SBD/17/Franchises

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  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              NBA: Last night's Nets-Cavs game drew 12,860 at Gund
         Arena, the smallest crowd since the arena opened, and the
         smallest at a Cavs game since December '92 at Richfield
         Coliseum (BEACON JOURNAL, 11/17)....In N.Y., Peter Vecsey:
         "Those fleeing the Warriors maintain the team can't possibly
         be resuscitated unless owner Chris Cohan sells or removes
         himself from all decision making" (N.Y. POST, 11/16).  
              NFL: Vikings board member Wheelock Whitney disputed a
         report that Red McCombs had increased his offer for the team
         to $185M (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/15).  McCombs would
         not comment on his offer, but said that although his "first
         goal" is for San Antonio to have an NFL team, he has "no
         intention" of moving the Vikings out of MN should he gain
         control of the team (S.A. EXPRESS-NEWS, 11/15).  
              NOTES: Lamar Hunt's attorneys have appealed a Columbus
         judge's ruling that "closed Hunt out as an owner" of the NHL
         Blue Jackets (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 11/15)....Anaheim Sports
         President Tony Tavares said that Disney would "take a look
         at ownership" of an MLS franchise (L.A. TIMES, 11/14). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anaheim Sports, Columbus Blue Jackets, Franchises, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Vikings, MLS, NBA, Brooklyn Nets, NFL, NHL, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
  • IS LINDNER TAKING A SCHOTT TO GET REDS OWNER TO SELL OUT?

              Cincinnati financier Carl Lindner "is quietly trying to
         convince" Marge Schott to sell her shares in the team,
         according to Bill Straub of the CINCINNATI POST.  If Schott
         decides to sell, her 6 1/2 shares of the Reds would be
         offered to the Reds' limited partners, including Lindner,
         who holds 1 1/2 shares.  Sources also said it was Lindner
         who advised Schott to announce her support for a renovated
         Cinergy Field over a new ballpark (CINCINNATI POST, 11/15). 
         
    

    Print | Tags: Cincinnati Reds, Franchises
  • JONES STILL WANTS COWBOYS TO STAY AWAY FROM TEAM CAFE

              Owners of the Cowboy's Sports Cafe, including former
         Cowboys Tony Dorsett and Everson Walls, "are pleading with"
         Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones to lift the ban of Cowboys players
         from the restaurant, as business "is down $50,000 a month"
         since Jones imposed the ban, according to Tony Hartzel of
         the DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  As recently as last week, cafe
         owners "had hoped to resolve the matter" without filing a
         lawsuit, and just before the owners "planned to remove the
         Cowboy's sign as part of a tentative agreement, the deal
         fell apart."  Dorsett says the ban is "unfairly singling"
         out the restaurant and hurting business.  But Jones said
         that the team still uses the Cafe and "maintains a positive
         relationship with the former players" (MORNING NEWS, 11/15).
              KEEPING UP WITH MR. JONES: Jones said that he will take
         a "more active role in a hybrid" coach/GM capacity next
         season.  Jones: "I won't do any head coaching.  I can see me
         being more productive and involved on game day being in the
         coaches box" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 11/15)....Jones was
         profiled by Todd Shapera in the FINANCIAL TIMES under the
         header, "The Creaking House That Jerry Built" (11/15).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Franchises
  • NETS AND SPORTS AUTHORITY PREPARING FOR LEASE NEGOTIATIONS

              Lease negotiations between the Nets and the N.J. Sports
         & Exposition Authority (NJSEA) "are set to begin" in the
         next few weeks, according to Jon Gelberg of the Newark STAR-
         LEDGER.  The Nets hold the option of opting-out following
         the '99-2000 season and Sunday's STAR-LEDGER featured 
         separate Q&As with NJSEA CEO Robert Mulcahy and Nets
         President & COO Michael Rowe.  Rowe, on possible renovation:
         "The Sports Authority has to prove to us they can
         successfully renovate it and (that) the kind of cash flows
         that are needed will be there."  Rowe said that the Nets
         paid $1.5 million in state sales taxes last year and added,
         "[Y]ou can buy at least one player with that."  Rowe, on the
         threat of relocation: "There have been a number of
         unsolicited offers to purchase the team in the last few
         years.  The shorter the lease, the more attractive the
         franchise.  We've not been on the footsteps of any city hall
         in the Sun Belt or the Midwest.  The Sports Authority is
         smart enough to know what's out there" (STAR-LEDGER, 11/16). 
              NJSEA VIEW: Mulcahy said that he expects the Nets talks
         to be "frank and cordial."  Mulcahy, asked if the state
         could provide a subsidy or tax break to the team: "There has
         to be another stream of revenue to keep the complex as
         competitive as it is now. ... That's a significant question
         that has to be resolved."  Mulcahy, on whether NJ would "be
         better off" with a new arena: "You have to take a close look
         at the economic realities.  I'm not sure what the market is. 
         You can talk about having a facility with 200 luxury boxes
         and hundreds of club seats, but that won't do you much good,
         in terms of producing revenues, if those boxes and seats are
         empty" (Jon Gelberg, Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/16).
         
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Brooklyn Nets, The Sports Authority, YankeeNets
  • PAYTON, MJ AND OPRAH NOT SO SWEET ON BUYING THE BEARS

              Walter Payton, Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey each
         responded to a Friday report that they were part of a group
         trying to buy the Bears, according to Dan Pompei of the
         CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.  Payton: "I am not looking in the very
         near future to be the owner of a football team. ... I don't
         know how this got started."  Winfrey's Harpo studio issued a
         statement that said, "Oprah is not interested in buying any
         sports team at this time" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/15). 
         Jordan: "I've always said I'd never own a team.  I'm going
         to hold true to that, because I can't afford to pay that
         money to all those athletes" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/15).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bears, Franchises
  • THESE COYOTES ARE NO SUN LOVERS: CAT FIGHT IN THE DESERT

              The relationship between the Coyotes and Suns is "so
         tattered" that Coyotes Owner Richard Burke and Suns
         President/CEO Jerry Colangelo "no longer speak," according
         to Kent Somers of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC.  The Coyotes are in
         the second year of their lease at America West Arena, and
         the team says that the number of obstructed-view seats and
         current advertising and sponsorship deals prevents them from
         "making money" and leads to "higher ticket prices for their
         fans."  Colangelo, however, "disputes nearly every one" of
         the Coyotes' assertions, contending that they have a "very
         favorable" lease, and says that their attitude shows a "lack
         of gratitude for his efforts" in bringing the team to AZ.
         While Coyotes officials are "careful when discussing their
         situation at America West," the team says that the revenue
         streams they were promised have amounted to "trickles" and
         that the situation "has to change or they will move to
         another arena."  But team officials would prefer to stay
         where they are.  One of the "main sticking points" between
         the two clubs is the fact that the Suns have the right to
         sell exclusive corporate sponsorships.  The Coyotes say that
         since they signed their lease the number of such exclusive
         categories has gone from nine to 21, which they say "limits
         the scope of packages they can offer advertisers." 
         Colangelo: "Look, my door is always open. ... I've been in
         this business for 32 years.  Some people are novices in the
         sports business" (Kent Somers, ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/15).
         
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Arizona Coyotes, Phoenix Suns
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