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              The A's have "quietly slapped" the city of Oakland and
         Alameda County with a $48M claim over the renovation of the
         Coliseum, according to Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. 
         The claim, sent yesterday to lawyers for the city and
         county, includes 23 demands and "comes at a time when the
         team's future in Oakland is already in question" following
         "unsuccessful talks" between team and stadium execs.  Among
         the demands are $12M for "lost ticket sales allegedly
         caused" by the elimination of bleacher seats, $12M in "lost
         'club seat' revenues," $9.5M for "lost ticket, food and
         merchandising sales" from diamond-level seats that were not
         built after disputes between the team and contractors, and
         $5M for "lost 'general attendance'" during the '96 season,
         which the A's claim was caused by constant renovation.  A's
         execs were unavailable for comment, and Matier & Ross write
         the case is "certain to fuel speculation about the team's
         future" in Oakland.  Under their lease, the A's have until
         July 1 to "extend their stay" until 2004 or "exercise a
         year-to-year clause," which would allow them to "sell or
         move the team within two years" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/22).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Oakland Athletics

              The AA Aeros have signed a lease agreement with the
         city of Akron that "ends months of bickering between Aeros
         owner Mike Agganis and city officials," according to
         Charlene Nevada of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL.  While terms
         were not released, a tentative deal reported earlier said
         Agganis would pay the city $1.1M over three years and agree
         to sell "cheaper bleacher tickets for all games, even if not
         all of the reserved seats had been sold out."  Agganis "got
         some of what he wanted, including more leverage to put up
         advertising and permission for auxiliary billboards."  Last
         year, the Indians AA team set an Eastern League attendance
         record by drawing over 470,000 (BEACON JOURNAL, 1/22). 

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Indians, Franchises

              Maple Leafs Board member Brian Bellmore said that the
         Leafs hope to announce a new COO for Maple Leaf Gardens
         around the end of February (TORONTO SUN, 1/22)....The
         Packers have sold about one-quarter of the 400,000 shares of
         common stock, at $200 each, raising an estimated $20M
         (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 1/22)....In St. Paul, Charley Walters
         writes that Roger Headrick, "trying to hang on" as President
         of the Vikings, "has not only aligned himself" with
         potential investor Dr. Larry Lemak of Birmingham, AL, "but
         also is trying to team up with" Flyers and 76ers Chair and
         potential Vikings investor Ed Snider (PIONEER PRESS, 1/22).

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, Franchises, Green Bay Packers, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs

              In Nashville, "several" Metro Council members Tuesday
         night "voiced" concern about the NHL Predators' "slow ticket
         sales," according to Rob Moritz of the NASHVILLE BANNER. 
         The members "tried to defer" a vote on the $21M bond issue
         to pay the city's portion of the NHL's $80M franchise fee
         for the team.  Members also tried to "amend the bill to
         require" that the $21M be "returned to Metro if the team
         leaves within five years."  But Councilmember Eileen Beehan
         told the group that the deal was approved two years ago, and
         added, "We made this pledge."  Two resolutions appropriating
         the bonds were then OK'd by a voice vote.  The $21M will be
         in an escrow account and the team "will use the money as
         collateral to borrow additional money to help pay its share
         of the franchise fee."  If the team doesn't sell the 12,000
         season tix mandated by March 31 and does not receive a
         franchise, the city will get the $21M back (BANNER, 1/21).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Nashville Predators, NHL

              Rumors that the Raiders "are contemplating" a return to
         L.A. "are groundless -- not to mention ludicrous," according
         to officials in both L.A. and Alameda County cited by Rick
         DelVecchio of the S.F. CHRONICLE.  L.A. City Councilmember
         Nate Holden, who said only that he was holding a press
         conference to discuss pro football in L.A., is being branded
         "as at best ill-informed and at worst a flake who could land
         the city in legal trouble for interfering with the Raiders'
         contract to play in Oakland for the next 13 seasons."  L.A.
         City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas: "On no occasion has
         [Raiders Owner] Al Davis or the Raiders organization
         indicated an imminent return to the Los Angeles market"
         (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/22).  NFL President Neil Austrian called
         the report "a lot of rubbish and rumor" (L.A. TIMES, 1/22).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, Oakland Raiders
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