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Toronto lawyer Lawrence Dale, who has put together a group trying to buy the Blue Jays, "confirmed yesterday that two principals" in his potential ownership group are Harvey Walken and Alan Cohen, according to James Christie of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. Walken was a partner in the Pirates for 10 years, while Cohen is a former partner in the Celtics and served as Chair of the NBA Board of Governors. A source told Christie's that if the group "obtains the portion of the Jays and the SkyDome that has historically belonged" to Labatt Brewing, Dale will "also go after" the 10% owned by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/24). Dale's group has "at least six investors, but that number could increase," according to Elliott & Rutsey of the TORONTO SUN. On Wednesday, the group met with Penfund, a pension fund group that controls 35% of SkyDome, "about a partnership." Penfund has the right of first refusal in acquiring Interbrew's 49% interest in the SkyDome and "is interested in exercising that option" (TORONTO SUN, 10/24).
In an "unprecedented move" by an NFL coach, Dennis Green "is threatening to sue Vikings owners who attempted to oust him a year ago unless they sell him their interest in the team," according to Jeff Seidel of the St. Paul PIONEER PRESS. Green's plan to buy a 30% controlling interest in the team is outlined in his autobiography, "No Room for Crybabies," which was available in the Twin Cities for the first time Thursday. Although Green stops short of "stating he will go through with the plan, the book includes a copy of the lawsuit he would file against the unidentified owners, a stock purchase agreement, a draft of a letter to the team's board of directors stating his intentions, a financing plan and the specific dates when he would put into motion each 'phase' of the takeover bid." In his bid, Green would remain head coach and be named GM, while Roger Headrick would remain team President (PIONEER PRESS, 10/24). GREEN WITH ENVY: In St. Paul, Bob Sansevere writes that Green "knows how to end a book with a bang, not to mention a threat of blackmail." Sansevere: "Once team owners read the book, Green might not be coming back. The reaction of people threatened with blackmail always holds a certain amount of intrigue. Green could be fired for his attack on team owners" (PIONEER PRESS, 10/24). On CNN/SI, Ed Werder added that Green's book also "addresses incidents of alleged sexual misconduct, claims he's been unfairly criticized because of his race, and complains that certain members of the team's ownership group have deliberately undermined him." Green, on the book's timing: "I'm not on a promotion tour, and I won't be. ... [I]n my opinion if you write a book, you take the time to write it, you should release it when it's done. And so it's done" (CNN/SI, 10/23).
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) is "in the red $795,000," for the 12 months that ended June 30. MMAC Exec VP Mary Ellen Powers said the reason for the shortfall was "misjudging" MMAC's commitment that guaranteed the Brewers 10,000 season tickets. The MMAC purchased a total of 5,647 season tickets through '95 and '96, for a total of $4.467M. The MMAC has yet to calculate the association's season ticket purchase for the '97 season (MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/20 issue)....The HARTFORD COURANT ran a home attendance comparison between the NHL Hurricanes and the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack. Through five games, the Hurricanes have averaged 9,112 per game, playing to 43.8% of capacity. Through four games, the Wolf Pack have averaged 7,670 per game, playing to 52.3% of capacity (HARTFORD COURANT, 10/24)....Since naming former ASU QB Jake Plummer the team's starting QB on Tuesday, the NFL Cardinals sold 3,546 tickets to Sunday's game against the Oilers. The game will still be blacked out as a total of 38,522 tickets remained 72 hour prior to kickoff (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/24). ...The Bruins "drew only" 12,470 for their third home game of the season. In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont: "The message: Even if the Bruins can put a respectable product on the ice -- and they have thus far -- the fans want some sizzle for the high price of tickets" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/24).