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  • ALEXANDER REACHES DEAL FOR OILERS; ANNOUNCEMENT TUESDAY?

              Attorneys for Rockets Owner Les Alexander "have
         finalized" an agreement to buy the NHL Oilers, a source told
         Eddie Sefko of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  A formal announcement
         will take place in Edmonton, "although probably not until
         next week."  While the deal is complete, Alexander must now
         begin "the potentially deal-killing exercise of waiting to
         see if any local investors in Edmonton can step up and pay
         $70 million for the team" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/30).  The
         EDMONTON JOURNAL reports Alexander will be in Edmonton next
         Tuesday for a news conference (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 10/30).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, Houston Rockets, NHL
  • ELWAY NIXES TALK OF HIM BUYING INTO BRONCOS

              The $82.5M in stock Broncos QB John Elway reaped from
         the sale of his car dealerships to Republic Industries "is
         money that eventually could be put down to purchase a
         portion of an NFL team, possibly even the Broncos,"
         according to Adam Schefer of the DENVER POST.  Elway, on the
         possibility: "Maybe it's a natural."  However, Elway said
         that he "has not, in any way, broached the issue with
         Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.  Nor does he intend to at any
         point in the near future."  Bowlen: "I'm a little upset with
         (the media) because that's obvious sensationalized
         speculation.  John's made a business deal, and what he does
         on into the future is John's business" (DENVER POST, 10/30). 
         In Denver, columnist Mark Obmascik: "Turning No. 7 into the
         public face of the Broncos ownership is the No. 1 way that
         Bowlen can win voter approval for his new taxpayer-financed
         football stadium.  Coloradans trust John Elway a lot more
         than Pat Bowlen. ... Bowlen's arrogance is one of the main
         reasons why the new stadium is crashing in the public
         opinion polls.  He somehow has made it cool for Coloradans
         to root for the Broncos on the field while rooting against
         them at the ballot box" (DENVER POST, 10/30).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Denver Broncos, Franchises, NFL
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              NFL: Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton said that the NFL
         Oilers, "using corporate donations, would provide tickets"
         for a local high school's roughly 700 students to attend the
         November 23 game against the Bills.  Herenton: "We're hoping
         that by kicking off this promotion and marketing effort with
         the Oilers, their players, representatives from the [NFL],
         we're saying to all Memphians to join in and let's make the
         Oilers a part of Memphis.  I agree it's been slow coming. 
         But it's here now" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/29).  
              BASEBALL: The Devil Rays plan to open an in-stadium
         hair salon.  Devil Rays VP/PR Rick Vaughn: "There's not a
         lot concrete about the idea yet.  But we know the hair salon
         will be part of our 'Centerfield Street,' where there will
         be a brew pub, cigar bar, a climbing wall for kids and other
         interactive games" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/30)....The ATLANTA
         BUSINESS CHRONICLE's "Insider" column reports that Atlanta-
         based Hope-Beckham President Bob Hope, "is desperately
         trying to find a corporate sponsor" for the Silver Bullets. 
         The "Insider" has "heard that Silver Bullets players are
         filing for unemployment and that layoff notices are being
         circulated" at Hope Beckham (BUSINESS CHRONICLE, 10/27).
              NBA: Pacers Coach Larry Bird, told that IN Gov. Frank
         O'Bannon said he is expecting 50 wins from the Pacers this
         season: "I expect a balanced budget, too, but I probably
         won't get that" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 10/29)....In
         Philadelphia, columnist Bill Lyon, on 76ers President Pat
         Croce: "Because he is still a new owner, he has not fallen
         from public grace.  Yet.  But if the 76ers are putrid again
         this season, then his dispensation will elapse, despite his
         popularity on the street.  And the vilification will
         commence" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/30).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Buffalo Bills, Comcast-Spectacor, Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, Indiana Pacers, NBA, NFL, Philadelphia 76ers, Tampa Bay Rays
  • RUMOR DU JOUR: AL DAVIS TO SELL RAIDERS FOR HOLLYWOOD PARK

              Al Davis' "contract as the Raiders' president of the
         general partner expires after next season," according to
         Randy Harvey of the L.A. TIMES.  Harvey: "Speculation
         persists that he'll resign before then and sell his 27%
         interest in the Raiders, then take over an expansion team
         that would begin play in a new stadium at Hollywood Park in
         2000 or 2001.  That could all be part of a settlement in
         Davis' latest lawsuit against the NFL" (L.A. TIMES, 10/30).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, Oakland Raiders
  • VIKINGS FALLOUT, DAY II: IS IT SIMPLY RED?

              Details "began to emerge" yesterday about potential
         buyers for the Vikings, but "questions still remain" about
         why the team's possible sale was kept secret for months,
         according to Don Banks of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. 
         Banks adds that "discontent" among the team's owners "is
         prevalent," as they have voted to sell the team "several
         times in the past few months, only to repeatedly postpone
         their decision to go public with the news."  The league has
         asked that the team comply with rules requiring one owner to
         control 30%, however, Banks writes they have been "unable to
         come up with" a 30% owner among themselves.  One source
         said, "Three or four guys who can afford to own 30 percent
         don't want to ... and the ones that might be interested
         don't have the financial backing."  Vikings President Roger
         Headrick said the Board's "intention and hope is that this
         potential sale can be effected locally so that the team
         remains" in MN.  Although Board Chair John Skoglund said
         that "no leading local buyer is known," he "mentioned
         rumors" of T-Wolves Owner Glen Taylor's interest, and Banks
         adds that former Vikings GM Mike Lynn "repeatedly has made
         it known" that he may put an ownership group together. 
         Meanwhile, three of the four out-of-state prospective buyers
         were identified yesterday: Former Spurs/Nuggets Owner Red
         McCombs, Toronto's Sun Media CEO Paul Godfrey and Dr. Larry
         Lemak of Birmingham.  Birmingham's HealthSouth CEO Richard
         Scrushy is also "part" of Lemak's group.  The fourth group,
         from L.A., "has not been identified" (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/30). 
              NOTE: In St. Paul, Bob Sansevere reports that McCombs,
         who owns Twin Cities TV station WFTC, has a "standing offer"
         of $150M to buy the team and "keep them" in MN.  McCombs
         said he would buy the team "as is," without improvements to
         the Metrodome lease.  He said he made his offer six weeks
         ago and was rejected with the understanding that talks could
         resume at a later date (PIONEER PRESS, 10/30).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Denver Nuggets, Franchises, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Vikings, San Antonio Spurs
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