SBD/20/Franchises

RUMORS SPECULATE TEAM'S POOR START WILL COHAN-CIDE WITH SALE

          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).

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