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  • A NEW POWER PLAYER IN THE HUNT FOR THE ROYALS

              Lamar Hunt said Sunday that he has expressed interest
         in buying the Royals, according to Joe Posnanski of the K.C.
         STAR.  Hunt: "It's very preliminary.  We've approached the
         Royals so we can see the numbers.  That's all.  We want to
         hear about it.  I'm not at all familiar with the process of
         the sale or with the Royals, so this is just a first look. 
         We'll see what happens" (K.C. STAR, 11/10).  
              GREEN DAY: Prospective local bidder Jerry Green
         "bypassed" a Friday deadline to submit a preliminary
         application to buy the Royals, according to Charles Crumpley
         of the K.C. STAR.  Green said that his unidentified partner
         "questions whether the team is worth the $75M set as the
         "minimum bid."  Green also said that he "has begun talking
         with a different group that had expressed interest" in the
         team, but that he and his original partner "still might
         bid."  The only pre-applicant publicly known is a group led
         by Bobby and George Brett (K.C. STAR, 11/8).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Kansas City Royals
  • ANGELS & MARINERS RAISE TICKET PRICES FOR THE '98 SEASON

              The Angels raised ticket prices for the '98 season at
         the newly-renovated Anaheim Stadium by 27%, according to
         Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES.  Angels President Tony
         Tavares: "This is a ticket price increase.  We don't expect
         people to be happy with it."  The new average ticket price
         is $12.25, up from an AL-low average price of $9.68 in '97. 
         The increase is the first since Disney assumed control of
         the team two years ago.  Shaikin wrote that if the Angels
         "can return attendance to 2 million for the first time since
         1993," the club "would generate about" $7.4M in additional
         revenue from the increase.  The Angels drew 1.77 million in
         '97 (L.A. TIMES, 11/8).  Tavares "is baffled by the fan
         apathy, although he suspects it could be due to the ongoing
         renovations" at the ballpark, according to J.A. Adande of
         the TIMES.  The Angels "hope that when the renovations are
         finished and the new ballpark debuts next year it will draw
         people back" (L.A. TIMES, 11/8).  '98 tickets will range
         from $4 to $34.50, not including suites.  Last year's range
         was from $7 to $14.50 (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 11/8).  
              SEATTLE SEAT LICENSES: The Mariners will charge a
         charter seat license of $12,000 to $25,000 to reserve "prime
         seats" in the "first few rows" between the foul poles at
         their new ballpark, set to open in July '99, according to
         Briar Dudley of the Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE.  The 20-year,
         transferable licenses will be required for the purchase of
         966 new ballpark seats.  Ticket prices at the new ballpark
         will range from $13 to $33.  Last season, M's tickets ranged
         from $11 to $22.  For '98, Kingdome tickets will increase $3
         on the 100 level; $2 on the 200 level and the 300 level
         "view box" seats; and $1 on the "view" seats in the 300
         level.  Prices will not change for the 18,000 $9 and $6
         seats elsewhere in the dome (NEWS TRIBUNE, 11/7).  The
         Mariners "figure to take in roughly $1 million per sold-out
         game at the new park, about a third more than they grossed
         at the Kingdome" (Bob Finnigan, SEATTLE TIMES, 11/7).
    
    

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Anaheim Sports, Franchises, Seattle Mariners, Walt Disney
  • ARE PANTHERS PUTTING ON THE HEAT IN SEASON-TICKET BATTLE?

              A comparison of the Heat and NHL Panthers in the Miami
         market was featured in Sunday's MIAMI HERALD.  The Panthers,
         who won 35 games last season and were eliminated in the
         first round of the playoffs, have sold 13,000 season tickets
         for this season, while the Heat, coming off an appearance in
         the Eastern Conference Finals, have sold "just under
         10,000."  But TV ratings are higher for the Heat, whose
         telecasts on broadcast TV averaged a 5.3 last year, while
         the Panthers averaged a 3.4.  Heat President of Business
         Operations Jay Cross, on the ticket disparity: "The answer
         is primarily one of timing.  (In 1996) they went to the
         Stanley Cup, they didn't sell out every game.  The year
         after, they sold out because they were a hot commodity." 
              COMPARISONS: The average ticket price for the Panthers
         is $38.02 -- $1.05 higher than the Heat's $36.97 average --
         and the Panthers are "expecting a ticket-price increase"
         when their new arena opens next season.  While neither team
         would disclose ad budgets, Cross confirmed the Heat's budget
         has been increased, and they will "will advertise more this
         season on TV, radio and bus stops."  The Panthers say
         they've increased their budget, "even though every game sold
         out last year."  Regarding giveaways, the Heat has scheduled
         25 this year, the same as in '96-97, while the Panthers will
         have 10, also the same as last season (MIAMI HERALD, 11/9).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Florida Panthers, Franchises, Miami Heat
  • ARTHUR, ARTHUR: GRIFFITHS LEAVES ORCA BAY

              Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment Vice Chair Arthur
         Griffiths, "the man who built and once owned GM Place and
         all the that call it home," confirmed Friday that he is
         leaving the company, according to Mark Hume of the VANCOUVER
         SUN.  Griffiths will move on to "cultivate new business
         interests" and "head a bid to bring the 2010 Winter Olympics
         to Vancouver and Whistler."  He said he agreed to move after
         discussions with Orca Bay officials a month ago.  Griffiths:
         "It was mutually agreed. ... This is a delicate situation --
         but it works for me."  Orca Bay VP/ Communications Kevin
         Gass "denied Griffiths was asked to leave."  Gass:
         "Basically, Arthur decided, given a number of factors, that
         he would relocate."  Orca Bay President & CEO Stephen
         Bellringer will move into Griffiths' office (VANCOUVER SUN,
         11/8).  Griffiths: "I didn't think there was any point in
         fighting it."  In Vancouver, columnist Gary Mason:
         "[G]riffiths was not an Orca Bay guy.  Ever.  He was a
         holdover from the mom and pop operation he ran.  When
         Vancouver was a little more innocent.  Griffiths always
         looked out of place among the suave, young Seattle yuppies
         that came in to run the show" (VANCOUVER SUN, 11/8).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Canucks Sports and Entertainment
  • BLUE JACKETS APPAREL SET TO BUZZ INTO STORES ON TUESDAY

              NHL Creative Dir David Haney said that he "is aware
         that central Ohioans are having a hard time accepting the
         name" Blue Jackets for Columbus' new NHL team that will
         start play in 2000, according to Steve Wright of the
         COLUMBUS DISPATCH.  Haney, on the name: "It came down to
         some kind of terrific-looking bug that had all this
         ingenuity, was fast, industrious -- all these great
         attributes. ...[I]t's a near cousin to the famous
         yellowjacket."  Team officials are "well aware of the early
         negative reaction to the name" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 11/8). 
         Sportswear industry sources said the first shipments of Blue
         Jackets merchandise, set to go on sale Tuesday, "will be
         navy blue," with a "smaller quantity of steel gray shirts
         are also on order" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 11/8).
      
    

    Print | Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets, Franchises, NHL
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              NFL: On "Fox NFL Sunday," James Brown reported, "The
         owners of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team have offered to
         buy the Minnesota Vikings and relocate them right here in
         L.A.  Meanwhile, Philip Maas, one of the Vikings' ten
         owners, is attempting to purchase a majority share in the
         team" ("Fox NFL Sunday," 11/9).  Maas told the Minneapolis
         STAR TRIBUNE the report was not accurate: "This is the first
         I've heard about it" (STAR TRIBUNE, 11/10)....A sign spotted
         at the Oakland Coliseum as the Raiders lost to the Saints
         and fell to 3-7: "PSL -- Please Stop Losing."  The game was
         blacked out on local TV and the "crowd count generously
         landed" at 40,091 was the "fewest people to see at game at
         the Coliseum since November 28, 1968" (S.F. CHRONICLE,
         11/10)....Jets Coach Bill Parcells has a $500,000 annual
         incentive in his $2.4M-a-year contract for taking his Jets
         to the Super Bowl (Gary Myers, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/9).
              NBA: The Bulls-Hawks game drew the "fifth-largest crowd
         in NBA history" Friday, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, with
         an announced attendance of 45,790 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
         11/8).  Meanwhile, the Bulls debuted their alternative road
         uniforms Friday, which are all black with red lettering. 
         The change from their black pinstriped uniforms of last year
         was made "to accommodate the players, who complained the
         fabric used in the pinstripe uniforms was uncomfortable"
         (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/8)...The NBA's longest sellout streak
         "is history," after the Kings drew 15,858 for Friday's game
         with the Clippers.  The Kings had sold out 497 consecutive
         home games (SACRAMENTO BEE, 11/8)....The Bucks "believe they
         will match or exceed" last season's season ticket base of
         "about" 10,000 (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 11/9). 
              GENERAL: Devil Rays Managing General Partner Vince
         Naimoli said season-ticket sales have reached 23,000.  The
         team will cut off sales at 27,000 (ORLANDO SENTINEL,
         11/8)....Sunday's Senators-Hurricanes game in Greensboro was
         played in front of the smallest crowd in the NHL this
         season, announced at 5,551 (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 11/10).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Bulls, Franchises, Gale Force Holdings, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Vikings, NBA, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, News Corp./Fox, NFL, NHL, Oakland Raiders, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Rays, Time Warner
  • NETS LOOK TO DEVILS LEASE AS STARTING POINT IN NEW TALKS

              While the Nets want a new lease at the Continental
         Airlines Arena to begin in 2000, N.J. Sports & Exposition
         Authority spokesperson John Samerjan said that "it was
         likely that terms of the lease would change" from the
         existing lease that expires in 2020,  according to Richard
         Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES.  There are two windows in which
         the lease can be renegotiated -- 2000 and 2004.  Nets
         President Michael Rowe said while the team won't "head into
         the discussions with moving in mind," it would "be willing
         to listen to any ideas for a new arena or a redesign by the
         sports authority."  The Nets will use the Devils' '95 lease
         as a starting point on talks.  Rowe: "We want more than what
         they got.  They negotiated their lease two years ago, and
         the cost of running business of a hockey team is less than
         the cost of running a basketball team" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/8).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New Jersey Devils, Brooklyn Nets, YankeeNets
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