SBD/2/Franchises

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  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              The Warriors suspended Latrell Sprewell for a minimum
         of 10 games after he "twice attacked" coach P.J. Carlesimo
         in practice, according to David Steele of the S.F.
         CHRONICLE.  He will lose 10 games pay, more than $935,000. 
         The NBPA "likely will appeal" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/2). In
         S.F., C.W. Nevius writes that, "officially and with
         confidence, that the Warriors have hit rock bottom" (S.F.
         CHRONICLE, 12/2)....ABL CEO Gary Cavalli said that the
         league "isn't planning to move the Columbus franchise," but
         "wouldn't rule it out."  Cavalli: "I'm encouraged and I'm
         optimistic about how things are going in Columbus.  But at
         the same time, I've got a board of directors I have to
         answer to."  Through seven home games, the Quest is
         averaging 2,834 fans -- 607 more fans than it did at this
         point last season (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 11/30).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Golden State Warriors
  • HURRICANES SHUT THE DRAPES ON TOP LEVELS AT GREENSBORO

              The Hurricanes have reduced the capacity at Greensboro
         Coliseum from 20,800 to 15,902 by putting up black curtains
         in the upper deck of certain sections, according to Scott
         Michaux of the Greensboro NEWS & RECORD.  The team says that
         134,963 tickets have been sold or given away for its 15 home
         games, which Michaux says "translates" to 43% of total
         capacity, but the team says it is playing to "nearly" 57% of
         its reconfigured "capacity."  'Canes Ticket Manager Jim
         Baldwin said that the team sells tickets outside the
         curtained-off areas "first," and that the curtains will be
         raised "whenever the demand exceeds their stated capacity" 
         (NEWS & RECORD, 12/1).  In Boston, Nancy Marrapese writes
         that the announced crowd of 5,865 in Greensboro for last
         night's Canes-Bruins game "was appalling."  Marrapese: "Not
         only did the actual attendance look about half that size ...
         but the fans had less enthusiasm than the Bruins generate
         for the average intrasquad scrimmage" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/2).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Franchises, Gale Force Holdings
  • IHL TEAM'S CORPORATE EDUCATION PROGRAM PACKS SOME THUNDER

              The IHL Las Vegas Thunder's Corporate Education Program
         (CEP) was examined by Doug Puppel of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-
         JOURNAL.  The effort, which began in August, "lets
         businesses purchase discount tickets and distribute them to
         young people and worthy causes in Southern Nevada." 
         Sponsors in the program pay $6,500 for tickets, print and
         radio advertising and an in-arena display of their logo. 
         Among CEP's eight sponsors are Hard Rock Cafe and Domino's
         Pizza.  The team says that the program has generated close
         to $40,000, and Puppel added that besides "engendering
         goodwill, the participating merchants benefit from the
         advertising recognition."  The team "puts a $20,000 value"
         on the companies' CEP investment (REVIEW-JOURNAL, 11/28). 
    
    

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  • THE NEW YORKER GOES INSIDE THE DODGERS SALE TO NEWS CORP.

              News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch's pending acquisition
         of the Dodgers from Owner Peter O'Malley is featured in an
         extensive piece by Connie Bruck of THE NEW YORKER. Murdoch's
         purchase "seems likely to win" MLB approval "in the end, but
         it won't have been easy.  So far, his vetting has been
         fractious and bedevilled by one controversy after another." 
         Bruck: "What makes this transaction so different,
         ultimately, is the identity of the acquirer.  For some in
         baseball it is a hope, and for others it is a fear, but it
         is something on which, in any event, all can agree, once
         Rupert Murdoch gets in the door, the realm of baseball will
         never be the same."  O'Malley, on selling to Murdoch: "He's
         a citizen of L.A., but even more, he's a citizen of the
         world.  He will help internationalize the game more than
         anyone else on the horizon."  But some note the differences
         between Murdoch and O'Malley, and one source with extensive
         dealings with Murdoch equated the pairing to "putting a
         black widow in with a butterfly."  And while Murdoch "has
         urged" O'Malley to stay with the team after the purchase,
         "many people who know Murdoch predict that O'Malley's tenure
         will not be long."  Bruck: "O'Malley is already being spoken
         of disparagingly by a close Murdoch adviser, and a baseball
         official says that Fox executives 'have told me that they're
         replacing Peter with another guy,' adding, 'They will get
         rid of him so fast his head will spin'" (TNY, 12/8 issue).
              TCI'S INTEREST: In September, reports surfaced that
         John Malone's Liberty Media would have a right to buy a half
         interest in the team through Fox/Liberty Sports.  While News
         Corp. President Peter Chernin earlier denied that ownership
         would be shared, a Fox exec told Bruck that, "The deal
         between Liberty and Fox is, we're supposed to be in the
         sports business together -- either one has the option to go
         to fifty per cent."  He added that Liberty still holds the
         right to exercise its option in the deal.  White Sox Owner
         Jerry Reinsdorf, on Malone's interest: "Malone would have to
         be approved too -- and we haven't even started on him."
              FEEL THE LOVE: During MLB's approval process Murdoch's
         associates and O'Malley have "been at pains to stress that
         the buyer is not Murdoch but Fox, apparently on the
         assumption that the more Murdoch can be distanced from the
         process the better."  MLB Acting Commissioner Bud Selig, on
         Murdoch: "He is very controversial.  Owners have concern
         about character.  I have heard it again and again."  Astros
         Owner Drayton McLane, whose team's local cable rights are
         owned by Fox Sports Southwest, on concerns of a conflict of
         interest: "It is absolutely of concern, because it is your
         business partner who is paying you -- and also owns the
         Dodgers."  One Fox exec "agreed that considerable owner
         opposition existed, but he argued that the pressure to vote
         for the deal would be great, considering 'what Fox has done
         for baseball.'"  Bruck concludes that while MLB lacks "a
         strong commissioner, with full powers -- someone with the
         capacity to visualize, chart and navigate its course,"  with
         Murdoch "into this disordered field, it is he who likely
         will be charting that course."  Bruck: "And that means that
         the future -- for the Dodgers, for the game, and certainly
         for the institution of [MLB] -- will be more unpredictable
         than ever before.  The rules will probably not apply; for
         Murdoch, they so often do not" (THE NEW YORKER, 12/8 issue).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Cablevision, Chicago White Sox, Franchises, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, New York Liberty, News Corp./Fox
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