SBD/9/Franchises

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  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              The Pirates, "seeking revenue to help with operating
         expenses, could become the first" MLB team to offer public
         shares of a team.  Pirates Owner Kevin McClatchy: "It's an
         option we're examining.  But right now, it's very much in
         the research stage" (USA TODAY, 1/9)....A Philadelphia group
         which "apparently" is interested in buying the Vikings
         toured the Metrodome on Wednesday.  The group consisted of
         "five or six men" whose names "were not revealed" (PIONEER
         PRESS, 1/9)....The Eagles "put an abrupt end" yesterday to
         speculation that Ron Jaworski would join the Eagles' front
         office, and made it "emphatically clear they have no
         interest" in hiring the ESPN analyst (DAILY NEWS, 1/9).     
              HOCKEY: The NHL Nashville Predators "must sell nearly
         6,000 season-ticket packages in the next 82 days" to fulfill
         its expansion requirement or it will "forfeit" its deposit
         and franchise.  Predators Chair Craig Leipold said that more
         than 6,100 season tickets had been sold as of Wednesday
         (Mult., 1/9)....The IHL Chicago Wolves have a .756 winning
         percentage, but their 7,945 average attendance "is the
         lowest in the franchise's four-year history midway through a
         season."  Wolves Chair Don Levin: "Our attendance is always
         lower until football is over" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/9).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Franchises, Minnesota Vikings, MLB, Nashville Predators, NHL, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Pirates, Walt Disney
  • HICKS TALKS UP PLANS FOR RANGERS AND A REGIONAL SPORTS NET

              New MLB Rangers Owner Tom Hicks plans to "eventually"
         sell the naming rights to The Ballpark, according to a Q&A
         interview with Mitchell Schnurman of the FT. WORTH STAR-
         TELEGRAM.  Hicks said he "hopes to develop the real estate
         surrounding the stadium within five to 10 years, adding
         hotels, office buildings and restaurants."  In addition,
         Hicks said that he would offer stock in his sports teams and
         a planned broadcasting network.  Last fall, Hicks said he
         "made an offer" to buy the Mavericks that was rejected by
         Owner Ross Perot Jr.  Since then, Hicks "has made no
         additional overtures" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/9).
              FSN, ESPN OR NBC TO JOIN HICKS' RSN? In Dallas, Richard
         Alm reports Hicks "made it clear that he's making plans to
         combine his sports and broadcast interests."  And he may
         "possibly" include the Mavs in an RSN featuring the Rangers
         and Stars.  Hicks: "Out at some future point, we will
         endeavor to create a regional sports network that will have
         as many sports programming assets as we can put together."  
         The Rangers are under contract through 2000 and the Stars'
         TV contract ends after the '98-99 season.  Hicks "identified
         potential partners" as Fox Sports Net, ESPN and NBC: "We
         will choose one of them and create a partnership for the
         [RSN] as it develops."  But Hicks "disavowed any interest"
         in forming a superstation: "We have no intention of ever
         creating a superstation" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/9).
     
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, ESPN, Franchises, NBC, News Corp./Fox, Southwest Sports Group, Texas Rangers, Walt Disney
  • RAMS HOLD THE LINE ON TIX; LOOK TO CUT SOME CLUB SEAT PRICES

              For the third straight season, there will be no
         increase in PSLs or single-game tickets by the Rams,
         according to Jim Thomas of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH.  The
         Rams also said that "there will be no escalation in luxury
         suite prices" for '98, and that the club is "restructuring
         the prices" of the 6,500 club seats at the Trans World Dome. 
         A total of 2,500 seats will be reduced in price a total of
         $200 to $400 a season.  About 1,000 club seats will increase
         in price by a total of $100 a season.  The "overall effect
         of the restructuring" will result in a 6% decrease in the
         average club seat price (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/8).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, St. Louis Rams
  • SPORTS COMMISSION ASKS TWINS TO HALT SALE ATTEMPTS

              The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC)
         "stepped up its legal attempts to keep the Twins in
         Minnesota" asking the team to "'stand still' and halt all
         actions that could result in the franchise's sale and
         relocation," according to Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR
         TRIBUNE.  In a letter to Twins President Jerry Bell, the
         MSFC said it "will vigorously challenge the team's attempt
         to exercise the 'escape clause' in its lease."  Bell said
         that the team "will not withdraw its notice" to the
         commission that it plans to leave after the '98 season. 
         (STAR TRIBUNE, 1/9).  In the letter, MSFC Chair Henry
         Savelkoul "questioned the two factors -- sagging attendance
         and three years of financial operating losses -- that team
         officials say allow the team to vacate the Metrodome." 
         Savelkoul says that the MSFC "could argue in court" that the
         attendance and losses "are the residue" of the strike, and
         that the Twins and other MLB teams "contributed to the
         strike through unfair labor practices" (PIONEER PRESS, 1/9). 
          
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Minnesota Twins, MLB
  • THE NEWARK NETS? EXEC REPORTEDLY MAKES OFFER FOR TEAM

              Newark business exec-philanthropist Raymond Chambers
         "has offered to buy the Nets and construct a privately
         financed arena for the team" in the city's downtown,
         according to a source close to the talks cited by Gus
         Sterling of the Newark STAR-LEDGER.  The Nets ownership
         consortium "has spoken with" Chambers "but given no
         indication it is willing to sell the team."  As Chambers'
         interest "has intensified," a Newark-based business group 
         "has begun studying the feasibility of building an arena in
         the city."  Nets President Michael Rowe "confirmed" the team
         had been approached by a Newark group, but would not say if
         Chambers was involved in the discussions (STAR-LEDGER, 1/9).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Brooklyn Nets, YankeeNets
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