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              Ascent Entertainment Group held its annual meeting
         Monday, and Ascent Chair & CEO Charlie Lyons said that '97
         "was a year where our strategic investments outweighed our
         disappointments," according to Stephen Keating of the DENVER
         POST.  Lyons and entrepreneur Peter Barton were reappointed
         to three-year terms on the Ascent Board of Directors.  Among
         items at the meeting, Ascent announced that the $160M Pepsi
         Center may be financed, "in large part," by borrowing
         against future revenue streams, including naming rights and
         luxury-suite payments.  Lyons described the 11-71 record of
         the Nuggets as "horrible" and specifically cited the
         "mishandling" of former Nugget Antonio McDyess, who was
         traded to the Suns before the season (DENVER POST, 4/28).

    Print | Tags: Denver Nuggets, Franchises, PepsiCo, Phoenix Suns

              In K.C., prospective owners "are supposed to submit
         their initial bids today for the Royals" (K.C. STAR,
         4/28)....The Red Sox, "joining an industry trend," have
         placed signage on the padding behind home plate, a house ad
         promoting a number to call for tickets (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/28).
         ...In K.C., Jeffrey Flanagan writes that a source said IHL
         Blades Owner Dan DeVos and the Blades "could be looking to
         boost their image in the city by asking" George Brett to
         become a partial owner of the team (K.C. STAR, 4/28)....In
         Philadelphia, columnist Bill Lyon calls on the 76ers to re-
         sign President Pat Croce: "Under Croce's stewardship, the
         Sixers have recaptured fan interest.  It would be foolhardy
         not to retain him" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/28).

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, Comcast-Spectacor, Franchises, Kansas City Royals, Philadelphia 76ers

              Last Friday was the "final date" for early renewal of
         more than 200 suites at the United Center which would "take
         advantage of an estimated $15,000 discount," according to
         Sam Smith of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.  Early renewal means a
         suite at mid-level, near center-court, would cost $184,000
         per year starting for the '99 season.  The cost would be
         increased to $202,000 per year if not renewed until after
         April 22.  But there has "been some concern expressed among
         suite-holders" over the quality of the product they would be
         paying for, especially if Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen
         leave the Bulls.  Smith writes that suite-holders would be
         more willing to renew if they were guaranteed they would be
         seeing Jordan's final year and "that's why many ... are
         waiting to see what happens."   Smith: "The Bulls say they
         have had excellent response and even a majority of renewals,
         but several suite-holders contacted say they know of few
         suite-holders who already have renewed."  One corporate
         exec: "We want to see who's going to be on the team."  Smith
         writes, "That's why there could be consideration of offering
         Jordan and Pippen two-year contracts.  That would guarantee
         both would be with the Bulls in the 1999-2000 season, which
         would be the first in the new lease period for at least 200
         suite-holders" (Sam Smith, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/28). 

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bulls, Franchises

              Molson Breweries and the Senators have entered into a
         comprehensive four-year marketing alliance that extends from
         on-ice and in-arena activities to promotional and community
         events.  As part of the alliance, a 400-seat area at the
         Corel Centre will be established where Molson will
         underwrite more than half of the cost of the ticket.  Seats
         in the section, which will be sold as a 12-game ticket
         package, will cost C$22 each, instead of the usual C$45. 
         Molson will also be heavily involved with the team's TV
         broadcasts, and will be the title sponsor of next season's
         home opener.  Molson Regional Manager/Ottawa Region Cam
         Atchison: "Molson wants to play a larger role with
         individual clubs like the [Senators] that goes further than
         our previous NHL TV advertising package could" (Senators). 
         In Ottawa, Bruce Garrioch reports that Molson will be
         involved "with virtually every promotion" the club does. 
         The deal "could now clear the way" for the team to complete
         its local/regional TV packages.  The team's local deal with
         CHRO is up and Molson will now title sponsor the broadcasts. 
         Senators President Roy Mlakar said his team is the "first
         team to sign this type of deal" (OTTAWA SUN, 4/28).   

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NHL, Ottawa Senators

              The sale of the NHL Oilers to the Edmonton Investors
         Group LP was approved unanimously by the NHL Board of
         Governors yesterday.  Final closing of the sale remains
         subject to further documentation satisfactory to NHL 
         Commissioner Gary Bettman and league counsel (NHL).  In
         Edmonton, Stock & MacDonald report that the local investors
         must pay the US$65M balance on the US$70M deal to acquire
         the team on May 5.  Just "over half" of that amount has been
         raised; the remainder will be borrowed.  The group "will now
         move to keep key personnel," such as President/GM Glen
         Sather (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/28).  The local buyers now have
         31 people in their group, including three new investors
         (Terry Jones, EDMONTON SUN, 4/28).  The trio of new
         investors are pilot Don Hamilton, "trucking magnate" Simon
         Sochatsky and "oilpatch tycoon" Wally Kuchar.  The latter
         two put up C$1M each (Bernard Pilon, EDMONTON SUN, 4/28).

    Print | Tags: Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, NHL
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