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  • FRANCHISE NOTES

              NHL: In Edmonton, Alberta Treasury Branches will
         announce today whether it will accept a local group's offer
         to buy the NHL Oilers.  Current Owner Peter Pocklington said
         that the bid will be accepted, but the deal does not include
         Coliseum Management Inc., which holds the lease on the
         Coliseum (JOURNAL, 3/18)....The Predators said yesterday
         they are 1,195 season tickets away from meeting the NHL's
         condition of 12,000 season tickets by March 31 (Predators).
              NOTES: NFL VP/Communications Greg Aiello said that
         Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "probably won't" make a decision
         on the Vikings ownership dispute between Tom Clancy and team
         President Roger Headrick "until Thursday" (PIONEER PRESS,
         3/18)....Sonics Owner Barry Ackerley lent the team's plane
         to the Univ. of WA Huskies for their flight to Greensboro,
         NC, for their Sweet 16 appearance (SEATTLE TIMES, 3/17).
              
    

    Print | Tags: Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, Minnesota Vikings, Nashville Predators, NFL, NHL
  • LEGAL BEAT: CELTICS PASS ON WALL STREET JOURNAL LIBEL SUIT

              While Celtics Chair Paul Gaston "threatened" a little
         over three years ago "to sue the Wall Street Journal after
         the newspaper suggested drug abuse and team negligence may
         have contributed to the death of Reggie Lewis," the statute
         of limitations has expired, according to Peter May of the
         BOSTON GLOBE.  The statute of limitations for libel in MA is
         three years, and the three-year anniversary of the Journal
         article "passed quietly" last week.  Gaston: "[A]s much as I
         hate the fact that some injustices go unpunished, I decided
         that this was one that was going to get away" (GLOBE, 3/18).
              ROCKETS: The Rockets "have been alerted to the
         possibility of legal action" by two former employees and
         three current employees who are charging that members of
         Rocketball Ltd. "engaged in race discrimination, violations
         of the Fair Labor Standards Act and sexual harassment,"
         according to Eddie Sefko of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  The team
         received a letter from the attorney representing the five
         complainants.  The letter seeks a $2.5M settlement "to keep
         the group from filing a civil action suit against the
         organization."  Last year, Rocketball Ltd. had 51 minority
         employees out of a total of 160 (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/18).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Celtics, Franchises, Houston Rockets
  • PACKERS RAISE $24M FROM STOCK SALE, FALL SHORT OF $80M GOAL

              The Packers announced yesterday that they raised more
         than $24M from the sale of roughly 120,000 shares of stock
         during a 17-week window, "a considerably smaller haul than
         was originally forecast," according to Tom Silverstein of
         the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL.  The $24M in new revenue
         "doubles the team's coffers" and means the Packers "have
         probably enough money in their savings to keep them afloat
         for at least a quarter century."  However, early estimates
         were that the team could generate $80M from the stock split,
         which the club said was the "high end" of the estimate. 
         Packers President Bob Harlan said that the team "would still
         be able to" renovate Lambeau Field, expand its football
         offices and workout facilities and contribute to a new
         stadium fund, "but the contribution to the stadium fund
         won't be as great" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 3/18).      
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Green Bay Packers
  • TWINS SEASON-TICKET SALES DROP, PROJECT LOW TOTAL TIX SALES

              The Twins have sold about 5,400 season tickets, "down
         from 8,800 last season," according to Jay Weiner of the
         Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  About 25,000 tickets have been
         sold for Opening Night, and the team has budgeted for 1.2
         million tickets to be sold this season, "which would be the
         lowest sales in a non-strike" year since '83.  The Twins
         sold 1.4 million tickets last year.  However, despite coming
         off a last-place finish and "facing perhaps its final season
         in a stadium its owners say is inadequate," the team's
         corporate sponsors and signage buyers "have, generally,
         stayed on board."  Twins Dir of Corporate Marketing Laura
         Day said that she "already" has met about 93% of her sales
         goals, heading toward more than $3M in corporate sales. 
         This year, there are 24 giveaway nights planned and seven
         season-long promotions (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/18).
              WHITE SOX: The White Sox are bringing back Dog Day
         Afternoon and Elvis Night this season, while adding fan-
         friendly concourse attractions at Comiskey Park.  Senior
         VP/Marketing Rob Gallas: "The fans love 'Dogs' so much, and
         it's easy to do.  There will be new ones that we're not
         quite ready to announce" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/18).
              
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago White Sox, Franchises, Minnesota Twins
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