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  • 49ERS FEUD: FIRST YOU GET THE MONEY, THEN YOU GET THE POWER

              The "back and forth maneuvering" in the 49ers ownership
         dispute "is mostly about money," according to Matier & Ross
         of the S.F. CHRONICLE, who report, "Particularly at issue is
         the soaring cost of the stadium-mall project, which some
         insiders now put at $600 million to $700 million."  But
         "it's also a fight over who will control the deal," the
         49ers or co-Owner Eddie DeBartolo's DeBartolo Entertainment. 
         In addition, Matier & Ross report that "there have already
         been talks" between the 49ers and S.F. Mayor Willie Brown
         "about having the city or the state come up with more money"
         for the project.  Brown "still stands firm" on capping the
         city's contribution at $100M, which was approved by voters
         last June.  Denise DeBartolo York's statement on Tuesday
         that her board of directors has decided to slow down the
         stadium deal "until they got a better handle on the costs
         ... clearly caught team president Carmen Policy off guard." 
         On local radio yesterday, Policy was "trying to put the best
         face forward on what clearly was a public relations
         nightmare."  Policy said it wasn't his "recollection" that
         the board voted to hold up the facility, but that it needed
         some "very, very serious and in-depth attention to some of
         the numbers before we took the next step in terms of
         securing interim financing."  In light of the media "crush,"
         Policy issued a press release in jest saying he was going to
         Tierra del Fuego and the South Pole on a three-week
         expedition study (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/29). 
              REAX: A S.F. CHRONICLE editorial states that even if
         the DeBartolos "are getting cold feet" on building the
         stadium/mall complex, "they should live up to the deal they
         made with San Francisco taxpayers last year" (CHRONICLE,
         1/29).  In San Jose, Ann Killion: "The feeling last spring
         that the stadium was a hurry-up, not-quite-thought-out deal
         seems to have been correct.  DeBartolo has moved a little
         too fast in too many places, and now it seems, he's run
         himself right into a wall" (MERCURY NEWS, 1/29).
              
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, San Francisco 49ers
  • FOLLOWING RECORD JAGR DEAL, PENGUINS SLASH TICKET PRICES

              The Penguins signed F Jaromir Jagr to a four-year, $38M
         extension -- the "richest contract" in NHL history, and at
         the same time "slashed season-ticket costs in seven price
         categories for next season," according to Joe Starkey of the
         Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW.  The cuts will save ticket
         holders "as much as $279.50 per season" over the '97-98
         season prices.  Gate prices "will not increase" next season,
         and owners "promise to make playoff tickets more affordable
         this season."  Pens co-Owner Howard Baldwin: "[S]ome of the
         concessions we're making (in playoff tickets) are very
         dramatic."  Starkey wrote that "this season's sagging
         attendance at the Civic Arena made a bold statement to
         Baldwin and fellow co-owner Roger Marino."  The Penguins
         have played this season to 89% capacity, selling out only
         three of 24 games (TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 1/28).  The highest-
         priced tickets will be reduced from $60 to $57.70.  Tickets
         that currently cost $39 will be reduced to $32.50.  Every
         other ticket will be "cut by at least $1" (USA TODAY, 1/28).
              BRAND JAGR? In a deal "similar to the one they struck
         with [Mario] Lemieux in 1993, the Penguins and Jagr have
         agreed to share his marketing rights."  The team will "allow
         Jagr to use the team's logo if he were to appear on a cereal
         box or poster," and Jagr will split the extra revenue with
         the team.  As for Jagr's contract, the POST-GAZETTE's Dejan
         Kovacevic wrote that the Penguins "are banking" that the NHL
         "will double" its national TV revenue when its contracts
         with ESPN and Fox expire after this season.  Kovacevic: "Not
         that Baldwin is expecting a deal such as the NFL's." 
         Baldwin: "I'd crawl from here to California and back for $73
         million a year in TV money" (Pittsburgh POST-GAZETTE, 1/28).
              REAX: Avalanche GM Pierre Lacroix said that Jagr's
         contract has him "worried."  Lacroix: "The way it's going
         you have to be concerned.  Like any business, if you don't
         have the potential revenue, somebody down the road is going
         to get hurt.  It's either the fans or the players.  With
         ownerships getting hurt, somebody else is going to have the
         whiplash" (GAZETTE TELEGRAPH, 1/29).  Commissioner Gary
         Bettman: "[H]opefully, if Pittsburgh couldn't afford to pay
         it they wouldn't have. ... It may mean long-term that some
         high-paid players are basically taking away from some low-
         paid players, but over time we think it will work out, and
         over time we hope not to be ticket driven" (FSN, 1/28).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Colorado Avalanche, ESPN, Franchises, News Corp./Fox, NFL, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins, Walt Disney
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              Packers President Bob Harlan told the Green Bay Press-
         Gazette that he is "leaning" towards extending the sale of
         Packers stock.  Later, he told the AP: "If we are still
         making money and it is a good business, we will consider
         extending it for a period of time."  The stock sale is
         scheduled to end Saturday (PIONEER PRESS, 1/29)...L.A. City
         Councilmember Nate Holden said he will continue to pursue
         the Raiders and that he will work on the initiative alone,
         as he said his City Council colleagues "are jealous of his
         efforts" (L.A. TIMES, 1/29)....The Orioles unveiled their
         altered logo.  The "revised oriole, which will also appear
         on the club's caps this year, has a bigger head and beak and
         greater detail in the feathers" (Baltimore SUN, 1/29).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders
  • GAYLORD ENTERTAINMENT STEPS UP ITS SUPPORT OF THE PREDATORS

              Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment committed to the
         purchase of 500 NHL Predators season tickets, the largest
         show of corporate support for the team to date.  The
         Predators must sell 12,000 season tickets, including 75% of
         luxury suites and club seats, by March 31 in order to keep
         their expansion franchise (Predators).
              GOT TICKETS? Garth Brooks, Lorrie Morgan, Amy Grant and
         Vince Gill are among the country music stars featured in the
         Predators' new ad campaign.  The ads, appearing on
         billboards and in print, parody the "Got Milk?" campaign by
         showing one of the performers, with missing front teeth,
         over the tag line "Got Tickets?" (NHL Predators).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Nashville Predators, NHL
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