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RUMORS SPECULATE TEAM'S POOR START WILL COHAN-CIDE WITH SALE
Published November 20, 1997
The Bay Area "buzz" is that Warriors Owner Chris Cohan, "saddled with major financial obligations and rocked by the lack of support by fans, is quietly exploring the idea of selling the team sometime in the next two years," according to C.W. Nevius of the S.F. CHRONICLE. There is "even a scenario" that would have the MLB Giants' ownership group "taking over and using the team as an East Bay presence to help attract baseball fans" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/20). WARRIORS REFUTE RUMORS: Nevius adds that the Warriors "insist there is nothing to" the sale rumors. Warriors General Counsel Robin Baggett: "The concept of selling the team has never been discussed. As far as losing money and not operating in the black, that is inaccurate." Baggett said that "there has always been a misconception about" Cohan's financing, and that ever since he bought the team "there have been suggestions that Cohan borrowed heavily for the money, and overpaid wildly." More Baggett: "[Cohan] bought the team for $119 million, not $140 million. ... He is not heavily leveraged." Nevius adds that "there are clearly some problems, which go beyond the woeful product on the floor," and that the league office is "concerned about the way the franchise is floundering." Baggett also added that sales of the team's 72 luxury boxes have been "fair. I wouldn't put it at good." But Nevius reports that "others are even less optimistic, doubting that the team has sold as many as 20 boxes" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/20).