The Phillies, who sell "the most expensive cup of beer" in the NL, "are skimming their suds ... a racket that costs beer-drinking fans at Veterans Stadium nearly a half-million bucks a year," according to Don Russell of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. In a "random sampling," Russell found that the team's $5 18-ounce cup of draft beer "actually contains, at most, just 16 ounces of beer. A 12-ounce cup typically contains 10 or 11 ounces." Russell reports that the team sold an estimated 750,000 cups of beer in '97, and that the "value of skimmed suds at 2 ounces per cup" is equal to $495,000. Russell adds that the Vet gets up to 14 extra cups from every keg, $90 in "extra revenue." Ogden Entertainment, which runs the Vet's concessions, "denied any ripoff" (Don Russell, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 4/23).
The fate of the NHL Oilers now rests with Edmonton's City Council "after Edmonton Northlands approved a deal last night to give the team rent" for $1, according to Johnson & Findlay of the EDMONTON SUN. The Northlands board passed a motion to let the Oilers play in the Coliseum for $1 a year, "provided city council agrees to hand over C$2.4M a year to help cover an expected C$4.8M deficit." The motion was seconded by Mayor Bill Smith, and goes to a Council vote tomorrow. Under the current deal, the Oilers paid C$2.8M for rent, using money collected by the city through a ticket tax. Local investors who've bid to keep the team want to rent the facility for $1 a year, "yet still keep most of the ticket tax and game concession" revenues. In return, the local group would give Coliseum management to Northlands for all non-Oilers events. Northlands says the deal would result in a C$4.8M a year operating deficit, of which "it is willing to pay half" if the city pays the rest. Smith said that the council vote "should be a no-brainer," but Johnson & Findlay write that the council must "consider the flood of calls that have come into City Hall" recently, the "majority of which have been opposed" to the city using taxpayer money to help the team (EDMONTON SUN, 4/23). Team and Northlands officials say the assistance "isn't for the team but for Northlands," a non-profit organization which oversees the Coliseum. Councilmember Brian Mason, however, called such aid "money straight for the team" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/23). In Edmonton, Donna Marie Artuso writes under the header, "Miffed Council Will Back Oilers Deal" (SUN, 4/23). Also in Edmonton, Scott Haskins writes, "I want to know who votes no. I want to know who should receive a standing boo the next time they set foot in the Coliseum" (EDM. SUN, 4/23).
NHL: Adelphia Communications has transferred its interest in the Sabres to Adelphia Chair John Rigas, who will end up with majority control. Rigas will also get majority ownership of the Marine Midland Arena. As part of the deal, Adelphia subsidiary Empire Sports received an extension of its cable rights deal to Sabres games (DAILY VARIETY, 4/23)....The Bruins have "slashed" the average ticket price of some 7,500 "upper-bowl" seats by about $9.50 apiece. A season ticket to 42 Bruins home games, including one exhibition, for the '98-99 season can now be purchased for $630 (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/23)....The NHL expansion Thrashers will unveil their logo to the public tonight at 6:15pm ET on NHL.com, becoming the first sports team to use the Internet as the primary medium to introduce a new logo (NHL ICE). MLB: The MLB Cardinals signed a five-year sponsorship with BJC Health System, to "team up" and talk to kids about staying in school, staying physically fit and staying away from drugs. BJC will also donate $200 to the Cardinals Care charitable fund for every home run hit by a Cards' players at Busch Stadium this season, while Cardinals players will make multiple visits to schools (POST-DISPATCH, 4/21)....The Indians have partnered with marketing & consulting firm J.D. Power & Associates, to evaluate and improve Indians' fans experience at Jacobs Field. The team will distribute 30,000 questionnaires and postage paid envelopes over 13 different home dates, beginning tonight, with J.D. Power providing information based upon responses (Indians)....With yesterday's crowd of 7,491 at the A's-Twins game, the A's home attendance stands at 151,358, "down more than 50,000 from last year's attendance at the same point" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/23)....The Mets released their "Mets in Black" catalog yesterday, featuring the team's new black uniforms. "Mets in Black" merchandise areas will be created at NYC area Modell's, Bob's and Sports Authority stores (Mets). NOTES: Following a closed door meeting which lasted throughout the day yesterday, the Maple Leafs' acquisition of the Raptors and the Air Canada Centre "has been completed." The "complex" deal was estimated at between $400-$500M (Bruce DeMara, TORONTO STAR, 4/23)....The federal Trademark Trial and Appeal Board will hear oral arguments on May 27 in the case to cancel federal protection of the Redskins nickname. Each side has been allotted half an hour to make their arguments. If the ruling goes against the Redskins, selling of team memorabilia "will be severely curtailed" (Avis Little Eagle, INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY, 4/22).