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              Bills season-ticket holders will lose their existing
         seats and be asked to choose new ones in the renovated Rich
         Stadium, officials said.  Those holding tickets the longest
         will be given first pick (AP/Rochester DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE,
         10/8)....In Milwaukee, individual tickets to the Bucks' two
         Bulls games will not be made available this year.  Instead,
         fans must buy them as part of a 10-pack or full season-
         ticket deals (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 10/9)....ESPN's
         Sal Paolantonio: "If the Twins get a new ballpark and the
         Vikings don't, Vikings team President Roger Headrick told me
         on Wednesday his team is prepared to relocate, some say to
         Cleveland, others to Los Angeles.  Headrick told me the
         Vikings have already calculated how to buy out the remaining
         fifteen years on their Metrodome lease" ("SportsCenter,"
         ESPN, 10/8)....The Hurricanes have signed 23 corporate
         partners: 360 Communications, A-B, Atcom, Austin Quality
         Foods, BTI, Blockbuster Video, Capital Ford Rentals,
         Carolina Ford Dealers, Carolina Turkeys, East Wind Airlines,
         Glaxo Wellcome, Greensboro Hilton, HealthSource NC/Cigna,
         Howard, Perry & Walston Realtors, Kimberly-Clark, Long
         Transportation, Office Depot, Raleigh Iceplex, Rex
         Healthcare, Sprint, Taco Bell, US Post Office and Vinnie's
         Steakhouse (TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/6 issue).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Bulls, ESPN, Franchises, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings, Sprint, Walt Disney

              MLS's Chicago expansion franchise announced yesterday
         that it will be called the Fire, but an "entirely different
         name, the Rhythm, was all but set in stone earlier this
         year," according to Bonnie DeSimone of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. 
         The Rhythm had been conceived by Nike, which held the first
         option to be the team apparel supplier.  The name was
         approved by the league office and the Rhythm logo and colors
         had already appeared on merchandise in soccer catalogues. 
         But team Owner Philip Anschutz and President Bob Sanderman
         "balked at the name."  Fire GM Peter Wilt: "We were getting
         tremendous pressure from the league to pick a name in short
         order.  They wanted to make sure that they could get
         merchandise out in time for the first year.  But I said I'd
         rather lose one year in merchandise sales than spend a
         lifetime with a bad name."  Although "some feathers were
         ruffled at Nike," the company "decided to stick with
         Chicago" but told team owners that they had to come up with
         their own name and design.  Nike Soccer Sports Marketing
         Manager Steve Scott: "[W]e thought Rhythm was going to
         cruise in.  Our apparel graphic and design process is so
         involved, we didn't have the time or resources to do it
         again at that point."  The Fire's logo is a facsimile of a
         fire department badge (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/9).  The team's
         colors will be red, blue and silver.  Nike and All Sport are
         the club's first two sponsors.  The team also announced that
         Henry Cardenas, of Chicago promotion firm Cardenas-
         Fernandez, will serve as its liaison to the Hispanic
         community (Len Ziehm, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 10/9).

    Print | Tags: AEG, Franchises, MLS, Nike, PepsiCo

              Attending an NBA owners meeting in N.Y. today, T-Wolves
         Owner Glen Taylor "might find himself on the outs with a
         group in which he had been a central figure -- investors in
         small-market teams," according to Steve Aschburner of the
         Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  Taylor, who signed F Kevin
         Garnett to $125M contract extension, said, "I've already had
         owners call me.  It wasn't anything negative.  More along
         the lines of, 'We understand.'  They know you're darned if
         you do and darned if you don't" (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/9).  
              BREAK DOWN: In an analysis of Garnett's new contract
         and the Timberwolves' finances, the AP determined that the
         deal "is built on the rosiest of scenarios -- including a
         possible doubling of the NBA's $1.1 billion, four-year, TV
         contract with NBC and Turner Broadcasting starting next
         season."  The renewal of the team's local media deals,
         increased profits this season and higher ticket prices in
         the future also will help, and "if all goes well, the
         Timberwolves could blossom into a glamour franchise and grow
         in value to more than $300 million by the end of the
         contract."  But the analysis also shows that team losses
         could reach $56M over the life of the deal, with $103M in
         losses occurring over the last four years.  One way the team
         "might avert" those losses is with pay-per-view broadcast
         rights for future games (AP/STAR TRIBUNE, 10/9).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBC
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