SBD/14/Franchises

FRANCHISE NOTES

          NBA: The off-the-court troubles of the NBA Wizards are
     examined by Mike Wise on the front-page of the N.Y. TIMES. 
     Wise reports that the Wizards' "informal contract with the
     city has turned out to be worse than the empty cliche it has
     often been elsewhere. ... [F]or many fans in the city, the
     Wizards, rather than an example of rebirth, have been one
     more expensive failure" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/14).  In S.F., David
     Steele wrote that crowds at the MCI Center "are dwindling
     and growing hostile," while the "immediate future of the
     franchise is suddenly grim" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/14)....The
     T'Wolves, who had a 96% season-ticket renewal rate last
     year, are finishing current renewals and project a rate of
     92%-93% (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/14).
          NOTE: Columbus, OH, investors in the NHL Blue Jackets
     "won a major victory" when a federal judge ruled that a
     legal dispute over ownership of the team must be tried in
     Franklin County, OH, Common Pleas Court.  The trial is
     expected to begin April 20 (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 4/10).

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