SBD/8/Franchises

FRANCHISE NOTES

          A Houston TV station reported that IHL Aeros Owner
     Chuck Watson offered to lend a group of Edmonton investors
     $35M to buy the NHL Oilers.  Watson: "Our motivation is to
     assist ... in keeping the NHL in Edmonton.  In turn, the NHL
     would look favourably on a franchise for me in Houston"
     (AP/EDMONTON JOURNAL, 1/8)....Lease talks between the Nets
     and the NJ Sports & Exposition Authority (NJSEA) "will
     finally commence next week."  NJSEA Chair Ray Bateman: "We
     have been very anxious to get the ball rolling on these
     talks.  The time has come for us to proceed" (STAR-LEDGER,
     1/8)....The Chargers sent out letters to 1,400 season-ticket
     holders "inviting them to purchase two tickets each" for
     Super Bowl XXXII.  The 1,400 were chosen "at random" from
     the 17,000 season-ticket holders.  The 2,800 tickets used to
     satisfy the drawing's winners represent "nearly half" of the
     team's allotment of 5,650 tickets for the game (S.D. UNION-
     TRIBUNE, 1/8)....With less than three months until their
     home opener, the MLS Rapids have surpassed their entire
     season-ticket sales total for '97.  The number of new full-
     season equivalents (FSEs) sold through December 22 is
     already 50% ahead of the total new FSEs in '97 (Rapids).

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