SBD/9/Franchises

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).

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