SBD/23/Franchises

FRANCHISE NOTES

          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).
 
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