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St. Charles, MO, has been approved by the CBA Board of Directors as a new franchise to start play during the '99- 2000 season. Approval is contingent upon the group selling 2,500 season tickets by December 1, '98. The group, which operates under the name RiverCity Basketball Club, is led by RiverCity Basketball President Michael Mannion (CBA).
In N.Y., Steve Zipay writes that Walt Disney Co.'s Angels "reportedly have offered Cuban defector Orlando Hernandez a contract and a movie deal" (NEWSDAY, 3/3). CAPPING OUT? In a two-part series, Tom Knott of the WASHINGTON TIMES compared the costs of the DC-area's two pro hockey teams, the Caps and ECHL Icebreakers. Knott writes that a night out for an Icebreakers' game is $156.34 less expensive than a night out for a Caps game at MCI Center, "but not $156.34 less pleasurable" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 3/3). LAND-O-LAKES: In St. Paul, Jeff Seidel reports that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "is expected to take another week before ruling on the Vikings' ownership situation" (PIONEER PLANET, 3/3). In DC, Leonard Shapiro profiles prospective Vikings Owner Tom Clancy. Clancy on Orioles Owner Peter Angelos, who could become a minority partner in the Vikings deal: "He's kind of become like my big brother. I could do a lot worse than to model myself after him" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/3)....Steve Baird, a lawyer with Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis, who represents Minnesota Wild, a MN firm that sells jams, jellies and wines, said they "haven't ruled out the possibility of a lawsuit," against the NHL Wild over name infringement (PIONEER PRESS, 3/3). NOTES: The MLS Rapids announced that season-ticket sales "are at about 1,400, nearly double last season," while corporate sponsorships "are three times last season's level." The team's home radio broadcasts will be carried by KKFN-AM and by Spanish-language station KMXA-AM. Fox Sports Rocky Mountain will televise between 10-12 Rapids games (DENVER POST, 3/3)....A Nets club source said that "a number of season-ticket holders have complained" to Nets President Michael Rowe about coach John Calipari's "language and gesticulations, and it is likely that Saturday's outburst" toward a fan "will increase the number" (Bergen RECORD, 3/2)....In Sacramento, Ailene Voisin profiled new Kings Owners Gavin and Joe Maloof. The Maloofs "appear to have both feet and egos planted firmly on earth, no matter the terrain." Joe Maloof: "We're all salesmen, but we believe that the most important thing is how you treat your customer. We want them to keep coming back. That seems to get lost today with all theses computers and cell phones. The human touch is missing" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 3/2). MLB: Former Blue Jays OF Rob Ducey reached an out-of- court settlement of $700,000 with the team following a batting practice incident that occurred at SkyDome in '89 (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 3/3)....WGN-TV commentator Steve Stone has suggested that Cubs management play Harry Caray singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley Field as a "never-ending tribute" to the announcer. The Cubs will discuss the matter with Caray's widow, Dutchie, before making a decision (SUN-TIMES, 3/3).
Two Twins execs, two officials of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC) and a retired judge will meet today "to argue whether the team can legally end its 30-year Metrodome lease," according to Patrick Sweeney of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. The mediation effort could be a prelude to a "lengthy court fight, or it could lead to a compromise renegotiation of the lease that might keep the Twins in Minnesota for a short time -- perhaps another one to five years." MSFC Chair Henry Savelkoul said that "a renegotiated lease is one option likely to be discussed in the private mediation session." MSFC member Loanne Thrane: "I think we'll get through the mediation and probably nothing will be resolved, and we'll sue." Roger Magnuson, a Twins attorney, "predicted the mediation will last no longer than a day." He "refused to speculate" on the possibility of a compromise, saying the "only issue" is whether the team may legally end the lease (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 3/3).