SBD/11/Franchises

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  • FIRST UNION HELPS PREDATORS TOP 10,000 SEASON TICKETS SOLD

              Boosted by a commitment from First Union Bank to buy
         250 season tickets, the NHL Predators have now sold 10,124
         season tickets for their inaugural '98-'99 season.  The team
         must sell 12,000 season tickets by March 31 to reach the
         NHL's expansion condition deadline (Predators)....In
         Nashville, Jeff Legwold reports that the Predators will have
         to sell an average of 93.8 season tickets per day to reach
         the 12,000 season ticket mark (TENNESSEAN, 3/11).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Nashville Predators, NHL
  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              N.Y. art dealer Jeffrey Loria was the "behind-the-
         scenes man who would have bankrolled" K.C. banker Jerry
         Green's purchase of the Royals.  However, Green said
         yesterday that it's "highly unlikely" he'll be able to bid
         for the club, as he has "been unable to find another
         partner" (K.C. STAR, 3/11)....The Angels will bring back a
         live organist for their home games this season.  Last year,
         the team played recorded rock music during games (O.C.
         REGISTER, 3/10)....49ers President Carmen Policy "made it
         clear" his team is not interested in an exhibition game
         against the Raiders.  Policy: "We don't really want to deal
         with them. It's always a one-way street when you deal with
         them."  The Raiders "are willing" to play such a game (S.F.
         CHRONICLE, 3/11)....MLS Fusion President Ken Horowitz "has
         no doubt" Sunday's home opener will be played in a "finished
         facility," following 15 weeks of renovations to Lockhart
         Stadium.  As of yesterday, "just more than" 10,000 tickets
         had been sold to the game.  Lockhart's capacity is 20,000
         (MIAMI HERALD, 3/11)....The USBL awarded an expansion
         franchise to Washington, DC, to begin play this season. 
         Larry Arnold, President of DC-based International
         Associates, will be the team's President & CEO (USBL). 
         Arnold said he is "in the midst of negotiations to find an
         arena for the team," and will meet with Washington Sports &
         Entertainment President Abe Pollin today to discuss
         possibilities at MCI Center (WASHINGTON POST, 3/11).
              CHECK THESE DUDS! THE HOCKEY NEWS' first-ever ranking
         of secondary minor league logos featured 41 teams in the
         WPHL, West Coast, United and Central Leagues (HOCKEY NEWS,
         3/13 issue)...The Tigers changed their road uniforms and
         will return to a more "traditional" road cap, featuring an
         orange Old English "D."  Changes to the road jersey include
         the addition of blue piping down the collar and button line,
         with similar piping added to pant sides (Tigers).
              
    
    

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Anaheim Sports, Detroit Tigers, Franchises, Kansas City Royals, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Walt Disney
  • READY, PEDDIE? RAPTORS PREZ TO HEAD LEAFS, AIR CANADA CENTRE

              Raptors President Richard Peddie, who "looked to be
         first on the firing line" when the Maple Leafs bought his
         team along with Air Canada Centre last month, yesterday was
         named interim president and CEO of the Air Canada Centre and
         both franchises, according to Lance Hornby of the TORONTO
         SUN.  The "surprise news release" from Maple Leaf Gardens
         Ltd. (MLG) also listed Peddie, who "whacked the Leafs in a
         bitter arena war and tried to submarine them at City Hall,"
         as "a strong candidate" to take the position full-time. 
         Leafs Exec Committee member Brian Bellmore said that the
         entire board "is in favor" of the move and that they "aren't
         holding any grudges" against Peddie.  Bellmore: "Who knows
         more about the Air Canada Centre?" (TORONTO SUN, 3/11).  In
         Toronto, Michael Grange writes that Ken Dryden, President of
         the Maple Leafs and Exec VP of MLG and "everyone else in the
         hockey operation will report to Peddie as will all aspects
         of the" Raptors organization.  MLG Chair Steve Stavro said
         that he was "delighted" Peddie had accepted the role, adding
         that Peddie would "work closely" with Dryden, whose "role
         will be expanded."  The announcement "made it clear" that
         Peddie's duties, which include overseeing the final phase of
         Air Canada construction, making decisions on premium
         seating, and selling corporate-sponsorship and season-ticket
         plans, "are expected to be largely completed by August." 
         Grange: "The question left dangling is how long the
         arrangement will last" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 3/11).  
              MIXED SIGNALS? In Toronto, Chris Young reports that no
         Leafs representatives were present at the announcement, and
         that the appointment "hardly received a ringing endorsement"
         from Bellmore.  Bellmore: "This is an interim appointment
         and he'll probably be a candidate.  We'll hire someone in
         the summer" (STAR, 3/11).  The STAR's Dave Perkins calls the
         move "a clear sign of the continued rise to shot-calling
         prominence of [MLG Dir] Larry Tannenbaum."  Perkins: "Peddie
         is Tannenbaum's guy, no question" (STAR, 3/11).  The SUN's
         Craig Daniels writes that the hiring "provides stability
         during a period of turmoil," but adds that Peddie "knows
         less about hockey than he does about basketball ... and has
         no natural feel for the game."  Daniels: "All of it further
         confirms what you already knew: Sport today boils down to
         optics, to money, to selling, to a slick marketing man with
         little real sense of the game" (TORONTO SUN, 3/11).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors
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