MLB: CNBC's Don Dahler examined News Corp.'s purchase of the Dodgers and noted that "a phrase being batted around to describe what Murdoch will do with the Dodgers is 'take it global.'" Sports marketing analyst Don Dixon: "They've got a great opportunity long-range to get fifty, a hundred times their money back over the relatively near haul" (CNBC, 10/16)....Although the city of Baltimore "was willing" to throw a parade for the Orioles, the team turned down the offer (Baltimore SUN, 10/17). GENERAL: The MLS Rapids drew 18,452 for Wednesday night's playoff game, which was the third-highest weekday crowd of '97 (USA TODAY, 10/17).....ESPN's Gary Thorne was the emcee at a rally yesterday in Columbus, OH, which launched the sale of PSLs for that city's expansion NHL franchise (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 10/16).
New York City Mayoral candidate Ruth Messinger yesterday charged that Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner have struck a "secret deal" that would commit $1.1B in public funds to a new Yankee Stadium on Manhattan's West Side, according to Susan Rubinowitz of the N.Y. POST. Messinger "contended the pact is being kept quiet until after" next month's election. Although Messinger admitted she had "no proof," she said that "over and over again, we have heard there is a secret deal." Steinbrenner's spokesperson Howard Rubenstein "denied" Messinger's charge of any pending deal (N.Y. POST, 10/17).
After a request from Twins Owner Carl Pohlad, T-Wolves Owner Glen Taylor "has begun discussions" with MN legislators in the hopes of "getting a stadium built and keeping" the Twins in MN, according to Weiner & Whereatt of the Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE. Taylor said that he "intends" to buy part of the team, and that he has "already discussed" a partnership with Minneapolis publisher and lawyer Vance Opperman, among others. Taylor added that as part of any role he plays in stadium negotiations, "he would insist" that Pohlad "relinquish" operating control of the Twins, and that his participation "is dependent" on a new stadium being built. Taylor: "I think I have to be in a position to have the authority if I would be doing the negotiations. ... I'll only be in on this to help a stadium get built." Taylor met with Pohlad Wednesday, and said that Pohlad "had been told ... by 'a very important person'" at the State Capitol that the tone of the Twins' stadium negotiations "might change" if Pohlad wasn't the principal owner. Taylor added that he "would not consider" buying a majority interest in the team himself (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 10/17).
Marlins President Don Smiley and city of Miami execs have "quietly been discussing the franchise's future - one that could include a move to downtown Miami," according to Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD. Miami Mayor Joe Carollo said Thursday that he has had "several conversations" with Smiley about "everything from changing the name of the team to the 'Miami Marlins' to building a stadium adjacent to the Heat's planned bayfront arena." Carollo said that he would be "willing to consider" the use of a tourist hotel tax to help finance a new ballpark, and that marked the "first time a local official has publicly expressed" possible public investment in a facility. Smiley said he "won't seriously pursue" a new stadium until he purchases the team, and that he "remains confident" that he will be able to put together an investment group (MIAMI HERALD, 10/17). FISH BITS: In Miami, Anne Moncreiff Arrarte wrote that, "[M]arketers from Manhattan to Miami are rushing to take advantage of the momentum" of the Marlins postseason run. The team's official sponsors, including American Airlines, NationsBank, Blockbuster and AutoNation, have received "first dibs" on all new postseason promotions (MIAMI HERALD, 10/16)....Pro Player Stadium has sold out for all four World Series games, with each expected to draw more than 65,000 (Marlins)....The Ft. Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that the Marlins participation in the World Series will result in a $24M regional economic impact (SUN- SENTINEL, 10/16)....The Marlins' popularity, especially among Miami's Hispanic population, is examined by USA TODAY's Tom Weir in a front-page cover-story: "The Marlins multinational roster has tapped the spirit of Miami's Spanish speaking community in a way that football, basketball and ice hockey can't" (USA TODAY, 10/17).