SBD/8/Franchises

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  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              NFL: Yesterday's Packers-Bucs game attracted a Houlihan
         Stadium record crowd of 73,523, with an estimated 30,000
         Green Bay fans on hand (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/8)....The crowd of
         73,446 at yesterday's Patriots-Jaguars game set an Alltell
         Stadium attendance record (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 12/8)....There
         were 27,160 no-shows yesterday in Chicago for the Bills-Bears
         game (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/8)....On "Fox NFL Sunday," James Brown
         reported, "At last week's NFL labor negotiation meetings, the
         Seattle Seahawks were not represented, the first public signs
         that organizational changes will be made by new owner Paul
         Allen" ("Fox NFL Sunday," 12/7).
              NHL: Devils Owner John McMullen, on Devils F Bill
         Guerin's claim that he ended his holdout to play in the
         Olympics: "The reason he signed was not the Olympic team.  It
         was money.  Everybody is trying to credit him with a noble
         deed.  But he overestimated his value.  And he overestimated
         his ability to embarrass us" (N.Y. POST, 12/6)....A group of
         Edmontonians interested in buying the Oilers met with Gary
         Bettman on Friday (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 12/6).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, New Jersey Devils, News Corp./Fox, NFL, NHL, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Vulcan Ventures, YankeeNets
  • HURRICANES' "STRUGGLE" IN CAROLINA GETS FRONT-PAGE ATTENTION

              The Hurricanes' move from Hartford to NC so far "has
         been a struggle," according to Bryan Gruley of the WALL
         STREET JOURNAL, who examines the team's move in a front-page
         feature.  Gruley: "To claim its place among America's great
         metropolises, upstart Raleigh is out to prove it can support
         a major professional sports franchise."  But with the team
         playing in Greensboro while their Raleigh arena is completed,
         the 'Canes average attendance of 8,500 is "the lowest" in the
         NHL, as "Raleighites haven't proven eager" to make the 150
         mile round-trip drive to Greensboro, "nor to pay $50 to $100
         for a decent seat."  Team Dir of Ticket Ops James Baldwin
         also said, "There's a lot of jealousy, which we didn't
         realize, between Greensboro and Charlotte and Raleigh."  But
         Gruley writes that 'Canes Owner Peter Karmanos and area
         leaders are unfazed.  Karmanos: "This is a tremendous
         opportunity.  When we move to Raleigh, everything will be
         fine."  With the team "prepared to lose more than" $20M in
         its first two seasons in NC, and having signed a 20-year
         arena lease, "divorce is almost unthinkable in this marriage
         of North and South."  The team is "counting on three core
         audiences to help" it succeed in Raleigh, "companies from all
         over the world, people from the South and people originally
         from the North."  Sims Hinds, VP/Raleigh Arena Management,
         said that the team has leased 49 of its 72 luxury boxes at a
         price of $110,000-140,000 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/8).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Franchises, Gale Force Holdings, NHL
  • IN SETTLEMENT, JIM IRSAY GETS TOTAL CONTROL OF COLTS

              The "bitter fight" over the estate of Colts Owner Robert
         Irsay ended Friday, according to Welton Harris of the
         INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS.  Under terms of the settlement,
         Irsay's son, Jim, will keep the team, and his widow, Nancy
         Irsay, "will have no stake" in the Colts.  Daniel Luther,
         attorney for Jim Irsay, said the settlement makes him "one of
         the very few owners in the NFL who has a 100 percent
         ownership of his team."  Although settlement details were not
         made public, Harris wrote that those "familiar with the
         agreement" say it "could be worth close to" $12M to Nancy
         Irsay (INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 12/8).
    
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Indianapolis Colts, NFL
  • METS LOOK TO STAY COMPETITIVE, RAISE TICKET PRICES

              The Mets raised ticket prices for the '98 season, with a
         new scale ranging from $9-35 per seat, according to Buster
         Olney of the N.Y. TIMES.  The increases "range from" 40% for
         the most expensive seats, to 15%.  Mets Senior VP/Business
         Affairs Dave Howard: "These increases are dictated by the
         significant increase in player payroll.  And that's before we
         look to improve the team."  Prices for the "Metropolitan
         Club" seats will be $35, up from $25 last season.  The least
         expensive seats move from $7 to $9 (N.Y. TIMES, 12/6).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, New York Mets
  • RAYS OF LIGHT FOR MLB? TAMPA OPENER SELLS OUT IN 17 MINUTES

              The Devil Rays put on sale single-day tickets for its
         inaugural season over the weekend, and when the stadium box
         office closed Saturday evening, team officials "estimated
         5,000 fans had been by and approximately 100,000 tickets had
         been sold," according to John Romano of the ST. PETERSBURG
         TIMES.  With those tickets added to the 23,000 season tickets
         the team has sold an advance attendance of "nearly" 2 million
         for the '98 season.  Romano added that the Devil Rays "were
         not just selling tickets, they were selling themselves," as
         manager Larry Rothschild and more than a dozen players and
         coaches were on hand  (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/7).  Opening
         Day tickets for Tropicana Field sold out in 17 minutes (TAMPA
         TRIBUNE, 12/7).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, PepsiCo, Tampa Bay Rays
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