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Talks are under way that could bring 49ers Owners Eddie DeBartolo and Denise DeBartolo York to New York to meet with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to settle a dispute regarding ownership of the 49ers, according to Clark Judge of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. NFL VP/Communications Greg Aiello: "It's under discussion" (S.J. MERCURY NEWS, 1/30). THE MONEY PIT? In S.F., Matier & Ross report, "It's not just Eddie DeBartolo's legal problems that have driven his family up the wall -- it's his free-spending lifestyle and money-draining expeditions." Sources close to the DeBartolos said Eddie "has burned up roughly" $75M of the "family fortune on gaming, restaurants and other business ventures -- with little to show from it except a possible indictment" in LA. A source adds that DeBartolo "personally owes" Denise DeBartolo York "more than" $50M, "a sore spot that is helping fuel family tensions and casting doubts over the fate of the football franchise itself." Sources add that a "big part of Eddie's money woes came when he began pursuing his casino and cardroom interests. DeBartolo has put sizable money into campaigns aimed at winning approval for his various gaming ventures -- none of which have gotten off the ground." DeBartolo York "appears to be in no mood to spend another dime of family money on a new stadium or any of her brother's dreams" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/30).
The Blue Jays "lost an estimated" C$30M in '97, and Larry Millson of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL writes that "it had more to do with the falling Canadian dollar than their losing record and stagnant attendance." About C$20M of the losses "can be attributed to the difference between the U.S. and Canadian dollars." While the Jays do not reveal their losses or profits publicly, they "do acknowledge" that the "weak" Canadian dollar "hurts their bottom line." Millson: "The problem is that most of the Blue Jays' expenses are paid in U.S. money, including a player payroll that is about $50 million (U.S.), and most of their revenue is in Canadian dollars" (Larry Millson, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/30).