no decision from the NFL due until March, "the
         brewing battle" over who will be the new Browns owner "could
         be Cleveland's most exciting football contest this season,"
         according to David Adams of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. 
         Potential owners include former Browns QB Bernie Kosar, MBNA
         Corp. CEO Alfred Lerner, former Browns Minority Owner Robert
         Gries, commercial property developer Bart Wolstein and
         Indians Owner Richard Jacobs.  Adams wrote that, among other
         criteria, the NFL "would like to see a likable and outgoing
         owner who could help heal the scars left from [Art] Modell's
         bitter departure."  Adams added "there is a chance" that the
         NFL might try to broker a deal that would form "supergroups"
         that combine "popular, but not-so-rich" potential owners
         like Kosar or Jim Brown with others "whose wealth is far
         greater" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 9/28).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, Franchises, MBNA America Bank, NFL
  • L.A. TIMES REPORTS THAT MURDOCH/MALONE HAVE DEAL ON DODGERS

              In response to reports that TCI's Liberty Media holds
         an option to participate in News Corp.'s deal for the
         Dodgers, the Fox Group and TCI issued a joint statement
         yesterday: "The Fox Group is the sole entity acquiring the
         Dodgers. ... The Fox Group is under no obligation to offer a
         participatory role in the Dodgers to any other party. 
         Nonetheless, the Fox Group, as is the right of any [MLB]
         franchise owner, may explore the possibility of inviting
         partners to participate in the Dodgers after the conclusion
         of the purchase" (Fox).  In L.A., Hofmeister & Newhan report
         that MLB owners "were taken aback" Monday by the prospect
         that News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch "hadn't fully disclosed
         his plans to finance the purchaser and in effect has a
         partner waiting in the wings.  Two sources said Monday that
         Murdoch and [TCI Chair] John Malone ... already have an
         understanding that they will own the team as a partnership." 
         One "top-ranking" MLB official: "You're damn right we're
         concerned and want to know more about it. This is not what
         they were talking about."  A source close to News Corp. said
         that Murdoch "is eager to have Liberty as a partner to help
         finance the deal."  While Hofmeister & Newhan note "some
         investors aren't convinced that it makes sense for Liberty
         to invest in the Dodgers," sources close to Malone see "an
         international value" to owning the team (L.A. TIMES, 9/30). 
              RESPONSE: Liberty VP/Investor Relations Vivian Carr:
         "In some circumstances we have the right to participate in a
         deal.  But in any case, the question is moot because News
         Corp. has not even completed the deal" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/30). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Franchises, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, New York Liberty, News Corp./Fox
  • MLB TEAM NEWS & NOTES: ASTROS TURNING TO DIESEL?

              The Astros "could, conceivably, get a new name" when
         they move into their new ballpark in 2000, according to John
         Williams of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  Astros Senior VP Bob
         McClaren: "We have just discussed it, but there is nothing
         active going on."  Possible new names include the Diesels,
         the Wildcatters or the Buffs.  In other news, the team has
         hired MD-based David Ashton & Assoc. to design graphics and
         signs for its new ballpark being built next to Union Station
         to "identify the new ballpark with the aging train station." 
         Ashton worked on Camden Yards (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/30).
              MARINERS: The Mariners will pay King County "about"
         $50,000 a game in rent for the postseason.  But Kingdome
         exec Susan Clawson estimates that each playoff games cost
         "somewhere between" $80,000-120,000 per game.  In '95, the
         team's postseason success cost King County $400,000, and
         even with an amended lease deal, if the team were to play a
         full slate of nine home games, the costs to King County
         "could be as great" as in '95 (SEATTLE TIMES, 9/29). 
              ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK? Yankees sources say that Owner
         George Steinbrenner "came away from pre-playoff chats with
         [NY Gov.] George Pataki confident that the governor -- while
         publicly advocating no move -- won't stand in the way of a
         Bronx evacuation" (NEW YORK magazine, 10/6 issue).
              TICKET UPDATE: Around 2,000 tickets remain for Game One
         of the NLCS Division Series against the Giants, and about
         4,000 remain for Wednesday's Game Two at Pro Player Stadium. 
         The Yankees have sold out their two Division Series games,
         while the Mariners have sold out Wednesday's Game One and
         are "close" to selling out Thursday's Game Two.  The Braves'
         Dir of Ticket Sales Paul Adams said the team is "close to
         capacity," for today's ballgame, but can still accommodate
         standing-room-only ticket customers (THE DAILY).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Franchises, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Time Warner, YankeeNets
  • OREN BENTON OFF THE ROCK PILE: PART OWNER STEPS DOWN

              The Rockies announced Monday that Oren Benton has
         stepped down as Vice Chair, ending his association with the
         club, according to Tony DeMarco of the DENVER POST. 
         Negotiations for the purchase of his shares in the club by
         Majority Owner Jerry McMorris and Vice Chair Charles Monfort
         continue.  Benton filed for bankruptcy in February '95,
         claiming he was $400M in debt.  His shares in the team,
         estimated at 23% and worth between $30-40M, "are tied up in
         that litigation."  McMorris said that Benton's departure
         "will not result in a takeover of the principal ownership of
         the club by Monfort, a rumor that has been circulating
         around the club in recent days."  McMorris: "In fact, both
         Charlie and I will take on more (of the team), and there
         will be no change in our roles" (DENVER POST, 9/30).
     
    

    Print | Tags: Colorado Rockies, Franchises
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