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              The ABL "has given the option to buy the operating
         rights" to the Portland Power to the league's Senior VP,
         Rodger Rickard, according to Jason Quick of the Portland
         OREGONIAN.  Rickard has five years to exercise the option. 
         Operating rights cost in the $3.5M range, but ABL CEO Gary
         Cavalli said that Rickard "would be offered a discount price
         because he invested several millions" into the league in
         September.  Rickard, a former CA real estate entrepreneur,
         said that he might purchase the rights at the end of '98:
         "It all depends on how well the league is progressing along
         its path."  Quick: "Rickard's actions will be interesting to
         watch. ... If he buys the operating rights to the Power,
         fans have to feel good about the league's future.  But the
         longer he holds out, the more unsteady the league seems." 
         If he exercises his option, Rickard would control the team's
         marketing, local broadcasts, ticket sales, sponsorships and
         staffing, while the ABL would still own the team and pay its
         players (Jason Quick, Portland OREGONIAN, 12/8).

    Print | Tags: Franchises

              NHL: In Edmonton, prospective local owners of the NHL
         Oilers met with Premier Ralph Klein "to discuss a possible
         role for the province in saving the financially troubled"
         team (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 12/9)....In FL, NHL Panthers
         President Bill Torrey said that he "expects" the team to
         purchase the AHL expansion franchise previously awarded to
         FL broadcast exec Bill Paxson.  He added the team could play
         at the Miami Arena (MIAMI HERALD, 12/7)....The Senators
         unveiled their third jersey with a red background.  It will
         be worn eight times after the All-Star break (Senators). 
              OTHER NOTES: ABC's Al Michaels interviewed Cowboys
         Owner Jerry Jones at halftime of last night's Panthers-
         Cowboys "MNF" game.  Jones, on his involvement in next
         year's coaching process: "I got involved in the NFL because
         I was passionate about the game, about football.  I enjoyed
         playing it.  But I think it'll stop short of me being the
         head coach of the Dallas Cowboys ("MNF," ABC, 12/8)....The
         N.Y. POST reports that the Yankees dismissed Hideki Irabu's
         interpreter, Kota Ishijima, and four other non-uniformed
         employees "three weeks before Christmas."  Also dismissed
         were equipment manager Nick Priore, massage therapist
         Michael Silverwise, video coordinator Carl Taylor and
         consulting psychiatrist Fran Pirozzolo.  The Yankees had no
         comment in the report (N.Y. POST, 12/9)....The Indians sold
         600,000 tickets over the weekend in the first two days that
         '98 general admission seats were put on sale (Indians).

    Print | Tags: ABC, AHL, Cleveland Indians, Dallas Cowboys, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Franchises, New York Yankees, NFL, NHL, Ottawa Senators, Walt Disney

              N.Y.-based attorney E. Miles Prentice said that he
         "submitted an application to buy the Royals," according to
         Zack Burgess of the K.C. STAR.  Prentice said that "despite
         his New York ties, he would not attempt" to move the team.
         Royals President Mike Herman could not be reached for
         comment.  Prentice owns Midland Sports with his partner, Bob
         Richmond.  Midland Sports owns two minor-league teams in TX,
         the Midland Angels in the AA Texas Baseball league and the
         WPHL Odessa Jackolopes hockey team (K.C. STAR, 12/6).

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Franchises, Kansas City Royals, Walt Disney

              A study conducted by the Marlins "put the post-season
         economic" boost of their world championship run at $155.7M 
         -- "two-thirds of which funneled through the team's
         enterprises," according to David Beard of the Ft. Lauderdale
         SUN-SENTINEL.  Meanwhile, a separate study conducted for the
         Broward Economic Development Council put the "boon" to South
         FL from the World Series alone at $61.8M.  But Beard adds
         that critics "attacked the methods" used to come up with
         both figures, "saying the analysts made a series of generous
         assumptions about the indirect expenses."  Marlins Financial
         Analyst Jeff Ross said that "the team used credit-card
         receipts by fans to come up with part of its figures, as
         well economic data in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach
         counties."  The Broward study, conducted by FL Atlantic
         Univ. Professor Kathleen Davis, included information from
         1,413 completed questionnaires taken during the World Series
         games.  That report excluded spending from out-of-towners
         not drawn to South FL specifically for the Series.  Based on
         the questionnaires, 12.9% of ticket-holders were out-of-
         towners who came to the area primarily for baseball.  The
         Marlins' study had the percentage at close to 20%.  Davis
         also stated that visitors had an average daily expense of
         $482; while the Marlins' Ross said he used the $220-a-day
         regional average (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 12/9).  

    Print | Tags: Miami Marlins, Franchises

              According to official NHL documents obtained by Tom
         Jackson of the TAMPA TRIBUNE, in seven games played at the
         Ice Palace through November 14, the Lightning were
         "substantially" behind last season's year-to-date totals in
         paid attendance, percentage of arena capacity and ticket
         revenue.  The Lightning were down nearly 26% in paid
         attendance, down 20% in arena capacity, and down 11.1% in
         ticket revenue.  Lightning President Steve Oto: "We are not
         quite pleased."  Jackson reports that this comes after a
         nearly 20% increase in ticket prices.  While the Capitals,
         Avalanche and Oilers joined the Lightning in raising ticket
         prices, only the Lightning have a year-to-year decrease in
         ticket revenue to show for their increase.  Oto attributed
         the team's early-season struggle to the success of the NFL
         Bucs and the Lightnings' poor start (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 12/9).

    Print | Tags: Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, NFL, NHL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals
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