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              The A's "have commissioned a study on the feasibility
         of Las Vegas supporting" an MLB team, according to Steve
         Kettmann of the S.F. CHRONICLE.  The study was commissioned
         more than a year ago.  While sources think that San Jose
         "remains a favorite" to land the A's if they relocate, with
         Sacramento also a possibility, the "rapid expansion of Las
         Vegas ... has turned it into a possible big-league city." 
         A's co-Owner Steve Schott could not be reached, and A's
         President Sandy Alderson had no comment (CHRONICLE, 3/19).

    Print | Tags: Franchises, MLB, Oakland Athletics

              Alberta Treasury Branches has accepted the local
         investors' offer to buy the NHL Oilers for US$70M, according
         to MacDonald & Stock of the EDMONTON JOURNAL.  Investor Jim
         Hole said that the group has bid for all hockey assets: the
         Oilers, the Hamilton Bulldogs farm team and the ability to
         use Edmonton Coliseum.  Control of the building currently
         rests with Peter Pocklington's Coliseum Management Inc.
         (CMI), which acquired the operating rights to the arena
         through a license agreement with Northlands Park in '94. 
         Pocklington said the local group's offer does not include
         CMI and that he wants additional compensation if it is
         include in the sale.  But sources said that the local group
         "wants only to acquire the license agreement" (EDMONTON
         JOURNAL, 3/19).  Such a deal would give the local investors
         Northlands advertising and luxury suite revenues, plus arena
         naming rights.  Northlands "would get overall control" of
         the arena "and take over concerts and other events currently
         booked through CMI" (Bernard Pilon, EDMONTON SUN, 3/19).

    Print | Tags: Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, NHL

              In a deal "that would stun the baseball world and give
         Cablevision an unmatched sporting empire" in N.Y., the
         company "has entered into discussions with George
         Steinbrenner about the possibility of buying the Yankees,"
         according to Heyman & Zipay of NEWSDAY.  Cablevision Chair
         Charles Dolan confirmed yesterday that he has met with
         Steinbrenner on several occasions over the past few months
         and discussed "all kinds of possibilities" and scenarios
         regarding a potential sale.  Another source said that the
         sides have been talking about a sale for six months.  While
         neither Dolan nor Steinbrenner would discuss a price range,
         two sources familiar with the discussions said that the
         potential deal would bring Steinbrenner and his partners
         "well in excess" of $500M, "perhaps close to double the Fox
         purchase price" for the Dodgers.  Dolan said that
         Cablevision, owner of the Knicks and NHL Rangers, is
         "absolutely" interested in buying the Yankees, but "there
         has been no real progress with any of the different ideas
         that have surfaced" (Heyman & Zipay, NEWSDAY, 3/19).
              GEORGE ON THE RECORD: Steinbrenner yesterday did not
         "completely rule out" the possibility of selling the
         Yankees: "We've talked about a continuing relationship with
         them.  Their TV contract with us [on MSG] is up in two
         years, and there are all sorts of rumors flying around
         because of that.  There is nothing definitive.  Naturally,
         if there is an interest in maintaining our relationship it
         stands to reason they'll have interest in extending the
         contract or owning the team."  If the sale were to happen,
         sources say that the sides are discussing the possibility of
         Steinbrenner being paid "an annual management fee of at
         least" $5M to help run the club for five years after the
         sale.  However, sources said that "there are still very real
         obstacles" to a sale, such as Steinbrenner's tax bill if he
         were to sell at $500M-plus profit.  The situation "is
         further complicated" by the partners' decision to borrow
         against future earnings stemming from Steinbrenner's $486M
         MSG TV deal.  Meanwhile, Steinbrenner also said that he has
         heard "from his league sources" about interest in the team
         from Westinghouse, CBS's parent company (NEWSDAY, 3/19).

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, CBS, Franchises, Los Angeles Dodgers, Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Yankees, Viacom

              THIS STUFF KIXX: In Philadelphia, the NPSL Kixx lead
         the league in attendance.  The second-year team is averaging
         8,751 fans, almost 1,000 more than last season.  Kixx Owner
         Ed Tepper said that the team's popularity increased when
         Comcast SportsNet broadcast 12 home games: "That (TV) gave
         us a basis with the fans. ... It's been amazing.  We've
         already had seven games with over 10,000 in attendance. 
         This just goes to show that Saturday night soccer works in
         Philadelphia" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 3/19). 
              NBA: SI's Jackie MacMullan reports that the Warriors
         have hired a PR firm "to help them accentuate the positives
         of their franchise" (SI, 3/23 issue)....In NEW YORK, Jacob
         Lewis reports that a Nets exec was spotted recently at a
         Knicks game "attempting to poach some of the celebrities who
         are treated to courtside tickets" at MSG.  Lewis: "One well-
         known entertainer was offered choice seats at a Nets games
         and limousine service to and from the Meadowlands, as well
         as a ball-boy gig for his son."  Nets Dir of PR John Mertz
         said that the team was not trying to "steal" anyone, but
         conceded that Nets would not be above "providing
         transportation to and from the game" (NEW YORK, 3/23 issue).
              NOTES: IHL Las Vegas Thunders part-Owner Ken Stickney
         denied reports that the team was involved in negotiations
         with Promotion Management Inc. about a possible move to
         Green Bay, WI, where PMI is the contractor of a proposed
         11,000-seat arena scheduled to open in 2000.  Stickney did
         say that PMI has been dealing with Mandalay Sports
         Entertainment, the parent company of the Thunder and other
         minor-league franchises.  Stickney, on future plans for him
         and Mandalay Sports: "Our whole plan is to own 10, 15 teams
         in different sports, in different cities, at different
         levels. ... We're trying to look to expand our business"
         (LAS VEGAS SUN, 3/18)....In N.Y., industry sources said that
         the Yankees' payroll for the '98 season is an MLB high $72M,
         slightly more than the Orioles' payroll (N.Y. POST, 3/19).
         ...ESPN's Bob Ley reported that the NFL will award Cleveland
         an expansion team, and that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue
         said that "the approval could come Sunday at the league
         meetings in Orlando" (ESPN, 3/18)....The MLS Fire have sold
         "about" 3,000 season tickets (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/19).

    Print | Tags: AEG, Baltimore Orioles, Cablevision, Chicago Fire, Comcast-Spectacor, ESPN, Franchises, Golden State Warriors, Madison Square Garden, MLB, NBA, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, New York Yankees, NFL, Sports Illustrated, Walt Disney
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