SBD/28/Franchises

IS A SUITE DEAL TIED INTO JORDAN AND PIPPEN STAYING UNITED?

          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). 

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Chicago Bulls, Franchises

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